Let's interconnect Europe's political life

Christel Hahn - 31/03/2015

Newropeans invites everybody who wants to work on interconnecting Europe's political life to an online meeting in the form of a video-conference on April 15th, 18.30. If you are interested, please send an email to vbaeyaert@newropeans.eu

Let's interconnect Europe's political life
The European integration process has started from an economic community of six nations and developed into the complex and unfinished institutional system we have now. This reflects the painful rebirth of a continent from a 20th century of two world wars into the 21st century.
In this process Europe has achieved a very high level of integration: common market, academic exchange through Erasmus, abolition of inner-European borders including the “iron curtain” between western and central Europe, single European currency, … , it has de-facto become an Euroland. And in the Euroland through this process of integration has emerged the Eurocitizen, whose daily life is deeply influenced by what is going on on the continent, who is part of an European culture (that existed long before the integration started) and who sees the continent as a space to move, learn and work.
Yet the political life of this Euroland is very much fragmented.
It is not a democracy, which could adapt fairly fast to a changing world, but a much more inflexible “treatocracy”, which in the accelerated time of the current crisis had to more and more stretch and even violate its own basis, the treaties. It had to go to the “intergovernmental method” and still is not able to provide the necessary economic governance, without which the Euro is turning from a facilitator of economic life into a burden to be carried by the citizens and thus antagonizing the citizens against the integration.
The year 2014 even has seen a development where this treatocracy acts as an empire, that tells its neighbors on the Eurasian continent “Who is not with us, is against us” and not as one of several   players, as which the European Union used to act in the decades before.
Through the historic process there exists a complex system of decision making in a complex set of configurations: European member states, Council of Europe, European Union (with an executive consisting of the European Commission and the European Council, a parliament with an additional upper house, the Council of the European Union), Economic and Monetary Union (with the Euro-zone and its Euro-zone secretariat[1], European Central Bank, European Court of Justice, … .
Up to now, only in the member states the democratic process is strong enough to give the elected national governments the necessary legitimacy to govern. But through the treaties, those states, parliaments and governments have handed over a major part of their sovereignty to the European level, without being farsighted and daring enough to also start a process, that would give the European level the necessary legitimacy. Such a process would require the building up of trans-European debate, media and parties and based on this the election of a truly sovereign European legislative and executive through general and equal European elections.
But this does not mean, that this process does not exist. It exists, but it is very much fragmented. The last year has not only seen the breakdown and blockage of European governance, but also a new surge of trans-European political initiatives:
  • The small and medium-size non-institutional European political parties with new innovative concepts have gained a segment of the votes in the last European elections. But because this segment is very much fragmented, the will of the people cannot be implemented.
  • The Franck-Biancheri-Network, which is relentlessly promoting European democratization since 30 years and has launched in 2005 Newropeans as a model for a trans-European political party, has during the last elections created a network of these parties.
  • Among European politicians, economists and analysts the need for an economic and political governance of the Eurozone is more and more seen as the top priority (LEAP, Eiffel group, Glienicker group, statements by Schäuble and Junckers, ..).
  • Democracy International, a trans-European NGO, was instrumental in the creation of the ECI and is now pressuring for a reform of the ECI.
  • The TTIP has created the strong trans-European Stopp-TTIP movement, which in a (not recognized) ECI has already collected  more than 1.5 million signatures.
  • Openpetition, a german NGO for citizen's petitions, is now developing into a European petition platform.
  • Newropeans Magazine was launched as the first trans-European Online Magazine already before Newropeans. Now Newropeans has created with the Foodforthought list a channel for trans-European news.
  • More and more tools for political collaboration  are being developed in Europe and used for the political debate and work in Europe. Newropeans is regularly offering video-conferences. Newropeans and local communities are starting to use the participation platform “Participa” (democracia.eu). CitizensForEurope offers a platform for European citizen's organizations to interconnect. Internet voting is technically able to transform European decision making.

Christel Hahn, Newropeans Club
[1] Through the treaties all member states have committed themselves to adopt the Euro. Two member states (UK and Denmark) have chosen to “opt out”. While this is their legitimate right, it should have lead to an institutional change to prevent decisions on the Euro being done by non-Euro representatives. The creation of the Euro-zone secretariat in 2010 is an attempt, but not enough.

Tags : euroland