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‘Yes, EU can.’

‘Yes, EU can.’


In the campaign ‘Tug 2012’, a student declared his candidacy for President of the European Council. This campaign is another example demonstrating why we need more democracy in Europe.

Can you explain us your motivation to start the campaign?

As a student of European Affairs, I became aware of the deficit of democracy within the EU as well as its lack of accountability. I was shocked when I read about the election, or rather, “nomination”, of the President of the European Council. There is only one candidate for the position, that is Herman Van Rompuy. Election is a misnomer, rather he is selected by the different Heads of States and governments. In my opinion, this procedure does not do justice to the office. The President of the European Council is the face of the EU, a political entity representing over 500 million people. It is a disappointment. I believe, that this position deserves a more debated, more democratic process. Therefore, I declared my candidacy.

What do you hope to achieve by running for President of the European Council?

I have two objectives in mind. First, to have an open, democratic election. In this effort, it is beneficial to have two candidates. However, currently there is only one candidate and Van Rompuy said in previous interviews that “[he] did not seek this high position. [He] did not make any steps to achieve it”. He did not send any CV, any recommendation letter, any cover letter…he did not even apply! But he gets (s)elected over a dinner, after taking a family photo. One may wonder whether this procedure suffices the democratic needs of an office so important to the European Union.

Second, I want to, at least, generate debate and bring attention to this democratic deficit. But even for a student of European Affairs, the election for the Presidency was not a prominent topic on my radar; it is almost invisible on the media landscape. Given the office’s importance, this fact is disappointing. The EU is very important, having a great impact on all Europeans and even to others around the world. Yet, the issue of the Presidential election remains a blur; it has a small engaged public and a narrow debate, at best. The EU acts as the role model of the democratic process, but it is facing a huge democratic deficit and lacks accountability and credibility. The EU has achieved so much in the last decades; that is why it is absolute necessary to evolve further. We need the EU to address this glaring issue.

How do you want to proceed with your campaign?

For us, the campaign isn't over. We are focusing on the next election in 2014, but our message remains, essentially, the same. We want to get more people involved with the process by drawing as much attention to this issue as possible. Part of this effort will be continuing to write articles, host public speaking events, maybe even some YouTube videos? Our campaign team will remain focused - but on a more long-term effort. The rhythm will undoubtedly be different but we are as determined as ever - if not more so! Thank you for your time and attention to this important issue! Let's make even more noise between now and 2014!

More information:


Twitter: @Tug_2012


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