Spotlight Christophe Calis

Christophe Calis is an MEP candidate for Volt, a pan-european citizen-powered movement. He strongly believes in a shared European identity, although it can be very dynamic and layered. His experience developing Volt’s programme has shown him that a common identity is indeed shared throughout Europe, because of common values and basic ideas of how society should work. He explains that the foundation of European culture is democracy. Democracy is the best tool to counter extreme ideas and to nurture a culture of inclusivity and empowerment. People need to feel like their voice counts and that they can engage in European policy through the institutions. The MEP candidate believes that with the right to vote goes the right to have a basic knowledge on citizenship, democracy and how the European institutions work. This is why he supports the creation of European funds in order to implement a clear curriculum which includes critical thinking, philosophy, media literacy and citizenship education.

On the subject of culture, Christophe Calis promotes a free access to the cultural scene for young people. Europe has to ensure that this sector has no barriers for youth and students, so it becomes as inclusive as possible. Furthermore, he wants to maximise freedom of expression (including artistic expression) in the EU. A lot of work needs to be done in the European institutions to make clearer the fine line between what is only controversial and provocative and what is meant to harm.

The MEP candidate insists on the importance of reaching citizens in the countryside. This is a huge, but important challenge for Volt, to whom community building is a priority. He finds that it is very important to reach out to villages, small cities and rural areas to empower people there, and not only in the cities.

Christophe Calis explains that a sustainable future is crucial for ourselves as well as for future generations and it is one of Volt’s strong focuses. He highlights the need to take urgent actions in order to reach the goals that were agreed on. Europe has to be at the forefront of this transition to a sustainable future. He therefore supports the implementation of a CO2 tax at the EU level.

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  • Thank you for your answers !
  • In my humble opinion, VOLT's program is very technical, rational and quite complex, hard to understand. How are you going to attract votes from people without much knowledge on European politics and policy?
  • Are there certain policy decisions which Volt would take away from Member State level and bring them down to local level? Are there policy decisions that Volt would take "up" to European level? Which ones?
  • As you said you had an interest in music and culture I am wondering: If elected, do you commit to take part in the culture commission?
  • Are you aware that one of the key obstacles for the freedom of expression, including artistic expression, in the nowadays Europe is related to anti-terrorism legislation. Many people are wrongfully prosecuted on the grounds that they promote and/or support terrorist activities through their books/paintings/Facebook posts. How do you see the “fine line” between freedom of expression and national security?
  • What is your idea of a sustainable future?
  • So exciting to hear about a new PAN European party!! Can you tell us what would be your affiliation to the existing groups in the EP and what would be the priority files/topics you would work on?
  • How to do see the future of work? Creatives face precarity and freelancing across EU borders is hard
  • How does Volt plan to reach out to the countryside and reach citizens there- as opposed to concentrating the Pan-European campaign in the cities?
  • What does the fact that your political group exists in different countries by the same name and logo tells about your views on European identity(ies)? Do you believe in European identity as such?
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