Home / FB Doc Selection / What kind of EU do we want? Euro-Leaders and Euro-Citizens together towards a common democracy (I). Franck Biancheri (2004)

What kind of EU do we want? Euro-Leaders and Euro-Citizens together towards a common democracy (I). Franck Biancheri (2004)

The common democracy must adopt European reasoning: common market -> single market -> single currency -> single democracy

The exlcusive character of the politico-administrative engine in the European construction needs to be changed. There is urgent need to replace the “top-down” method by a “bottom-up” one, to include people in the European game.

The common democracy must adopt European reasoning: common market -> single market -> single currency -> single democracy

The second challenge for the European Union in the next two years consists in setting up the conditions for a European democracy. The European people must be placed at the centre of the European process and their confidence built up. At present, the actor of European construction are structures (lobbying system), while the basic element of any democracy is the individual, not the group.

Politisation of the European Project: Euro-Leaders and Euro-Citizens

The Jean Monnet method, consisting in founding the European project on economic rationality, has come to an end. Many policies, such as the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) or the Justice and Interior Affairs (JIA) policy clearly step onto the political field; with the Monetary Union, the institutions are no longer able to turn down the political issue. The crisis recently experienced by Europe is partially the result of this phenomenon. Assumption of a political role means introducing the human dimension into the European project, i.e. Euro-Leaders and Euro-Citizens on both sides of the administrative machinery (European citizens want to be governed by men rather than machines).

The politisation of the European Union, which appears as a central condition to restart the process of European construction, goes together with the formulation of a European political project likely to motivate citizens. Without a catalyst project, the Union will remain submitted to serious centrifugal trends which will increase today’s difficulties.

However, no federative political project nowadays seem supported by European institutions, and this intensifies the general feeling of political vacuum.

The introduction of the Euro, with its huge political repercussions though, is basically meant as an economic project. It was not intended as a project uniting citizens, but for decision-makers, for economic and financial operators. Of course it directly affects the citizens and has had a significant impact on the whole of the Union and its future; however it was a mere instrument with no definitive goal in the eyes of the citizens.

The elaboration of a Charter of Fundamental Rights, created by a Convention (the first of its kind) containing institutions and civil society representatives, could have been a project likely to gather European citizens and bureaucrats. Nevertheless, once the Charter was published (with no wide communication tough), the way in which the Charter was created has not been made public. This means that most European citizens are unaware of its existence while those who are aware of it, are informed of its content.

The creation of a European Constitution, it would be, in the Union’s current situation, very complex and most probably result in profound divisions between those who wish to see the Union get off the political dead-end where it is. It probably represents the “dream” of jurists and academics, but it is unrelated to any concretely expressed citizens’ expectations; or a “dream” of a static Union when it is fundamentally a dynamic process. Such a project would take years and would divide both Member States and public opinion within each State. However, Europe is short of time given the coming challenges to be met by the Union.

Yet, once the notion of “European Public Space” came out, the EU authorities said that it was around this idea that EU’s future would have to be built. But this concept remains undoubtedly the fruit of the present system, far too bureaucratic. Only imagining it in slogans for wide public media campaigns would be more than enough to realise it.

Nevertheless one thing that results from these proposals is that today’s discussions turn around a common democracy: a common democracy for using common tools and facing common challenges, a common democracy for defining together each institutional partner’s specific role, a common democracy for connecting both the men and women at the head of the EU and its citizens.

This “political run” should be quickly explored in order to allow in one year’s time the launch of the future Community’ building site: together towards a common democracy.

Its content, its process, etc, all this should be rapidly empowered. The Euro’s arrival in the citizens’ pocket opened a period of social, economic, cultural and political uncertainty. 2002 was the real starting point of the historical upheaval created by the Common Currency. It is extremely important to have a stong credible Community administrative system to meet today’s challenges.

Franck BiancheriWhat kind of EU do we want, 23/11/2004 ©FB Documentation

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