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DiEM25 – seeking democracy in Europe

De Facto

Liamy MacNally

DiEM25 is the Democracy in Europe Movement, set up to democratise Europe by 2025. Their main claim is if that doesn’t happen Europe will disintegrate. The group was formally launched in Germany recently. It already has over 10,000 members. Its stated manifesto includes a reference to the ‘make-up’ of Europe today.
This includes “The Brussels bureaucracy (and its more than 10,000 lobbyists); Its hit-squad inspectorates and the Troika they formed together with unelected ‘technocrats’ from other international and European institutions; The powerful Eurogroup that has no standing in law or treaty.
It also includes bailed out bankers, fund managers and resurgent oligarchies perpetually contemptuous of the multitudes and their organised expression; political parties appealing to liberalism, democracy, freedom and solidarity to betray their most basic principles when in government; Governments that fuel cruel inequality by implementing self-defeating austerity.
Also included are media moguls who have turned fear-mongering into an art form, and a magnificent source of power and profit; corporations in cahoots with secretive public agencies investing in the same fear to promote secrecy and a culture of surveillance that bend public opinion to their will.”
These boys don’t mince their words! The question is whether or not what they say is true. If not, then they will fizzle away like countless other groups. If they are right then we face a serious challenge and a duty to respond.
While highlighting the great achievements of the European Union the movement also claims: “Alas, today, a common bureaucracy and a common currency divide European peoples that were beginning to unite despite our different languages and cultures.
“A confederacy of myopic politicians, economically naïve officials and financially incompetent ‘experts’ submit slavishly to the edicts of financial and industrial conglomerates, alienating Europeans and stirring up a dangerous anti-European backlash. Proud peoples are being turned against each other. Nationalism, extremism and racism are being re-awakened.”
Europe today is a place where decision-making has been de-politicised, “the result being a draining but relentless drive toward taking-the-demos-out-of-democracy and cloaking all policy-making in a pervasive pseudo-technocratic fatalism. National politicians were rewarded handsomely for their acquiescence to turning the Commission, the Council, the Ecofin, the Eurogroup and the ECB, into politics-free zones.
“Anyone opposing this process of de-politicisation was labelled ‘un-European’ and treated as a jarring dissonance. Thus the deceit at the EU’s heart was born, yielding an institutional commitment to policies that generate depressing economic data and avoidable hardship.”

So the cycle starts – authoritarianism, austerity and recession. They feed off each other and keep repeating the cycle. Solidarity has been replaced by austerity. Remember when we spoke of a Union of equals! The good old days!
Those in power become rich while those they are supposed to serve become pawns. The powerful need more protection so society is split. Look at how many of our own senior politicians are flanked by Gardaí (some armed) while out canvassing. Is this the Ireland we knew? The reason is simple – there is a huge disconnect between our current leaders and the people.
The DiEM25 plan is for full transparency in decision-making immediately – EU Council, Ecofin, FTT and Eurogroup meetings to be live-streamed; ECB governing council meetings to be published a few weeks later; all negotiation documents (e.g. trade-TTIP, ‘bailout’ loans, Britain’s status) to be uploaded on the web; a compulsory register for lobbyists that includes their clients’ names, their remuneration, and a record of meetings with officials (both elected and unelected).
It also demands within 12 months, to address the ongoing economic crisis utilising existing institutions and within existing EU Treaties; a Constitutional Assembly within two years; and by 2025 to enact the decisions of the Constitutional Assembly.
DiEM25 has four principles: No European people can be free as long as another’s democracy is violated; No European people can live in dignity as long as another is denied it; No European people can hope for prosperity if another is pushed into permanent insolvency and depression; No European people can grow without basic goods for its weakest citizens, human development, ecological balance and a determination to become fossil-fuel free in a world that changes its ways – not the planet’s climate.
So what has this to do with the election? Ha! More details on