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The EU needs real democracy giving it legitimacy independent from the national electoral cycles and the so-far mainly national public spheres. The election of MEPs should be made gradually more European by creating an EU constituency-list system and a common system for parties to designate the candidates for these lists.
The EU has been demonstrating for years the diversity of their population, I think it’s time to include another perception of identity among the citizens, being European must not mean leaving our “nationals identities” for acquiring the “new European identity”. From my point of view, the institutions should promote a cosmopolitan and European vision if we want to face the global risks we are facing and the news to come. There is not another better way if we understand each other and we cooperate to deal with the problems and create a better future for our children. A new conception of European identity which would be based on the individuality of every person, that’s what I’m talking about, the future of Europe is cosmopolitan. Finally, I would like to finish with a quotation by Ulrich Beck, who advocates for the cosmopolitan view in his book named “The Cosmopolitan Vision” (2006): “What, then, does the cosmopolitan outlook signify? […] the cosmopolitan outlook means that, in a world of global crisis and dangers produced by civilizational and international, us and them, lose their validity and a new cosmopolitan realism becomes essential to survival.” (13-14)
I think we have a problem with the democratic voting system as it applies to the EU migrants – people of one EU country who made a home in a different EU country, but did not change citizenship. Perhaps the best examples here are the Eastern European countries. The problem that I see is that, if you are a migrant (say, leaving Romania and making a home in France), then you become somewhat deprived of your democratic right vote – you can vote for the President, if the government in your original country is so kind as to make it easy for you, but you can’t vote for the parliament, nor for the local elections. While in your new home, you have no right to vote at all. In my opinion, this can currently cause a big problem in this scenario: Imagine that you were living in a poor EU country, where the future looked bleak, and thus you sought a new EU country that could give you a better future. The same happened with hundreds of thousands others in your country, or possibly millions, throughout the years. Now, several years after you have left, a populist political party comes up in your country of origin, blaming everything on EU and promising paradise to the people, and election date is coming. If it’s an election for the President, you might be able to find a city where to go to vote in the foreign country (not necessarily, but likely possible). If it’s for the parliament, then you can do nothing – the laws in your country of origin may state that you have to be there in person, in the county where you are registered, in order to vote. And for various reasons you can’t afford to travel to that country at that time. This basically means that you are deprived of the right to vote. And thus can do nothing to prevent a populist party from coming to power. And in a country that had been so heavily depopulated by migration, you can bet that a very good part of the people that remained are poor and many have never left their town / city ever, and may thus live in a fairytale of the populist party’s making. I think that poor people and people who never traveled outside of their country are most likely to fall to populist propaganda, and it’s sad if those who did travel and live in a different EU country can do nothing about it. I believe it would be great if EU migrants could vote for the national parliament of their country of origin, regardless of where in the EU they made a new home. I also believe it would be great if the EU could come up with some guarantees / laws for all of its member states – e.g. to demand electronic or remote vote, to guarantee that all EU citizens are able to vote for their country of origin (so as not to depend on national government), to be able to contribute to the future of the nation they may one day return to.