We are Europe!
A Pledge for a systemically inclusive movement
As a movement, Volt Europa is committed to building a better Europe that strives to include its citizens and give each individual a place and opportunity to shine.
Knowing that the European Union we seek to build does not exist today, and that our movement may not be perfect, we are nonetheless driven by our conviction that this is the Europe we strive for.
Let our collective actions speak louder than our words when we pledge:
We pledge … that we listen deeply and talk to all stakeholders, especially those unheard to co-create solutions and policies together
We pledge ... that we celebrate and embrace diversity across Europe and that we do our best on living up to our promise to be an inclusive movement
We pledge … that we create safe spaces for people within Volt to enable emotional healing and to create opportunities to shape the future of Europe to everyone - especially those who would not have the opportunity to raise their voice anywhere else.
We pledge ... to build meaningful connections with community organizations promoting diversity and inclusion well before we run for elections and include their perspectives in our electoral campaigns
We pledge ... that the candidates we put forward for elections reflect the diversity within our society . And that our movement will never be satisfied with non-inclusive lists of candidates
We pledge ... that the policies we propose have been reflected with regards to being inclusive towards all humans across Europe
We pledge … that our communication and our visuals are a reflection of the diversity of Europeans
We pledge ... that Volt will favour working with suppliers that actively support diversity and inclusion in their workplace and products and services.
We pledge ... that we include everyone joining Volt and ensure they belong and contribute towards our shared future
The sparking thought behind the pledge
We have always been here. From the first day we set foot on this continent we now call Europe. Throughout history we have committed ourselves to building this continent, creating a home for us and our loved ones. We are Europe, we are all Europe.
We have gifted maestros and contributed to the development of our most cherished works of art and music. We have revolutionised agriculture, medicine, and the sciences. We have inspired architects that have built our great cities, and birthed inspiring leaders and role models that have captured the hearts of generations. We have made golden ages possible through our talent and our economic ingenuity. Whether in sports or the classroom, we have brought pride to our Home – whilst pushing the limits of what is humanly possible.
The Europe we have built is not without its fault. Europe is riddled with imperfections, contradictions, like the emotions within us all. It is both a labour of hate and love. It has made us spill our blood on battlefields spanning the ages for King and Country. Yet we have also helped build the kingdoms, empires, republics and democracies sung in history; witnessed and been front-row actors of their rise and fall.
To err is human as is to fall victim to biases as magnified by our societal constructs. We have not always been heroes, sometimes been that which we fear most: harbingers of injustice. Yet, in those darkest moments, our actions and our suffering have helped societies eventually question themselves. We have learned to stand up against injustice, to join forces and mobilise for the cause of equality. We have sacrificed that which was most dear to us. Paid with body and limb, and in doing so crafted the very concept of fundamental human rights, redefining what it means to be European… be human.
We may appear to be mere punctuation marks in the grand family tapestry of our continent. But, we have always been here and always will be far greater contributors to our family heritage than may first appear. Mainstream history may forget us; societies may blame us for every ill that befalls them, but our impact is timeless, unerasable, and has shaped us all. That impact - our Home is the better for it, our Home could not stand without it and it would not be as beautiful were it not for it. None of us would wish to see this wiped away, especially in the face of what fear, hatred and ignorance may seek to sow in its place.
We may be described and divided by names and titles that fail to capture our intricacies, our complexities, our vulnerabilities, our strengths... our humanity. These names, at times used as insults meant to belittle us all and our contributions to the European project. These titles, used to justify the most obscene of actions against our fellow beings only weaken the individual, and our society as a whole which fails to benefit from each of these individuals’ true potential. For what better way to judge humankind but by the way it treats its most vulnerable, by the way it fosters the possibility for vulnerabilities to become a strength, not just for the individual but for our society.
Whether we are woman, non-binary, trans, or man. Whether we are able or have limitations to overcome. Whether we are shades of blacks, browns, or peaches. Whether we are asexual, bisexual, gay, lesbian, queer, or straight. Whether we pray or do not, and whether we follow the teachings of one specific prophet or another. The paths of our ancestors, our foremothers and forefathers who have brought us all to today – Make us Europe. We are all Europe, and we can take pride in what has led us to this point… We accept through the lessons of lost life, pain, and anguish that we are stronger united, and that we must become a beacon of what can be and better than what was. We know that we continue to stumble; that we must keep questioning that which pulls us apart.
We are all Europe, regardless whether we can draw our European lineage back to ancient times or are more freshly arrived. Every one of us plays a role in making our societies greater than the sum of all its parts. We are committed to building a better Europe and we see our role in empowering every individual regardless of the cards that they were dealt with at birth or later in their lives – because the politics of tomorrow must be the politics that works for everyone.
We seek to break cycles which blind and shackle us. The past exists to teach us lessons, to guide us to build a world that may sustain all of us, equitably and sustainably, in all our perfect imperfections. As a movement, as a party, we are driven by our conviction and our dream that we can do better. Not just for ourselves, but for our neighbour, and their neighbour’s neighbour.
It may seem arrogant, or naïve, it may seem foolish or unsurmountable, but we will persevere because success through perseverance helps us to overcome the pains and injustice of the past. They form the seeds of our greatest victories, those generational achievements that stand the test of time. And we take on this mantle knowing that we are equally imperfect, that we must grow by learning, that we must accept critiques when they are deserved and work with those who critique us to be worthy of the responsibility of power and the hopes and dreams that we are tasked to bring to reality. Because we are Europe, and we desire to be the party of systemic inclusion for all.
Because action speak louder than words, we accept the role that our political movement must play in fostering systemic inclusion that tackles the root cause of discrimination. It is both self-serving, for Europe can only grow if it harnesses the full potential of every individual, as it is a moral obligation, for Europe must learn to accept its role in history and its flaws if it is to learn from its mistakes and redress injustices that will earn it the hearts and minds of all its citizens. Europe will be strengthened when it accepts and cherishes all its builders and architects.
As a movement, we commit to this endeavour, realising that the journey ahead may not always be a perfect one but that we must remain open to the necessity of change and the possibility of perpetual improvement. To this end, we make these solemn commitments to ensure that we truly embody our desire to be a political movement of systemic inclusion.
- We will make the conscious decision to be aware of our blind spots, in our campaigns, in our political actions, we undertake to look for the individuals whose voice may not be represented.
- We endeavour to ensure that our party always reflects all the forms of diversity that make Europe great. We call each other out when we leave someone behind and make conscious steps to repair the damage when we fail in our commitment.
- We pledge to offer the opportunity to participate in politics to everyone and especially those who would not have any opportunity anywhere else.
- We recognise that those most affected by discrimination are those who are rarely heard or given the space to express themselves, relay their experiences, define their needs and their desires.
- We accept with great honour and humility that our role is not to be the oracle of solutions but rather to be the amplifier of each individual’s hopes and aspirations. We undertake to listen better and not speak out of turn. We accept that the best policies are those crafted by, for, and with the individuals directly concerned by that policy.
- We pledge to listen first to the experiences of individuals concerned, rather than act upon our own assumptions or seek to put Volt ahead of the individuals themselves. We stand up if individuals experience a situation in which they are not heard or are treated in a way that makes them feel unwelcome or unable to contribute.
- Discrimination is a lived experience; it cuts into a person’s soul and scars them and those around them. It requires a different type of evidence-based policy-making.
- It is because the experience creates a wide variety of impacts that politics addressing these must recognise the emotional impact the situation provokes. We undertake to be a movement that recognises the pain of others; a movement that infuses into the political discourse the importance of accounting for emotions that accompany a discriminatory action and fosters a structured approach. To be able to support affected individuals appropriately, we undertake to be a movement that is not afraid to speak to the importance of bringing the matters of the heart into the political discourse on systemic inclusion.
- We pledge to promote an approach to tackling systemic discrimination that recognises the impact of emotions in the design and success of policies and champions actions that seek to balance the scars of systemic discrimination and promotes emotional healing.
- Because this burden should not be carried only by those directly impacted and because this burden flows through the very fabric of our society, we are driven by our desire to build a movement that connects with purpose, ensuring we no longer see those at the periphery of politics as “the other,” but that we cherish us all as one.
- We actively seek to connect and be integrally embedded in every community, embracing the success and pain of those communities as shared ones. We undertake to connect with all our communities and to not speak on behalf of that community without their agreement to do so.
- We pledge to take active steps to build connections with all communities that make up Europe. We undertake to be active participants of those communities, partaking in their celebrations, partaking in overcoming challenges whatever they may be and praise those communities as integral part of all our lives.
- A society whose leaders do not reflect the full mosaic of their population will be doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past and will falter. Because we wish the European project to be a success and do not wish to see anyone left behind, we recognise that doing politics differently means first and foremost to empower those at the periphery of politics to be able to be their own agents of change.
- To empower means actively fostering and creating the opportunities for the disenfranchised to take their rightful place. We undertake to empower individuals from diverse backgrounds to have the opportunity to be at the driving seat of change because, when they are, socio-economic outcomes are markedly improved.
- We pledge to reflect all diversities within Europe. We will ask the question who is missing, and refrain from acting until those missing are given a chance to be heard and influence objectives and outcomes. We undertake to ensure that candidates from under-represented backgrounds are placed on our lists to strategically increase their chances of electability and where our chapters do not reflect that diversity, we will redouble our efforts to look, listen, and connect to ensure that they do not remain so for long.