ViNO (the Federation of Green Youth and Students) held its General Assembly in Helsinki last weekend. Representatives of Green youth organisations from across Finland spent a few days debating major...
European Democracy: the Force Awakens
To the initiators of DiEM 2025,
To the friends of democracy and Europe and all its citizens,
Dear Yanis, You have a dream. It's ours too.
A particular idea of Europe drives us. An open, transnational and sovereign Europe. A large, mobilized, popular and inclusive European democracy. Nevertheless, day after day, the European continent falls further in political and moral powerlessness. An upsurge from the extreme right, and a xenophobic and antagonistic downturn, we cannot stand this confiscation of our European dream anymore by “every-man-for-himself” movements and governments subservient to the interests of a few.
Our Europe is different. To a level that meets its values, respects its citizens and welcomes those seeking refuge. We dream of a citizen Europe with shared sovereignty where all Europeans would trust their national and local parliaments again and would decide together their common future in the European Parliament. A continent unified in diversity and solidarity, where sharing a currency and supranational institutions manifests the feeling of a common destiny. Yes, we want to get democracy out of dark rooms where the European Council, and thus the Member States sequester it. Everywhere in Europe and beyond, ecologists have “democracy as a project”. We stand for the democratic renewal in Europe as a necessary condition for an exit from the crisis, even if it is not enough. We have been convinced for a long time of the necessity of an European sovereignty and thus an European Constituent Assembly!
We are not naïve. We know that, in the name of a certain kind of European integration, policies are conducted that enslave both the citizens and the very idea of Europe. But we are realistic. Nothing can be built on ruins. Beyond us stand six decades of peace, rapprochement, shared prosperity and gradual reunification of a continent once divided by incessant wars and games of nuclear superpowers. Yet do not forget all those who are already working on a change for Europe. At the heart of the institutions, there are not only cold technocrats or neoliberal politicians in the pocket of multinationals. We have never confused political Europe with European policies.
Some of us are in Berlin for the launch of DiEM25 and it is exactly because we are daily activists for democracy, ecology, solidarity and tolerance and think that we need to go even further towards the alternative. We think that the answer to the social, economic, democratic, moral, climate and energy crises requires the implementation of radically new politics. In parallel to democratic reform, the necessary solidarity between Europeans and generations requires the abandonment of the myths of infinite growth and materialistic consumerism. Climate change compels us to rethink everything on small and large scales, from energy to food, debt to migration, mobility to wealth sharing, from foreign policy to commercial strategies. It's time to finally enter the 21st century.
To feed this new imaginary, to make it desirable and share it with as many people as possible, we need concrete projects, coming from our fights, ingrained in reality and on the field: basic income and maximum wage, local and complementary currencies to the Euro, renewable and citizen controlled energies, agroecology, common goods, cooperatives, education, culture there is plenty to tackle in the future! And above all, we will have to rethink our political identities: yesterday's labels are expired. The important thing is not where we come from, but where we want to go together.
You are Europe, we are all Europe, even those who prefer the cosy comfort of false certainties from the nation state. It is necessary to overcome our fears and fantasies, to transform our societies and to write together a new page of history. Europe is the future of our collective and plural sovereignty, of a just and sustainable prosperity.
Dear friends of democracy, dear friends of Europe, dear initiators of DiEM2025, you are right to think that a difference can be made. With our differences and similarities, let's try!
Long live democracy. Long live Europe. Long live the European democracy.
Florent Marcellesi (spokesperson, EQUO in the European Parliament, Spain),
Julien Bayou (spokesperson, Europe Écologie-Les Verts, France),
Karima Delli (MEP, France),
Michel Reimon (MEP, Austria),
Rui Tavares (ex-MEP, Portugal),
Vedran Horvat (Croatia),
Adam Ostolski (spokesperson, Polish Greeen Party),
Laura Carlier (spokesperson, FYEG, Belgium),
Teo Comet (spokesperson, FYEG, Finland),
Zakia Khattabi and Patrick Dupriez (co-spokespersons, Ecolo, Belgium)