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DiEM25, Solution to Europe’s existential crisis ?

, by Jérémy Lebourgeois

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At the time when some choose to disassociate from the European project, at the time when isolationist parties gloat when we most need initiatives and solutions, DiEM25 could well have some to offer.

The former Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis launched the DiEM2025 movement during a ceremony held on 9th February in the Volksbühne Theatre in Berlin. - EU Council Eurozone (CC/Flickr)

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DiEM25, acronym for Democracy in Europe Movement 2025, is a young pan-European movement barely five months in the making yet, in the current context, is to be fully legitimate and important. Its credo is straightforward: The European Union will be democratised. Or it will disintegrate! With such a prophetic and leitmotiv in touch with the zeitgeist, the movement could, in the coming weeks, have its proposals heard, to make Europe reconnect with Europeans and defuse its slow but dangerous disintegration.

The movement concentrates on simple and pragmatic propositions to clear European horizons, which are explained in a manifesto translated in eleven languages and which specify in various chapter applications.

The first one focuses on the transparency of the decisions taken and of the actors of the European decision-making process via live-streaming broadcasts of EU council, Ecofin, Eurogroup meetings, but also a compulsory register for lobbyists, the distribution of all documents about crucial issues regarding the future of European citizens and the publication, few weeks after the meetings of the European Central Bank have taken place, of their reports. And this starting from today. A demand backed by more than 70,000 Europeans who signed the petition of DiEM25 addressed to Mr. Tusk, president of the European Council, Mr. Juncker, president of the European Commission, M. Dijsselbloem, president of the Eurogroup or again Mr. Draghi, president of the ECB.

In the coming year, the movement wants to develop an offensive plan to fight the current economic crisis that is affecting our continent by working on four domains: public debt, banks, the lack of investments and rising poverty.

By 2018, DiEM25 asks for calling a new constituent assembly. This assembly elected by transnational tickets will have the task of transforming and democratising the European Union which echoes the process initiated by the Frankfurt Parliament, called in 1848 that had the aim of drafting a constitution to unify the 38 German states of the German Confederation. For this new assembly would have to propose a constitution that will replace all existing European treaties while taking care to respect national self-determination and the power-sharing between a European Parliament, national Parliaments, regional assemblies and municipal councils, to ensure that each issue is treated at the appropriate scale. The decisions of this assembly should then be implemented by 2025.

Utopian, the movement is and proud to be. The European dream is disenchanted, DiEM25 takes up the challenge to revive it. If the movement has generated a craze following its presentation in February 2016, resulting in more than 17,000 people joining the movement, it must be admitted that the figurehead remains Yanis Varoufakis, the former Greek Minister of Finance of the cabinet of Alexis Tsipras, even if other personalities contribute to impel the movement, like the British filmmaker Ken Loach, Julian Assange, founder of Wikileaks, the German thinker Boris Groy, the Italian intellectual Toni Negri, not to mention, among others, the Dutch-American sociologist Saskia Sassen or again the spokesperson of the French greens, Julien Bayou.

If the movement does not have the Solution to the European crisis, it at least takes the credit for providing ideas and a schedule to reform the European Union. Of course, the movement is far from being in a position to implement its ideas and looks more like a popular European think-tank trying to promote its ideas than anything else, but it is the sort of initiative that Europe seems to viscerally need, today more than ever.

All that is left is to hope that in the upcoming necessary negotiations to change the EU, our leaders as well decide to Carpe DiEM25.

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P.S.

For more information about the movement, do visit the site of DiEM25.