The European Parliament is a democratic façade — it needs the right to initiate and pass legislation
We built DiEM25 to crush the authoritarian and anti-democratic dogma of Euro-TINA; that There Is No Alternative to the current version of the EU.
Not often does our mission receive support from Brussels, the capital of the ailing EU. But last Thursday, the ENVI and LIBE Committees of the European Parliament reminded us that there is still decency there that deserves to be preserved. Hundreds of progressive women and men voted through ground-breaking resolutions to:
- overhaul the problematic Dublin Regulation towards a more solidarity-based system
- object to the Commission’s proposal to renew glyphosate’s licence for 10 years, condemning the Commission for endangering the environment and lives of Europeans
- adopt ePrivacy reform to modernise the EU’s aging legal framework
AAll of the above was achieved despite strong lobbying by powerful private interests. As Elly Schlein, MEP and DiEM25 member, said of the Dublin regulation overhaul, it sent: “An important signal to the Council, and to all European citizens, [..] that at least one of the European Institutions is proposing common solutions to a common challenge.” It is this progressive force and its ability to challenge the status quo that the Establishment fears most.
Yet, the European Parliament is the only parliament in the world with no power to initiate legislation: an affront to democracy that is not accidental. And the certainty that the European Council (made up of all EU member state governments) will block these progressive resolutions is a brutal reminder of the power balance in Brussels. The European Parliament is a democratic façade for an institutional environment that excludes democracy from its decision-making — at all costs.
The excellent work of European parliamentarians on these resolutions, which is nonetheless doomed to fail, should act as a rallying cry across Europe! There are decent people with powerful visions for our collective future and they must be granted the power that their democratic mandate deserves.
This is why DiEM25 calls to all progressives and democrats across Europe to:
- Push for the establishment of transnational lists for the European elections, allowing Europeans to vote for common representatives, regardless of national borders
- End the affront to democracy at the heart of the European project and give the European Parliament sovereignty: the right to initiate and pass legislation
At national level, all Europeans recognise the same standard for keeping power in check: democracy. It’s time we started holding the EU accountable to the same standard – every day that we don’t is another day under an autocratic system that cannot and will not tackle our shared challenges.
Photo: FREDERICK FLORIN/AFP/Getty Images
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