Political programme of Europeans United for Democracy (EUD)
The EUD is an alliance of national parties, movements and parliamentarians across Europe that believe decisions must be made as close to the citizens as possible. Our members and allies are against further centralization of power in Brussels and work for the devolution of power from the EU to national and regional parliaments.
Transparency, subsidiarity, democracy and diversity are the four main principles of the EUD – values that we all share. Consequently, EUD takes a strong stand against all forms of racism, anti-Semitism and xenophobia.
The development of the European Union is a matter of great concern to us. The European Union erodes European democracy in two ways: first, the ever-increasing transfer of power to Brussels widens the gap between citizens and the elites. This transfer makes it more difficult for citizens to control their governments. Secondly, the treaties of the European Union are written to widen the power of Brussels and big corporations at the expense of decision making in democratically elected bodies.
The EUD believes that decisions regarding the balance of power between market and democratically elected institutions should be decided in national parliaments according to results from national elections, and not by treaties interpreted by a small number of judges in the European Court in Luxemburg. This is a fundamental, undemocratic flaw in the basic construction of the Union.
The EUD consists of members, movements and member parties from a broad political and regional spectrum, from Scandinavia to the Balkans and the Iberian Peninsula. Our members have the necessary integrity to say: Stop! The European Union is heading in the wrong direction with its ever-increasing centralisation of power in Brussels. The EUD strategy is to unite critical forces that embrace our ideological foundation in a political struggle against the federalization of Europe.
On the whole, the three big political families (Christian Democrats, Socialists and Liberals) share a federalist agenda that controls the European Parliament. They are silent, however, about their long term goal of creating a United States of Europe. They know that such a development has no support among the citizens of the European states.
The daily work of the EUD involves the following activities
- Arguing in favour of political independence for the member states and their nationally elected institutions.
- Monitoring the implementation of the EU Constitutional Treaty (the Lisbon Treaty) in the European Union and highlighting its problems in relation to the political independence of the member states.
- Working against new initiatives from the European institutions aiming at controlling more policy areas.
- Working against the development of a European Union Foreign Service that will undermine the member states foreign, security and defence policy.
- Working against the expansion of the euro zone. The EUD believes that a common currency for Europe is harmful, both from a democratic and an economic point of view. Viewed the economic development since the introduction of the euro, our position has proven to be correct.
- Working for transparency and reforms aimed at total openness in all EU institutions.
Our vision about future cooperation in Europe
Our common goal is to diminish the power of EU institutions and to create a Europe with peaceful cooperation amongst sovereign States. Within this overall strategy, there are many alternative specific approaches:
1. For some members, the above described goal can only be achieved if their countries leave the European Union.
2. Other members would prefer to change the present European Union into something similar to the European Free Trade Association.
3. Yet, others might have the opinion that the European Union is not only a common market but also an opportunity to cooperate in other fields such as environmental policy.
The EU Democrats find no contradictions between critical movements and “withdrawalists” since we all agree on a fundamental issue in present day politics: To stop the development of the United States of Europe! We must work together to stop the erosion of democracy, improve transparency, openness and national sovereignty.
Our future tasks
The EUD has a role to play in the politics of Europe:
We have developed information campaigns on the Lisbon Treaty in the first and second referendums and we will continue with our campaigns in the coming referendums on the EURO in Sweden and Denmark, as well as the Edinburgh agreement.
We also believe that Icelandic voters are in need of EU information in the event a referendum takes place. Providing information in Iceland is one our top priorities.
Furthermore, EU critical political forces around Europe need a contact in Brussels that can provide actual information on EU affairs.
The failure of the euro is an essential subject on which we can provide information, especially in countries such as Ireland, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Denmark, Czech Republic, Poland and Estonia.
The EUD must also fight for the rule of transparency within the EU institutions. Transparency, for example, in the disclosure of information must be the rule, not the exception, and it should also be applied to the EU budget.
The EU Democrats have the network and the necessary expertise to get the job done.
Is there any other alternative?
Let’s face it. Even if the no-side won some battles (Nice, Constitution and Lisbon), the elites have managed to approve and ratify all treaties. We must join forces NOW in order to save democracy!
The 29 demands described below were adopted by the EUD congress in June 2007. The following demands are not meant to show an ideal vision of what the EU could be, but the first practical steps to reform Europe.
Transparency: 14 demands
- Transparency in the disclosure of information must be the rule, not the exception.
- Transparency should also be applied to the EU budget and spending.
- Reasonable derogations from transparency can be decided by a qualified majority of the European Parliament.
- Secret working groups must be limited or even forbidden.
- The protection of whistle-blowers should be further improved in the EU.
- The powers given to the EU’s control agencies must be reinforced and respected. They must be controlled by national parliaments.
- Transparency must go hand in hand with clarity and simplification of information.
- Information released by the EU must be impartial in order to avoid unlimited propaganda.
- The EU institutions should listen to a wide range of opinions before proposing any legislation.
- A compulsory public lobbyist accreditation system should be implemented in all EU institutions.
- A special control on corporate lobbying should be installed.
- A blacklist of companies that practiced corruption should be extended to each member state.
- Corruption should be tackled more efficiently by the EU on all levels, including the EU level itself.
- The immunity of EU civil servants must be abolished.
Subsidiarity: 8 demands
- The use of any means to create a more flexible Europe must be simplified (opt-outs, bilateral and multilateral cooperation etc.).
- We need generalised rules for a priori (before adoption) and a posteriori (after adoption of a treaty) opt-outs.
- Over-regulation must be reduced. The existing acquis communitaire must be revised and pure red tape laws must be scrapped.
- Sunset clauses and other measures must be implemented to keep EU law as lean as possible.
- The member states’ competences must be clearly listed in a treaty or a constitution so as to prevent any possible intervention of the EU in domains that are not within their jurisdiction.
- The flexibility clause must be abolished to limit the EU’s power of intervening in any domain they deem necessary.
- An independent body should be implemented to check the positive uses of subsidiarity.
- Member states, regions, communes and citizens must be allowed to appeal to this independent body.
Democracy: 5 demands
- Democratic procedures and the accountability on national levels should be improved by the civil society of the member states.
- The separation of powers between the different European institutions must be improved. The predominance of the Commission must be limited.
- National Parliaments appoint and dismiss their member of the Commission. The European Parliament has the power to dismiss single commissioners.
- The member states, as legitimate bodies, should be able to influence decisions on European level.
- A member of a national executive branch must not be allowed to play a legislative role on the EU level without a mandate from the national parliament.
Diversity: 2 demands
- The EU may not create an artificial “European identity” at the cost of the member states’ different cultural identities.
- Any “European Citizenship” process should be fully endorsed by the people of each country; otherwise, it should be dismantled.