“European Spring”: The transnational list to present a progressive alternative in 2019 gathers pace
Fri 04, 2018, Articles
Following last month’s historic launch of a transnational list to take a common progressive agenda to European ballots in 2019, DiEM25 and its European political partners gathered in Lisbon to hold their second meeting on April 26.
Here’s what happened:
On April 25, representatives of the list’s provisional governing council took to the streets along with thousands to commemorate Portugal’s “Freedom Day”.
The council met on the following day at Lisbon’s Biblioteca de São Lázaro, where the following political forces joined as observers: Actúa, Barcelona en Comú, Die Linke, Nouvelle Donne, Parti communiste français (PCF), Party of the European Greens, Party of the European Left, and Transform!
The group covered a packed agenda during an 8-hour-long session, which included agreeing on a common name for the transnational electoral initiative, a common stance on its relation to other movements, parties and lists, as well as an Ethical Code all candidates will observe. A series of work-groups composed of members of each organisation will be formed in the following weeks to develop a common communications strategy, online presence and campaign schedule.
While all of the council’s agreements will be subjected to each organization’s internal democratic procedures, here are some of the key items the council convened during the meeting:
“European Spring”, a name proposed by DiEM25’s membership, received the council’s unanimous vote as the transnational list’s name.
The council also unanimously agreed on an Ethical Code the candidates to the 2019 electoral contest are bound to respect and promote.
Observers were also invited to take part on the discussions. Oliver Schröder, member of Die Linke and speaking on behalf of European Party of the Left President Gregor Gysi, commended the council’s transparency and courageous initiative.
Unity and coherence was the underlying theme during the council’s discussions. In light of the recent emergence of similar pan-European political projects, DiEM25 co-founder Yanis Varoufakis stressed the need to have a discussion on actual policies: “Our worst enemy,” he said, “is not answering the question of what we are going to do to transform the European institutions.”
Generation-s’ Benoit Hamon underscored the importance of campaigning on positive values and a robust programme.
LIVRE’S Rui Tavares proposed a ‘shadow’ European Commission and to further democratise the election of the Spitzenkandidat:
As it was the case after the transnational list launch in Naples last month, this meeting’s conclusions will be made available online by all participating organisations shortly. Also, all decisions regarding the list’s programme will be tabled to all participating organisation’s members for consultation and eventual vote.
“This is what, once again, makes us a unique project,” Varoufakis underlined, “our transnational feedback, as all of our members will be able to comment on the programme – not along national lines, but as Europeans.”
“Today we had our second meeting and we are well on our way to establishing our programme! And anyone can contribute to it, they do not need to be members: participation and transparency is at the heart of our list!”, concluded Varoufakis.
The council’s next meeting will take place in Paris at the end of May 2018.
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