Following a lovely night under the rain hoping that our patched up camper would hold on we hit the road early on Friday and slowly drove to Ljubljana an eye on the road another on the caravan's roof. We arrived in the afternoon safe and sound under heavy rainfall but ready to meet new people and hand out stickers, flyers or other pamphlets. Unfortunately the people we had planned to visit (Yalla Yalla) were in fact not really willing to share and exchange with us especially in front of the camera. The impression I've got was that they were hopeless and rather than trying to find a solution or fight for their ideals they just gave up and live in a certain autarky in their bubble surrounded by the world they despise.
We stayed in Ljubljana over night and went in town the next morning in order explain our project to the locals and to interact and understand some of the Slovenian's perceptions of Europe. We got the chance to hear very different perceptions of Europe, divided between optimism with some hope and a certain pessimism tinged with fatality. Few of the young people we met expressed their feeling of being European and quite a few of the older people we encountered shared we us their nostalgia of the former Yugoslavia. But the overall feeling I heard is that Slovenia and its citizens do not feel included in the European construction, they feel far away, not taken into account and they consider that with or without them Europe will carry on. None of them rejected Europe however a feeling of dashed hope feed their discourse on Europe. We left Slovenia Saturday evening under the rain (Southern caravan really?!?) in the direction of Zagreb.
After those two first stops I feel lucky to be part of the transeuropacaravans' project, it clearly matches with the values I stand for and the idea I have of what Europe should be tomorrow. I believe in an European Union which would put the citizens first, and give the opportunity to any of its citizens to make its voice heard, thus one of the key for an more balanced (equal) Europe is to link the Europeans citizens and involved them in a participatory governance. So far I feel that most of the people I heard feel powerless, helpless they are disillusioned even though they had a positive vision of Europe. Therefore it is essential to "go out there" meet, share and discuss with our fellow European citizens in order to understand what do they want for Europe and what are their daily struggles in order to build, together, a more equal society in Europe.