As part of the launch of the #CitizensRoute73 the participants worked on Sunday 2 July in two categories of workshops: 1) the proposals of programmes that could be presented as part of a trans-European campaign for the 2019 European election; 2) the tools and methods necessary to allow the emergence of a real trans-European political debate over the next two years. The workshop “For a New Paradigm” was held with Adrian Taylor, founder of iCAN, trying to generate, by 2019, 73 proposals of the type of Europe we wish to see, including socio-democratic, economic-democratic and sustainable-democratic ideas… Please read the report below.
Proceedings of the workshop “For a New Paradigm”
Sunday, July 2, 2017 (Louvain-la-Neuve) – Adrian Taylor (iCAN), Andrea Surbone (PER), Bjarni Snæbjorn Jonsson (Anthill)
The Foundations of the new paradigm are built in new methods
Citizens panels for a common narrative We should start by convening citizens panels who identify European values and cultural identity. This can be the basis of developing a common narrative
Citizens panels to tackle the hard issues Similar panels can then deal with other issues. All have their members drawn at random from the general public, and can call up on transdisciplinary teams of experts (not just economists and lawyers). These panels could tackle issues like:
- What are the new commons?
- What is our view of nature? Moreover, we should create new forms of ownership (neither public nor private) e.g. to manage public goods, utilities, transport, minerals…
Institutional demands We want:
- the European Executive and Central Bank to be accountable to an elected parliament;
- genuinely trans-European elections using the Condorcet method;
- the creation of a fourth power (citizen panels as above);
- transparency in politics (note: it was agreed this needed to be defined more precisely);
- massive digitalisation of public services. To be discussed further is how different levels of integration should be used/created – a key point is that higher levels of integration should be open to all to reach, so long as they meet basic criteria – especially democratic criteria. Economic needs Serious investments are needed in ecological industry, in 21st Century infrastructures – which notably include social networks! And money is available with:
- a CO2 tax;
- a financial speculation tax;
- an automation tax;
- mobilisation of money created by fiat by central banks;
- European Investment Bank financing;
- Complementary currencies;
- “Europeanising” public companies in countries like Greece en masse: in other words the EU buys these companies at book value, thereby letting the countries concerned slash their debt overnight, and giving those paying tangible assets in return.
Social requirements. It is essential that:
- All have basic revenues they require to live a good life by;
- A much closer eye on allowing ecology to flourish;
- use the Maastricht Treaty approach of setting criteria to create the concept of “social convergence”, in other words letting poorer regions catch up. In addition we advocate that all European citizens reaching voting age should participate in a mandatory European civil service, where they go to a country other than their own to participate in socially useful tasks, thus spreading the European experience to all, regardless of income – a kind of Erasmus for all.
As next steps: Things that this movement needs to do include:
- Establishing a working group that lobbies for the 73 transnational seats, and writes to all MEPs to have them support the idea;
- Generating 73 proposals of the type of Europe we wish to see, including socio-democratic, economic-democratic and sustainable-democratic ideas;
- Starting town hall meetings to get young and old engaged in the European debate.
All comments and improvements most welcome – my photos were not good enough to read all the post-its (especially on socio-economic issues)
Adrian Taylor (iCAN), rapporteur
! For those registered on our lists you can find this program proposal under discussion on our platform loomio #CitizensRoute73 !