A European Citizens' Assembly
The EU decision-making process is heavily influenced by powerful economic lobbies and private interests. This elitist governance could be counterbalanced by the establishment of an Assembly of European citizens, drawn by lot and thus representative of the full diversity (national, age, gender, class etc.) of the Union.
In addition to improving the Union’s image as distant and elitist, the European Citizens' Assembly could contribute to a genuine sense of European citizenship. Being part of the Assembly would constitute a sort of ‘political Erasmus’. Ordinary citizens from across the Union would be exposed to the diversity of views within Europe.
This European Citizens' Assembly would not be a new legislator, like the Parliament or Council, but would only exercise its functions within the scope of the Commission's powers.
On some issues, the role of the European Citizens' Assembly may only be advisory. However, the Assembly should have a veto power over certain Commission proposals, when they are deemed contrary to the EU general interest. This could apply to certain long-term decisions, such as trade and climate agreements and proposals for new EU treaties, or cases where a Commission proposal is challenged by certain national parliaments. In the latter case, the Commission could maintain its position, but only if it succeeds in convincing the European Citizens' Assembly after a public procedure. Petitions with 1 million signatures would also be sent to the Assembly, which would have the power to organize referendums throughout the EU. Finally the Commission would have to report regularly to the European Citizens' Assembly.