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Campaign "Democratic Europe Now!" launched

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Chairperson Gerald Häfner at the press conference

Campaign "Democratic Europe Now!" launched


Democracy International hosted a press briefing at the European Parliament today to launch an alliance of organisations from all over Europe under the banner ‘Democratic Europe Now’. Together, the group is calling for a new EU Convention under Article 48 of the Lisbon Treaty, so that proposals for democratic and other reform can be debated in an open forum.

A number of MEPs and commentators, representing political parties and perspectives from across the political spectrum, offered their public support for the campaign and for the goal of a more democratic Europe.

Speakers included:

- Gerald Häfner, MEP (Greens) and President of Democracy International;
- Jo Leinen, MEP (S&D), President of the European Movement International (EMI);
- Andrew Duff, MEP (ALDE), Spinelli Group;
- Othmar Karas MEP (EPP), Vice President of the European Parliament;
- Penka Angelova, President of the Elias Canetti Society, Bulgaria; and

A crisis of democracy

Democracy International’s Chairperson, Gerald Häfner, said that citizens don’t want a Europe in which the most powerful governments and financial markets have more influence than the citizens themselves: “Instead of decisions taken by the heads of states behind closed doors, we need an open discourse on the future of Europe and European democracy – and a real democratic European Union of and for the citizens.”

Democracy International says that the gap between the EU institutions and the citizens must be reduced, and that citizens and civil society must have a real influence on European debates. “The EU is suffering a crisis of legitimacy that must be addressed. We must have a Convention. We need to bring the big issues out of the back rooms of the EU and open up the debate on the future of Europe”, said Häfner.

‘Democratic Europe Now’ demands a meaningful Convention process - one that is democratic, participatory and transparent and which gives the citizens the chance to vote on the outcome.

VIP: The citizens are Very Important People

The group made an intervention in front of the European Parliament in Brussels today to draw attention to the need for democratic reform. With a playful and whimsical approach they transformed the square in front of the European Parliament with a string quartet and red carpets unrolling in every direction. The group’s message was delivered to onlookers along with hors d’oeuvres:

"Politicians are important, lobbyists are important, swift action is important,

financial markets are important...

But without the people, Europe cannot succeed.


Check out the new campaign website at www.democraticeuropenow.org

Logo of Democratic Europe Now! (orange)

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