The European Union must be governed by the people of Europe, and for the people of Europe. Today, the EU suffers from a deficit of democracy: unelected officials make decisions behind closed doors, where corporate lobbyists have far too much influence. European Spring will fight for a democratic Europe, where citizens enjoy fundamental rights and control the future of their communities.
We call to bring the people of Europe together to develop a new Democratic Constitution for Europe. The EU is currently governed by a set of treaties drafted by unelected diplomats and government ministers. European Spring will launch a series of citizen assemblies, traveling country to country to ask people what they want from a new European constitution. This process will culminate in a referendum requesting a Constitutional Assembly, composed of democratically elected representatives from across Europe, who will draft the new democratic constitution.
European Parliament must have the power to represent the interest sof its democratic constituencies — and to check the power of the EU’s unelected bodies.
We propose to strengthen the European Parliament in several ways:
We believe that citizens should have a greater say over the future of Europe. As a first step, we will improve the European citizen’s initiative (ECI). We will lower the number of required supporters, and we will revoke the Commission’s right to dismiss ECIs at will.
We must protect our fundamental rights against member-state governments who try to take them away. We propose to strengthen the European Court of Justice by introducing a Copenhagen Commission, an independent watchdog that will investigate violations of Article 2 of the Treaty on European Union, which guarantees dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, rule of law, judicial independence, and respect for human rights in all EU member-states.
Across Europe, mayors and municipal movements are inspiring people to participate in politics and create change at the local level. European Spring is proposing a comprehensive set of reforms to empower thesemovements and strengthen the role of local government in Europe.
We will reform Europe’s competition laws in order to allow local governments to resist privatization and more easily re-municipalize public services. We will fight the new revisions to the Bolkestein Directive and reform the e-Commerce Directive in order to allow local governments to regulate local industries. We will work to change public procurement laws that currently restrict the possibilities for municipalities to promote a radical transition to sustainable and ethical economies. And we will fight to reform EU asylum law to enable municipal governments to welcome migrants against more restrictive national laws.
Finally, we will create a new Parliamentary Committee to analyse the local impact of the ‘sharing economy,’ with the aim of establishing a common set of regulations that strengthen local government and respect local needs.
Transparency is the oxygen of democracy. To hold leaders accountable, citizens must be able to see how decisions are made.
Finally, we will propose that all trade and treaty negotiations — often designated as classified — become part of the public record
The granting of EU citizenship should be independent of an applicant’s assets. However, governments across the EU currently sell European citizenship to the highest bidder. Malta, for example, offers citizenship to anyone who agrees to spend one million Euros on development and real estate. These cash-for-citizenship schemes violate the fundamental right to equality, and render Europe into a playground for the super-rich.
European Spring will strive to introduce legislation that will end cash-for-citizenship schemes.
Journalists, investigators, and employees face major risks when they blow the whistle on wrongdoing. Several European citizens who have reported on corruption have been murdered, and many more have faced threats to their life. We will strengthen the protection for whistle-blowers in order to guarantee their physical safety, job security, and legal status when they come forward.
European Spring believes that European citizens should be guaranteed a vote in European Parliament elections regardless of their place of residence. To date, millions of EU citizens living in “third countries” are not given the opportunity to elect an MEP. After Brexit, that number will only grow.
We believe that living abroad should not come at the cost of your vote. We will change the law to allow the member-state consulates to host voting for European citizens outside the EU.
Please find all our policies as PDF here.