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SOS Europe – Campaign to save the EU presented by Democracy International


21 Aug 2013


EU Priorities 2020

Alpbach, Austria, 21.08.2013: the organisation Democracy International offers solutions to the European Union’s deep crisis of confidence. Today at the European Forum Alpbach in Austria, an interdisciplinary conference for science, politics, business and culture, Democracy International presented the campaign for a more democratic EU. Key demand is a new EU convention.  

„Europe is in deep crisis. Much more is at stake than the stability of our money, banks and financial markets. At stake is people’s confidence in European democracy and politics and hence in the EU itself, its institutions and capacity to find solutions” declares Gerald Häfner, chairperson of Democracy International and Member of European Parliament.

Recent polls by the European Commission reveal citizens’ dramatic loss of trust in the EU. According to the standard Eurobarometer of spring 2013 about two thirds of all EU citizens have no confidence in the EU. 29 per cent have a negative image of the EU. In 2007 this figure was low at 15 per cent.

“We must decrease the huge gap between citizens and politics. Europe will only succeed as a project of the citizens while it will fail as a project of the political elites. We need to discuss broadly which direction the European project is to head to and which constitution the EU is to have. A new EU convention that includes citizens and parliaments is the right means for more democracy in the EU” demands Gerald Häfner.

Democracy International, also the „global coalition for direct democracy“, has started preparing a campaign for a new EU convention to be led by a broad alliance of young Europeans, academics, entrepreneurs and civil society representatives. Core demands are that the members of the EU convention are elected democratically and that the convention has adequate time for serious and thorough deliberation including proposals from civil society. The draft proposal that the EU convention will elaborate is to be ratified by referenda in all EU member states.