One of the core problems of the European Union that DiEM25 set forth to address through its own structure was the lack of a common, comprehensive European political vision.
There is no single political programme towards which Europeans struggle, no common agenda: not even within the same ‘party’.
In the past week, there are two examples that perfectly showcase this.
In Luxembourg, our members participated in a demonstration against CETA (organised by Déi Lénk – the Left party), which was ratified on Wednesday in the Luxembourgish parliament. The occasion was no accident: in the previous years there have been substantial demonstrations against CETA in the streets of the city, but in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the opposition was minimal — so minimal, in fact, that even Déi gréng (the Greens), who opposed CETA so loudly in the European Parliament, decided to vote in favour of ratifying CETA.
This should perhaps not come as a surprise from a Green party that, together with the LSAP (the Social Democrats), and the Democrat party (Liberals), voted against declaring climate emergency in Luxembourg last May. The hypocrisy is even starker when one recalls that last month, the Luxembourgish government (of which the Greens are a partner) signed a letter calling for a Green Deal for recovering from the corona-crisis, only to follow it with the exact opposite: the ratification of CETA, which brings more growth, international trade, and an intensified attack on workers’ rights and the environment.
Meanwhile in Greece, the hard-right government of New Democracy, led by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who was lauded as a “Green Prime Minister” by some pundits at the beginning of his mandate, took the opportunity of quarantine-measures to pass through a massively unpopular anti-environmental bill, which they ironically dubbed the “Environmental Bill”.
Among the many destructive measures allowed through this bill is the absolutely shocking opening of protected “Natura” regions for oil exploration and construction sites. This is the same government that the European Commission has been lauding as a best-in-class – a kind of propaganda that goes all the way into full-out double-speak when Politico Europe gets involved: they described the measures as a “greening” of the country’s recovery.
To add insult to injury, SYRIZA MPs abstained from the vote: hardly surprising to those who have been following the country’s political scene since Tsipras’ capitulation in 2015. Many of the measures voted through by New Democracy, are the heritage of the endless austerity measures that SYRIZA condemned the country to five years ago.
It is sad to see those we would consider comrades from the Greens, who don’t hesitate to show up to climate strikes or lambast anti-environmental policies, behave with the same cynicism as hardcore conservative governments.
Worse yet is the hypocrisy and outright lies dominating Brussels when these topics are discussed: one thing is said in the European Parliament, Commission or Council, and a completely other transpires in the member states. We expect nothing better from New Democracy and other parties of that family, but it is truly unacceptable to have to face the same duplicity from so-called progressives.
That is why, in DiEM25, we are adamant: we need a single political programme for Europe, and people across the continent willing to fight for it. It is not just the Right that has brought us to this mess: it is our collective failure to rally to a single cause, and stick to it! DiEM25 was created to combat this failure: Europe will unite or die.
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