Democracy: the required institutional reforms
1) Transnational lists
The European Union is an incomplete democracy. It certainly has a Parliament whose powers have been increased over time. But its powers remain limited! It has no competence in the field of revenue, it has no real power of initiative, it plays a secondary role in the choice of members of the European Executive.
But above all, its composition is more the result of national dynamism than the expression of a genuinely European dynamic.
The EDP is in favour of the introduction of transnational lists for the allocation of a significant number of the seats to be filled in the European Parliament.
In this way, voters will be able to choose between lists defending programmes for the whole of Europe.
2) Strengthening participatory democracy.
Too many citizens perceive the European Union as an anonymous bureaucratic machine, insensitive to their problems and aspirations and beyond the reach of their grievances and demands.
The EDP wants to help reduce this gap. It calls on the European Union to mobilise the necessary resources to ensure that they know that they have the right to petition the European Parliament.
The EDP also considers that there is an urgent need to review and ease the rules of the European Citizens’ Initiative, which allows them to ask the European Commission to make a legislative proposal on a subject that concerns them.
3) Punishing authoritarian abuses by a Member State:
Given the rules that sometimes require unanimity, it is intolerable that a Member State which drifts towards populist and even totalitarian tendencies, should be able to dictate its will to all the other Member States of the European Union. Fully democratic peoples and nations must not and can never accept that such regimes should paralyse and block the Union.
The EDP advocates the introduction of the European Mechanism for the protection of Democracy, the Rule of Law and Fundamental Rights, a resolution passed by the European Parliament, in order to increase the capacity of the European Court of Justice to deal with breaches of the rule of law in EU member States.
Given the risks of populist, or even authoritarian abuses with which Europe is confronted, our proposal is to set up a system in which failure to respect fundamental values (article 7 of the Treaty of Lisbon) would lead to:
- The freezing of all European financial aid;
- The suspension of all voting rights on decisions taken unanimously.
As an interim measure in the process under Article 7 of the Lisbon Treaty, eligible persons and organisations from the Member State may apply for European funding directly from the European Commission.