Thinking about the European Union often seems to be thinking about Brussels, thinking about bureaucracy. In other words, it is thinking about something as boring as looking at bread. Therefore, what seems more appropriate send sending a bread through Europe, experiencing this huge diversity of the European Union, retelling the story of the European idea.
A bread for thought
“Hunger is the biggest threat to democracy”, once Konrad Adenauer, German chancellor and founding father of the European Union stated. Today, it seems, that reluctance, is the biggest threat to democracy, simply taking it for granted. Admittedly, there could be more exciting things to do, than to study legislative proposals, which require a profound knowledge European legislation. Admittedly it requires at least a very staunched commitment to follow regulations on vacuum cleaners, fighting for a regulation on the pressure of flushing, spending hours inside sessions of commitments, keeping on talking and talking about the same cleavages.
Well, this is definitely, a spot to be for Bernd, the Bread. The bread is squared as a nitpicker, following weird passions. The favourite food of this rather lame guy is “Mehlsuppe”, a simple soup made of water and four. Mostly, Bernd prefers to spend his time at home watching his huge collection of “Bahnstrecken”, a TV series at night, simply documenting trains on tracks. Otherwise, instead of sports he has a certain weakness to study the patterns of its “Rauhfasertappete”, some kind of rugged wallpaper. Even so, mostly living a life on his own, often this poor guy is confronted with the many challenges and curiosities of all kinds of life.
Just as poor Bernd, often the European Union is disregarded, taken for granted just as the daily bread. If there is something to be heard, it seems to be something rather grumpy, blaming Brussels, which stands as a synonym for Europe, for once again having failed to take actions. Nevertheless, just as the European Union started very modest, Bernd started his career as simple candidate in a sales show, being broadcasted on the German children programme KIKA. Here, the crumby candidate had to test various, crazy inventions by Briegel the Bush, or support Chilly the Sheep, when she was trying to perform a new stunt. Similar to Bernd taking care of his colleagues and friends, that those experiments would not end up in a total disaster, the European Union is responsible for protecting our rights as citizens, ensuring participation. Here you can find the highest consumer standards to be implemented in the world. But if nobody is willing to take responsibility, nobody will be responding to changes of the digital global world. A European House not build by Europeans is just a ruin.
A bread for bridging Europe
Honestly, taking the long process for getting a new commission into mind, taking the many crises, the European Union was facing the last decade, it really resembles a talking “Kastenbrot”. The arms are too short to get done anything done. Often the bread is clumsy, depending on the help of others, to get things done. Nevertheless, Bernd is quite well known, relying on many friends, willing to give a helping hand. Often just as this loaf, processes in the European sphere seem to take eternities, being complex, rather clumsy in reacting to the daily challenges of life in a global world. However, just as the crumby colleague, Europe is only is capable, Europeans and member states are willing to give a helping hand, willing to contribute.
Yet, asking around, many people outside Germany do not know Bernd. Simultaneously, they do not know, what the European Union is doing, especially what it is doing for them. Therefore, just as Bernd is forced to leave his beloved Rauhfasertappete, in order to understand Europe, you have to leave your bubble, getting to the regions, where there doesn´t seem to be Europe feelable. Often those regions might have a reputation Bernd would call “Alles Mist!”. Yet the first step to get known to Europe, is to set a first step to your neighbour, approaching each other.
Talking with each other often reveals the emotional side, that Europe is not just about bureaucracy, but building bridges. Experiencing Europe is less about borders, but more of making use of chances. Even Brexit was a chance, showing, what the European Union is about. During that, it became obvious, that being member of the European Union makes a difference.
A bread for a brighter Europe
Baking bread requires the right ingredients put together to get something unique as Bernd. Building Europe requires the right ideas, put together, to get something unique such as decades of peace and stability. Representing 500 million people in 28 member states, speaking more than 24 different languages, the European Union is not just a spot on the map, it is rather the lived idea of being united in diversity. However, diversity requires curiosity, being open-minded to discover the many differences, meeting and making friends all over Europe.
Often there is the prejudice, Europe would be something artificially imposed, that in case of doubt, there would be nobody, if you want to call the European Union. Then please call Bernd. Having been travelling through Europe, Bernd the bread has seen many places, met people from various backgrounds, gaining friends from Portugal to Estonia. During time, this little bread has become an ambassador for culture and humor in Europe, just telling one simple story. Europe is everything else than boring, it is emotion, as even if your arms are much too short, they are never too short for a hug. This crumby discoverer on diplomatic mission, would like to encourage you to enjoy the European Union with all its marvels and diversity.
Curiosity to community is the greatest chance for Europe. The future of Europe lies in its integrative power, bringing Europeans together, getting curious and solidary for each other. Let´s get together enjoy, experience and evolve Europe or in the words Bernd always uses to say: “Alle zusammen tanzt das Brot. Wir sitzen doch hier im selben Boot!
Build on the crumbles and debris of a world war, a project such as Europe is unique in history. When you eat your daily bread at breakfast, maybe just take a moment to think about your European story. Europe has many stories to tell. Enjoy, Experience and Evolve Europe! 🇪🇺