European Parliament

Why Europe’s treaties are failing its citizens

One of the goals in DiEM25’s Progressive Agenda for Europe is to initiate a constituent process – to imagine a democratic pan-European constitution and the process that may lead to it. It’s a long enterprise, but we’re already making good progress and the conversation is well underway amongst our members across Europe.
In this two-part series, London DSC member Sam Hufton shares his thoughts on such a constituent process as a means to contribute to our conversation. Sam looks first at why Europe’s existing treaties are failing its citizens… and then at how the European idea can be saved. Here’s part 1:


On the International

Europe’s current malaise is linked to the contradictions and misunderstandings of its constitutional architecture. By analysing the treaties for what they are, we see they are a poor substitute for a real constitution, mainly because they lack the key normative element: democracy.
Treaties force us into an international paradigm which deprives citizens of constituent power, as well as control over their governments and the ability to see what’s being done in their name. Thus, Europe’s political elite can tailor the constitutional architecture exactly to their interests and those of established power.
The so-called ‘Constitutional Treaty’ requires special attention as it takes these issues and intensifies them, with the spurious use of ‘constitution’ and seeming intention to rewrite the meaning of democracy. By analysing their failures and their contradictions, we see that treaties are unable to give Europe a democratic footing, and instead strip the peoples of Europe of their constituent power and sovereign authority. Instead of the international approach, and more transnational perspective is needed which will pave the way towards a real constitution.
Read the full piece here.
 
Sam Hufton is a student at King’s College London and member of DiEM25 since Feb 2016, involved in the London DSC. Alongside his studies, he writes a blog on European politics and history: Evropaïki Dimokratía.
 

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