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.