Cohesion encompasses a variety of aspects, ranging from personal experiences and people’s own commitment to others, to an individual sense of belonging and expectations of a positive future. However, interpersonal relationships and individual European experiences have declined in many EU countries over the past ten years. Many citizens do not or no longer feel connected to the EU and do not associate their own lives with the values and positive accomplishments of the EU.
A decline in cohesion also poses a threat to democracy, as we are currently seeing both within European societies and between member states. At the same time, governments, parties and propagandists who wish to divide the EU are becoming ever stronger. Antidemocratic governments of individual member states are fundamentally questioning the EU as a union of values and a community based on the rule of law. This is weakening its credibility and authority and making it vulnerable to the subversive forces that are acting upon it both inside and out. To counter this, we want to strengthen cohesion between the citizens of the EU. We are committed to European civic education, to supporting research on the rule of law and democracy in the EU, and to strengthening and interconnecting experts in the rule of law.