Currently, Europe is trapped in a false duality: on the one side the defunct status quo curated by the Establishment, and on the other the slide into a post-modern version of the 1930s championed by the nationalist far-right. This environment of constant crisis, where actors are competing against each other about how to contain bush fires without tackling the source of the flames, is driving more and more of our fellow citizens to despair and indignation.
What hope does an undemocratic EU have, where alternatives are not recognised? Where solidarity is reduced to a political tool rather than a guiding principle? Where the arrival of refugees leads to a so-called “crisis” and the re-establishment of borders we thought we had left behind? Where our economies, citizens, and their potential are held hostage by the irrational economic dogma of austerity? Where involuntary under-employment and economic migration are turning Europe’s promise for free movement of people into a matter of survival?
DiEM25 recognises that an undemocratic Europe to which its citizens cannot relate, will disintegrate. We reach out to citizens who are witnessing the political cannibalisation of their countries by nationalists whose rhetoric is fuelled by the failures of those who try to oppose them. We believe in Constructive Disobedience as the vehicle to catalyse positive change in Brussels.
DiEM25 offers an alternative; a Europe that is not a compromise of “multiple speeds” but a common aspiration and inspiration. To achieve this, our progressive democratic alliance is gathering members, partners and allies in all levels of European life, to carry our common-sense Progressive Agenda for Europe forward; proposals which can be applied tomorrow morning at 9am to stop Europa from turning to Kronos, who ate his own children. Proposals that harness Europe’s capacities, through already existing institutions and without treaty-changes, and channels them towards its citizens and their needs. Then, this Europe can begin a constitutional process, during which its peoples can determine what relations they wish to have with each other, and the world.
This is why the announcement of CitizensRoute73 is so welcome. It is high time the citizens of Europe took their rightful place in the driving seat of the EU. I see Route73 as an important step in that direction and I hope that DiEM25 can be with you and the 73 grassroots parliamentarians every step of the way. It is imperative to remember, however, that when we are successful in offering these seats to citizens, we have but gained a tool, not a victory. What are those seats good for, if they are not put to good use? We need resistance against business-as-usual, not assimilation into it: we need constructive disobedience. Route73 is a very important piece of a much larger puzzle: that of a democratic Europe.
Together, we will make it: we will save Europe from itself.
Erik Edman (GR/SU) – DiEM25
Erik, will speak in the Political panel: “Changing Europe, yes! But what for?” and will defend “a vision for DiEM25” and also during the Networking plateau on Sunday.