A call for Europe - Andrea Venzon
As stated in this previous post, it is necessary to reform the European Union in order to create a stronger Italy. Equally, any other Member State needs to support the reform of the EU in order to grow. Indeed, the future of all Member States is deeply linked to the one of the continent as a whole.
A fully functioning European Union provides great advantages for its Member States. Among many other benefits, the EU
- Gives companies access to a market of 500 million people, an area with a GDP comparable to the one of the United States, and supports its citizens in traveling, learning languages, and working abroad.
- Allows member states to have a significant voice on the international stage, where they face the competition of larger and more populous economies (e.g. China and India), whose population is quickly increasing (e.g., Russia, Brazil, and Indonesia).
- Represents the most effective way to strengthen Member States’ national defense, in a historical moment where links with traditional allies are weakened – such as the U.K. and the U.S.- and external threats are growing (e.g., international terrorism).
Unfortunately, in its current shape, the EU has lost most of its effectiveness in supporting the growth and prosperity of its Member States. The inability of the European institutions to deliver on their most fundamental tasks – fostering economic performances of those members that accepted the highest degree of integration (i.e. Euro Area), resolving internal crisis (i.e. migration flows) or giving a more significant weight to Europe on the international stage (i.e. the European irrelevance during the Syrian crisis) – has been perceived by citizens, reinforcing the disruptive political trends currently rising across the continent. These flaws have paired up with long-lasting negative perceptions of the EU (e.g., a huge bureaucracy, democratically “distant” from the voters). The European institutions are failing to achieve one of the most fundamental tasks they have been created for, namely tackling those issues that Member States alone have difficulties in coping with.
Therefore, it is necessary to drive structural reforms to modernize and keep alive those institutions that molded our continent over the last 60 years. Some political factions are periodically asking for reforms in the EU. However, in the current contest true change seem difficult (if not impossible) to achieve. Not only has the European Parliament (the one truly democratic body of the EU) only limited power, but the European political parties are mainly alliances of national parties with heterogeneous objectives and agendas, often only collaborating to nurture collective benefits (e.g., refunds).
The European Union is in real danger. On June 24, 2016, the EU suffered its biggest drawback in decades, arguably even bigger than the failure of the European Defense Community in 1954 or the recent rejection of a European Constitution (2005). For the first time in its history, the European Union is contracting, having lost on the same day (i) the second biggest economy in Europe and the G7 fastest growing member in the last three years, (ii) a nuclear power and permanent member of the UN security council, (iii) and a country with an unrivaled diplomatic network in the world.
If we do not fight back, the elections in France, Germany or Italy might put an end to the European dream.
Volt in every Member State, to save Europe.
A truly European movement has to be built from people that believe, advocate, and work for the same ideals and objectives, similarly inclined in every national context. Having a shared agenda and a common direction will make it possible to deliver an impactful program of reforms at the European level.
To truly reform the European Union, we intend to create Volt, a progressive pro-European movement, which focuses on delivering real reforms. Volt shall be represented in every member state and in Brussels, to propose and bring forward a coherent program across national governments and in the European Parliament.
We envision at least three strong upsides of this approach:
- DRIVE RADICAL REFORMS. Volt is the only solution to deliver real changes in our continent. Envisioning a successful round of elections in selected Member States, such as the Italian general election in 2018, as well as in the European Parliament in 2019, the movement would be able to both propose radical reforms at European level (where reforms are often too conservative) and decrease Member States’ individualistic oppositions to changes.
- MOBILIZE THE ERASMUS GENERATION. As observed during the “Macron” phenomena in France, there is a part of the population –young and not-so-young– that believes in the EU and its mission: the “Erasmus generation”. We believe that Volt has the power to appeal and mobilize this cross-border group and raise its democratic participation.
- BRING CITIZENS CLOSE TO EUROPE. Volt has the potential to reduce the democratic vacuum currently existing between citizens and European politicians. Applying the above described “American model” – where the same party is represented in national and federal elections – we will create intuitive linkages between national and European politics, and make people participate in a coherent, continental political system.
Volt will base each national program on these 5 challenges, soon to be applied in the Italian context.
Citizens of Europe, join us to save Europe. It is a great opportunity, let’s not waste it.