Towards the European elections: Why we need a Union of equal rights

As the European elections draw closer, civil society is beginning to mobilise. In this document, three progressive and reformist organisations ask the running European parties to sign a list of concrete commitments in favour of the fundamental values of the EU and for a radical reform of the institutions, and ask those who pursue the same goal to join the movement.

In view of the European Parliament elections in Spring 2019, EuropaNow! sith the European Democracy Lab and T-Dem urge all European associations and organisations to move beyond the fragmentation which has until now impeded the success of individual initiatives. The common objective is to issue a commitment charter for a more united, democratic, federal, fair and fraternal Europe, which will be presented to every political force standing for election.

We must be able to bring radical changes to today’s Europe, in order to stop the political forces who want to destroy Europe, and we need to put pressure on those who want instead to strengthen it.

EuropaNow! with the European Democracy Lab and TDEM propose to collaborate with all associations and organisations that want to work on drafting a charter of concrete commitments, which should be ready for presentation by February 2019, at the latest. All the associations and organisations who are willing to do so should assess, discuss and amend the charter so that it can be shared in the widest possible way, provided its spirit is respected: to put pressure on political organisations so that they will stand up to their commitments covering the electoral campaign and the work in Parliament during the new term.

The charter EuropaNow! with the European Democracy Lab and TDEM commits the political forces to:

  • run a truly European campaign, be present at and participate in political debates in other EU countries;

  • put forward transnational lists with candidates from various countries for eligible positions;

  • commit to not signing agreements with political forces who call into question the fundamental values and principles of the Union, its legal personality, the free movement of goods and people within the EU, the principle of the common currency and European outreach programs;

  • reach agreement on a common candidate for the presidency of the European Parliament and the presidency of the European Commission.

Furthermore, we invite future MEPs to show particular commitment during their legislative activity, to the promotion of the following political, economic and social rights:

  • the right of European citizens to democratically choose their European government, which means being able to review the Treaties and request the convocation of a constituent assembly that can propose, at the end of the revision process, the establishment of a European federal Republic;

  • the right of European citizens to free association, by means of a “European statute of association”

  • the right of European citizens to receive a European unemployment benefit when out of work, with a view to setting up a common social system. The lack of social ambition in currently existing political projects is a cause for the sense of abandonment felt by European citizens;

  • the right of all young Europeans to access the ErasmusPlus program and other European education and inclusion programs in general, and to take decisive action on youth unemployment;

  • the right to pay the same taxes throughout Europe, which means tax harmonisation and resolute action to fight tax avoidance and evasion by both European and non-European businesses;

  • the right to a Europe which defends and strengthens European public policies: which involves at least doubling the EU budget by 2024 (the budget is currently less than 1 per cent of the combined GDP of all member states). This measure should allow investments which concretely affirm European solidarity, bring many regions out of isolation, and develop new European industrial centres, particularly in the digital and artificial intelligence sectors. To finance this goal, four major European taxes must be introduced, applying to the profits of large businesses, to the highest incomes (more than 200,000 euro per annum), to the largest asset holders (more than one million euro), and to emissions of carbon dioxide (with a minimum of 30 euro per tonne). While awaiting a full political union to be established in Europe, a new European assembly partially formed by national MPs could decide on those common taxes, and on the use of the resulting resources.

  • the right of future generations to live in a clean and well maintained environment, meaning the strict application and reinforcement of the Paris accord on climate change and the investment policies for the research and development of renewable energies. Europe needs to create an original model to guarantee equitable and sustainable social development for its citizens;

  • guarantee equal civil, economic and social rights, regardless of gender and sexual orientation; defend the rights of women, including their bodily autonomy;

  • the right to a European Union which conducts a credible, pragmatic, welcoming and humane migration and asylum policy. In particular, the urgent revision of the Dublin Regulation and creation of a European agency for migration to provide finances to local authorities ready to accommodate migrants and asylum seekers;

  • the right to a free and independent judiciary, starting with the implementation of a European Public Prosecutor, whose powers should not be limited to financial crime;

  • the right to a free and independent press, with the adoption of provisions to guarantee fair remuneration for work by journalists and authors with respect to content reproduced on digital platforms, and effective protection of the pluralism and independence of the media;

  • the right to culture, involving the establishment of “Maastricht parametres for culture” to allow greater access to the places where knowledge and culture are shared (theatres, cinemas, concert halls, libraries, etc.).

The fundamental basis of a political union is the equal rights of its citizens:

today, the battle for a united, democratic and supportive Europe is above all a battle for rights.

We invite European associations and organisations to discuss and improve these proposals,

and to suggest new proposals, before mid-February 2019, by writing to [email protected]

“Without dreaming of a better Europe,we shall never build a better Europe.” Vaclav Havel

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