In the new context of the possible exit of Great Britain from the European Union, the reconstruction of a social, democratic, sustainable Europe, oriented towards its citizens, should be at the centre of forthcoming negotiations for a new common political framework.
Criticizing Europe today helps to understand the reasons for Brexit
The current political majority of the EU, obedient to the law of free market and its logic of uncontrolled growth, continues to undo our social gains, privatizing our common resources, to bargain with our rights and liberalise our public services. All of this in spite of fundamental and vital needs of a large and growing number of citizens from all sides and in spite of recommendations from international institutions that work for a better world.
A purely neoliberal Europe, increasingly deregulated and with jobs increasingly relocated outside the EU or replaced by machines, leads primarily to the outrageous and unsustainable growth of wealth of the 1% richer at the expense of the other 99% who become every day more and more, the victims.
The political power no longer dominates the market rules, and European and national courts do not manage anymore to take their responsibilities in the case of conflicts to resolve them in a decent manner. Expert committees and international courts without constitutional legitimacy are substituted for our European and national courts to determine standards that will shape our private and public lives.
The rise in xenophobia and nationalism are traps that the EU could have avoided if it had managed to provide its Parliament the right of initiative and the power to legislate.
The crisis caused by the vote of UK citizens should be seen as an opportunity to question the current policy of free trade without safeguards.
Moreover, Brexit will seriously question the legitimacy of the EU, unless a new participatory and deliberative democracy is put in place. We expect now from our democratically elected representatives to take decisions throughout their mandate in consultation with citizens. The time of the « I do it my way » once elected is over. This is a critical point for the very survival of the European Union.
Building together the united Europe of tomorrow
The founding fathers of Europe wanted to build a Europe with economic, political, democratic and social dimensions with the objective to serve all European citizens. This included values such as welfare of all, the protection of the weakest, the promotion of cultural diversity, peace and solidarity, not to mention the environmental dimension which appeared equally essential.
Today, all European citizens must reaffirm their humanistic values and the fundamental principles of the European Union, which has forgotten them and instead promotes privatization policies, merchandisation and financialisation and dismantling of the achievements in social and environmental protection.
It is the responsibility of our elected political representatives to shape our policies at the four levels of the decision-making process: local, regional, national and European. Their decisions must be and remain binding irrespective of the treaties concluded with third parties.
It is particularly important to ensure that our courts remain the only power to decide in last resort fairly and independently according to our national and European laws.
In order to achieve the creation of this new Europe, European citizens and residents must take their responsibilities.
European citizens and residents have a key role to play in order to defeat treaties such as CETA or TTIP, which are negotiated illegitimately and without any consultation while they directly affect the future construction of a more social, democratic and sustainable Europe.
Writing together a real European Constitution
In the current context, it is imperative that citizens and residents mobilise in institutions, associations, in the street, and with their political representatives so that the latter take into account their requirements. This is nothing less than to prevent oligarchies and international monopolies from promoting private governance systems instead of democratically elected governments.
New forms of expression of the will and opinions of citizens should be established, such as giving more power to the European Parliament, which should be the true organ of initiative and law-making and to which the European Commission is accountable. Trust in our institutions would not have fallen if the executive power exercised by the Commission had been placed under the democratic control of the European Parliament.
It is now up to the European Parliament to propose to the European Council the setting up of a new Convention on the Future of Europe in accordance with the provisions of Article 48 of the Treaty on the European Union. It is for the European Parliament then to take over its implementation. The new Convention should redefine the future of a Europe truly integrating its social, cultural, and democratic dimensions as a solid foundation of human well-being and a truly sustainable economy, taking into account environmental requirements.
Let us enhance the participation of citizens and residents and redesign together the exercise of representative democracy between local, regional, national and European institutions.
Let us strengthen the exercise of participatory and deliberative democracy. Other forms of consultations can also be created such as pan-European consultations promoted under the control of the European Parliament, both in their form, their content and purpose.
Let us participate together in a Convention which prefigures a true European Constitution. It is for us, European citizens and residents, to build our future and the future of our children and forthcoming generations.
Let us work together, and beyond our cultural and religious diversity, in our own languages, for a genuine social and sustainable Europe, truly democratic and citizen.