Saving Europe, saving the world
A philosophical and existential proposal
A philosophical and existential proposal
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I consider that today, many Europeans have their word to say about how they want Europe to be in the future. There is a real diversity of opinions and of points of view in the EU, which should not be opposed systematically to each other, but which should be discussed together. In my mind, a solution to the crisis of democracy the EU is currently going through can be emphasizing of the participatory democracy so that the Europeans can feel more involved in the EU issues that can otherwise seem quite far away from their everyday lives.
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.
If EU really wants to be a democracy, then I believe that EU should be able & willing to initiate referendums. 1. When the politicians of a member state do something that is contrary to the values of EU, I believe EU should be able to ask the people, not the so-called representatives of the people, whether they agree or not. We all know that any political party can come to power by promising heavy tax cuts and great raises of salaries and pensions, and after they win the election can go forth and do what they actually wanted to do, perhaps even do exactly the opposite of everything they promised. And in such case, the people are usually have absolutely no power to change them. 2. I believe that certain matters that are relevant to all EU member states should require the people to answer whether they like it or not, not the nation’s representatives. That’s because people will not take responsibility for the actions of others (i.e. of their so-called representatives) – and so, if the national representatives will not actually represent the will of the people, then the people will blame it all on EU: “The EU imposed on us! The EU forced it upon us! EU is anti-democratic!” And such referendums should have priority over the will of the national politicians.