Voices for a more democratic Europe!

This spring, European democracy takes a leap forward. For the first time, the result of the European elections will define who will become the President of the European Commission. The European parties have selected – in a more or less democratic manner – the top candidates the European citizens get to choose from. This is a significant step towards more transparent and democratic processes.

 Much remains to be done though: the European Union still suffers from a serious democratic deficit. The current crisis has shown the extent of citizens’ frustration with the inability to influence their own futures. The Indignados, the Occupy movement, demonstrations in Greece, Portugal, France and elsewhere, and the turn to right-wing extremist movements in several countries tell a sad story of the current European rulers’ inability to offer solutions to the crisis.

 When both Southern and Northern Europeans feel they don’t have a say in the economies they live in, and everyone is offered answers of market stability and interests, by-passing the needs of the people and societies, we need radical change to restore faith in the political system. We need to rebalance markets and politics so that politics sets the frame for markets to function in, not other way around. We need to decide to re-create a Europe people can believe in.

 And that Europe must be both democratic and socially just. We need to seriously concentrate on creating and enforcing the social dimension of the Union, that was left with so little attention during the crisis. This is the only way to decrease the negative effects on ordinary citizens. This means the implementation of the European Youth Guarantee, with sufficient resources attached. It means the creation of European minimum wages to guarantee a decent income for everyone. It also means investments in employment, sustainable growth and innovation that help create new jobs and industries in Europe.

 It must also mean more democracy and transparency. We need to replace non-democratic structures – such as the Troika – with democratically accountable ones. We need to ensure that the European Commission is transformed into a government by the composition of it following the European Parliament elections. The selection of the Commission President as the top candidate of the winning group is a good start towards this. There is also a need to grant the European Parliament with more powers, most urgently the right of initiative, in order for European citizens to have a loud and direct voice at the European level.

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 Young European Socialists continue to campaign and work for a more social and democratic Europe, as we have done throughout our history. We also want to give a voice to our activists and young candidates in different European countries. Therefore we will be publishing articles by young European socialists from all over Europe on our website from now on until the elections. They will cover a wide range of issues, but all to one end: to build a better Europe for the whole of Europe!

 Follow us, join us, and fight with us for a change in May. We deserve better politics and a better Europe!

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