We, citizens, Europeans and democrats:
CONSIDER that the European Union is plagued more than ever by old and new evils: elitism, which confines debates and decisions to a small circle of leaders; immobilism, which increasingly hinders reform; national egoisms of all kinds, which maintain the illusion that problems can be solved by being pushed to neighbours; authoritarianism, which threatens public freedoms.
UPHOLD our commitment to the ideal of unity and solidarity among the peoples of Europe. This ideal is much older than the European Union, held for centuries by writers, philosophers, women and men who hoped for a better future. Our hope remains for a Europe capable of overcoming its divisions and controlling its destiny.
OBSERVE that the European Union today gives little power to its citizens. We elect the national governments represented in the Council and the national parties represented in the European Parliament. However, none of these elected representatives holds a European popular mandate. Compromises between governments and parties are the subject of negotiations conducted among elites, away from citizens’ eyes and influence.
DECLARE our conviction that the European Union can only be regenerated through a bottom-up movement from its citizens. For decades, the European Union has been treated as belonging to technocrats, governments and parties. This can no longer continue. Europe to the people!
AFFIRM that only the European People can legitimately arbitrate the major debates among national and partisan positions on economic, social, environmental, and migration issues. Only the European People can produce a European General Will.
PROPOSE, in order to empower the European People, the following three institutional reforms:
1) The direct election of the European Commission by the European People;
2) The creation of a European Citizens' Assembly, whose members would be drawn by lot and would have the power to block proposals contrary to the general interest;
3) The establishment of a European referendum on popular initiative, allowing all citizens of the Union to express themselves simultaneously on a legislative issue.
UNDERTAKE to do everything in our power to promote and advance these proposals and the overall objective of a European Union regenerated by democracy.
This text is not a request to Europe's leaders. It is a solemn manifesto addressed to all European citizens.
People of Europe, stand up! Your Union can only be saved by you and for you.
Long live Europe! Long live the European People! Long live European democracy!
My name is Pierre Haroche and I am a co-founder of À nous la démocratie, a French-based citizens' movement dedicated to promoting direct democracy at a local, national and European level.
This blog presents our manifesto and our 3 proposals for Europe's democratic regeneration, as well as my personal views on the topic.