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Former Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis is now a pop culture icon and political legend. Following his resignation from office after the people of Greece voted ‘no’ to austerity bailout measures in July last year, the disillusioned bad boy of European politics returned with a vengeance.
In February 2016, the self-described “erratic Marxist” along with activists and arguers from across Europe gathered in Berlin’s Volksbühne to launch a new pan-European umbrella group that aims to pull together leftwing parties, grassroots protest movements and “rebel regions” from across the continent.
Motivated in particular by the way Greece was treated by the European Union, the group called the Democracy in Europe Movement 2025 or DiEM25, has one very simple, but radical idea: to democratize Europe… as a prerequisite for saving/civilizing the EU.
In fact, in an article published in the Guardian days before the launch, Varoufakis claimed that the EU no longer serves the people and that Europeans everywhere, from Helsinki to Lisbon, Dublin to Crete, Leipzig to Aberdeen, are feeling let down by EU institutions.
DiEM25’s immediate priority would thus be to lobby for full transparency in European decision-making. From live-streaming of council meetings to full disclosure of trade negotiation documents, part of DiEM25’s manifesto is to subject the EU’s bureaucracy to the will of sovereign European peoples.
In a frank conversation with Euronews’ Isabelle Kumar in Athens, Varoufakis claimed that the purpose of the movement was to save the EU from itself. All the important decisions have been shifted to the level of Brussels and Frankfurt, the European Commission, the European Central Bank, the European Stability Mechanism, etc which, he says, are purely democracy-free zones.
DiEM25’s thus aims to convene a constitutional assembly where Europeans will deliberate on how to bring forth, by 2025, a full- fledged European democracy, featuring a sovereign Parliament that respects national self- determination and sharing power with national Parliaments, regional assemblies and municipal councils.
But make no mistake. DiEM25 is as political as they come. But to be political in a meaningful manner the movement needs to appeal across existing political party lines. And to the people which it aims to serve.
In order to do this, they will need to develop mass scale quorum e-democracy (QED) system much like what RIPAC is focused on in the U.S.A.. The synergy in working with the organization for the sheer goal of creating a QED that allows for education, communication and democratization would be advantageous.