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"The Parliament needs to be Europeanised"

"The Parliament needs to be Europeanised"


Terry Reintke, spokeswoman of the FYEG (Federation of Young European Greens) talks about our appeal for a better European voting rule. She criticises the lack of democracy in the European Union and thinks that a new voting rule would open the chance for a more Europeanized parliament and discussion.

What is your motivation to engage with democratic questions?

Besides my studies, I am very engaged in the FYEG. Therefore, I encounter democracy on a daily basis. The FYEG is structured around the principles of basic democracy: We aim to realize democracy on every level of our organization.

Furthermore, democracy is a key point on our agenda; be it the ECI (European Citizens’ Initiative) or electoral law. We advance the view, that democracy and participation affect the polity in a positive way and thus, it should be at the core of every legitimate, political system.

How does FYEG view the EU in its current state?

We realize that the EU is facing several crisis on different levels. The economic system is in crisis and affects the state of the EU in numerous ways. However, there are also many ecological and social issues, which need to be resolved. Further, the democratic sphere is affected as well: The democratic principles surrounding the decision-making process are getting more and more undermined; although a democratic deficit has already been acknowledged. The citizens lack the opportunity to participate. However, in order to tackle the crisis, more committees are created and thus, democratic decision-making is hindered. The fiscal union sets a good example in this regard.

Moreover, the EU faces a perceptional problem: The people have too little opportunity to get involved in the debate and to participate in the decision-making. There is a distance between the citizens and the representatives in Brussels. The upcoming referendum in Ireland demonstrates this concern; the referendum is seen as a delay to process, rather than as an instrument of representative participation.

Why does FYEG advocate a reformed electoral law?

A transnational voting rule has in our opinion several advantages. It has a symbolic value: owing to transnational electoral lists, the citizen is not confined to national boundaries. Instead, the voter can think and act in a more Europeanized fashion. Further, the European dimension would be strengthened; European parties would gain more votes and thus more weight on the decision-making. Last, but not least, the Parliament would be more Europeanized: MEPs would not only represent their home country, but would stand for Europe, being a transnational candidate.

Interview conducted by Vanessa Eggert

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