Camille Jovana is a member of the MovEurope bus team and a member of JEF Lorraine (France). She has a master degree in Politics and European law.
I have joined the MovEurope bus tour on May 14th in Barcelona for the third and last part of the campaign. As soon as I have heard about the MovEurope bus tour, I have been willing to take part in it. As a JEF member in Lorraine (France), I am really keen on raising awareness about the European Union and European elections at local level. Being part of such a project is, however, very different from what I experienced so far. Being surrounded by people from various EU countries, all willing to spread a very important message such as voting at European elections provide me with an incredible energy to fulfil our common goal. Despite our differences, our cultural heritage, our mother tongue, our political tendencies, I am convinced and I think I can say “we”, the MovEurope bus tour’s team that what matters the most is our future, our only possible and common European future and the kind of Union we believe in.
Being part of this campaign also reinforced the idea that the EU has so much to offer: FREEDOM, free movement of people, a common currency… It makes you aware of what the EU is really about and creates a real feeling of European identity. Having myself studied and worked in several EU countries, having benefited from Erasmus grants and travelled across the EU, this experience summed them all at once.
Together with local JEF sections, we put our energy to communicate on the European elections and engage in discussions with EU citizens with great tools: games on the history of the Union, geography… The fact that we were helped in our mission with visible tools: the bus, T-shirts and goodies as well as the local sections increased our visibility, information on the tour and a new visibility for JEF local sections. The artistic installation was also useful, as everyone could express in a few words freely about the Union and spread ideas widely read by passers-by on what the EU is about and should be. The artistic installation implied reflections on what they want and what are the things which are closer to their needs and hearts.
I strongly believe that what matters today is discussing to better shape the Union we want and that the MovEurope bus tour, thanks to a very dynamic team of young Europeans helped in this regard. What an amazing feeling I had in Strasbourg when we gathered with JEF Strasbourg for their “Village Européen” with more than 40 people empowering this European idea that “we are part of something bigger”. Having roots in Italy, Montenegro and France, I am “Europeanly aware” of the reason why the EU (back then the European Community of Coal and Steel) was established: to avoid another war. Peace is something which should never be forgotten and as such taking it as something granted, having a quick look at EU borders now and the situation in Ukraine should always be reminded. That is what the EU is also about: a common ground of values.
During the tour we also faced difficult moments: non-voters decisions and populist ideas. We have been judged “mad” by some people, recognized by others for our action. But I am sure that making people think and provide citizens with concrete and helpful information makes Europe real and alive.
Too often we hear about technocracy and directives – of course they are compulsory – but if we communicated more on exchange programs, EU structural funds… I believe we could reach more European citizens.
My wish for the future mandate of the European Parliament relies on imposing to EU nationals to communicate more effectively on the Union through a real European media and set up a minister in EU nationals dedicated to providing information on the EU and as such creating a closer link between the Union and its citizens.