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Brief an das Europäische Parlament

Members of the European Parliament. Source: European Parliament 2014, creative commons

Europa braucht eine Kurskorrektur!

Mit diesem offenen Brief werden wir die Abgeordneten des Europäischen Parlaments an ihr Versprechen errinnern und sie auffordern, jetzt einen offen Dialog über die Zukunft der EU zu beginnen. Die besten Vorschläge sollen dann in einem neuen, demokratischen Verfassungs-Konvent diskutiert werden. Am Ende dieses Prozesses sollen alle Bürgerinnen und Bürger der EU in einem europaweiten Referendum über die Ergebnisse abstimmen.

Vor der Wahl zum Europäischen Parlament im Jahr 2014, haben sich 114 Abgeordnete für eine demokratischer EU ausgesprochen. Zur Hälfte der Legislaturperiode ist jetzt der richtige Zeitpunkt sie an ihre Versprechungen zu erinnern. Die Europäische Union ist in ihrer tiefsten Krise und das Europäische Parlament muss endlich darauf reagieren. Nur so kann die EU endlich bürgernäher und demokratischer werden.

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--Signatories of the pledge for a democratic EU Convention--


Brexit has pushed Europe into its deepest crisis ever. Yet it has been a wakeup call that the EU cannot continue with business as usual, and that serious reforms are needed to make the institutions more democratic and closer to the people. Before going into office in 2014, you signed a pledge to commit to real democratic reform of the EU once elected. Democracy International, civil society partners and citizens from across Europe call on you to follow up with actual deeds in the remaining second half of your term.

Citizens feel that they have little to say in shaping their future and that huge decisions are being made by non-elected bodies or behind closed doors. The number of people who do not trust the EU institutions has risen from 32% in 2007 to 55% in 2016 (Eurobarometer). Public support for the European project is at historical lows. Major elections are approaching in the Netherlands, France and Germany; after Brexit, no one will be able to say: “but, we didn’t know!”

As representatives of the European people, you now have a major responsibility—for Europe and for democracy. After a period of breathless emergency measures, it is now time to reform the EU-Treaties so that Europe can tackle its economic and social challenges, address its democratic deficit and close the gap between citizens and institutions. For this we need an open debate on the future of Europe, one that takes place at all levels and includes all European citizens.

In 2014 you—and 114 other MEPs—promised to support an EP initiative for a Convention to reform the Treaties for a more democratic Union, and to call for a pan-European referendum on the results of the Convention, giving the European citizens a say on the future of Europe. In the remaining two and a half years of your legislative term, we call on you to keep your promises.

On 25 March 2017, on the 60th anniversary of the Rome Treaty and to mark a renewed commitment to the European integration process, the European Parliament should start a broad constitutional process.

  1. The EP should launch a two-year deliberation process, in which proposals for a more social and democratic EU constitution will be developed, based on discussions with citizens, civil society, representatives of local and regional communities, and national and European parliamentarians.
  1. Based on these elaborated proposals, this EP should use its right according to Article 48 of the Lisbon Treaty to ask for the convocation of a Convention.
  1. The Convention should then meet from 2019 on. At the end, the constitution should be presented to all European citizens for a vote. This pan-European referendum, held on a single day in each member state, shall be counted with a double majority (55% majority of the member states and 65% majority of European citizens).

A democratic Europe will survive only if citizens can actively shape its further development.

Now is the opportunity for the EU to regain the trust and support of the citizens and to move from a Europe of governments to a Europe of the citizens. The European Parliament should not miss this opportunity.


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