Let the European democracy live!

, by The editorial board of Le Taurillon

Let the European democracy live!

In less than a month, the European citizens will go to the ballot boxes in order to elect their representatives at the European Parliament. We, young people engaged in various organisations, are very worried by recent polls showing that a majority of European citizens don’t know when the next European elections will take place and foresee up to 70% abstention.

But, who should be to blame? How to blame the citizens when the parties and the political representatives don’t play their part?

Despite the fact that these elections, which are about the most democratic European institution, will take place in less than a month, we don’t even know the complete list of candidates.

The designation of the lists creates in France various negotiations between the different political streams inside the parties, pushing sometimes aside current European MEP’s which are recognised for their competence inside the European Assembly.

And if being a Member of the European Parliament constitutes the high point of a political career in some countries like Belgium, Denmark or Finland, few French politicians imagine such a European destiny, which sounds for them more like a political exile, a consolation price, a complementary revenue or an electoral engine who should withdraw once the list elected. Countries like the UK or Germany have understood that it’s in Brussels and Strasbourg that one should be influent and have decided to send there their best candidates. In France, political parties often consider the mandate of MEP like some kind of “golden parachute of politics” which would aim at sometimes compensating a declining career, sometimes at softing a crossing of the desert, which, by the way, doesn’t seem to be the best guarantee for a true and efficient commitment.

We want candidates who are proud of their mandate!

Therefore, too many of our French MEPs currently shine by their absence and sometimes even their complete lack of interest for Europe. We want candidates who are proud of their mandate!

Even if we often criticise a so called democratic deficit and even if these elections are supposed to offer the possibility to the European citizens to express their wishes regarding the political orientations to give to the EU’s policies, the first signs of this campaign don’t deal with European issues.

We urge the political parties and the candidates for the position of MEP to express their position regarding the future of the EU and not only to make national politics by calling either for a sanction of the current government or, on the contrary, for support. This is not the question that is being asked. We are expecting answers to the great issues which the EU has to face: what should be the European budget of the future? What environmental and energy policy at the European level? What research for the EU? What common European reaction to the crisis? Or also what European defence policy?

We believe that it’s only by getting the debate political and by dealing really with the European issues, that the European citizens will be interested by these elections. The campaign has also to prove that the action of the European Parliament influences their daily life and that Europe is not so far. Are the citizens really aware of the fact that the European regional policy finances to a great extent the development of French regions? That it’s the European Parliament that enables their kids to play safely with toys that respond to strict norms? Or that the consumer’s rights, equality of chances and Human rights are defended in all texts submitted to the vote of the MEPs? Our generation is not afraid of getting Europe closer to the citizens and is expecting brave acting from our national and European political leaders. Because Europe is our future, we don’t want a juxtaposition of national campaigns dealing only with national subjects. When will we finally see a real European wide campaign with political programmes with a European dimension dealing with European issues?

Despite the fact the EU too often appears as far and technocratic, the European elections represent the occasion to foster a real ideological debate and to give Europe a face. The election of the European Parliament needs to have a visible outcome: the choice of the European Commission’s President should depend from its result. The different parties should all announce their candidate to the Presidency of the European Commission before the election of the European Parliament and this, even if they estimate not to have a chance to get a majority in the Parliament. Not designating a candidate to the Presidency of the Commission, means renouncing to the mere principle of democracy.

Because Europe is the political adventure of our generation, because the current economical crisis stresses the need for a strong, united and solider EU, we want candidates who will be later diligent, active and committed MEPs. European deputies defending the European interest in the time when this is threatened by nationalist bias and the defence of particular interests. 497 million European citizens count on them!

Signatories:

- Guillaume AUBANEL, President - Jeune Chambre Economique Française
- Jessica CHAMBA, Vice President - Young European Federalists (JEF Europe)
- Mathieu COLLET, President-founder - Euros du village
- Elvire FABRY, Vice President - ProEuropa2009
- Pauline GESSANT, Secretary General - European Movement-France
- Nicolas JEAN, President - Young European Federalists France
- Laurent NICOLAS, Editor in Chief - Le Taurillon
- David SOLDINI, Vice President - Union of European Federalists France

Image:
- Official logo of the European Parliament elections 2009

This article is also published at the European Federalist Blog of CafeBabe.com

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