Florence 10+10: Assembly on Europe and Democracy

Over the last two years the response of European elites to the economic and financial crisis has been marked by an aggressive centralization of supranational decision-making powers. The new governance structures envisaged no longer simply suffer of a “democratic deficit”, but now represent a true “flight from democracy”.

Who takes decisions in the EU? To answer this question all we have to do is turn to the conclusions of the latest European Council. Here we may find, to take such an example, that the definition of the next steps of the planned economic and monetary union will be handed over to a group formed by the Presidents of the European Council, of the Commission, the Eurogroup, and the European Central Bank. Member states, and the European Parliament, will be simply “consulted”. It seems clear that the direction of the European Union is increasingly being defined by an oligarchy responding to the requirements of the financial markets.

But the destiny of the European people cannot be decided by an oligarchy, but it should rather be determined by European citizens themselves. The silence of the European Parliament is shocking, with the institution accepting once again to be declassed to a merely consultative role. This situation pushes us to launch a real democratic alarm. The European Council has confirmed and strengthened the construction of an edifice without precedent in the history of democracies, destroying the foundations of the bourgeois state – based on the principle of “no taxation without representation”. We are witnessing the construction of a monetary, fiscal, and banking system realized for the purposes of a market economy that needs to be competitive with the global neoliberal imperative. A system that is to be constructed and governed by technocratic structure entirely deprived of a popular mandate and removed from any form of control or accountability, even that of representative institutions.

The approval of the Fiscal Compact is just the latest step towards the imposition of an ever stricter fiscal discipline, following the European Semester, the Europlus Pact, and the Six Pack. The very ideology of the European social model is judged as obsolete – as repeatedly claimed by Mario Draghi. The de-structuring of the foundations of the material conditions and rights of labour, the demolition of the welfare state, the continuous privatization of fundamental services and common goods, seem to increasingly require the destruction of democracy, even in its representative forms. The electoral process itself no longer takes place in a normal climate, but rather under the permanent blackmail of the crisis of sovereign debts and the threatening oscillations of financial markets. 

Any opposition to the unjust and inefficient economic and social choices imposed under the blackmail of debt must be accompanied by an equally strong mobilisation capable of resisting the reduction of the democratic life of European citizens and of re-launching on European democracy. We need a democratic rupture. A democratic rupture based on the contestation of technocracy and its impositions, and on the establishment of a democratic constituent process for another Europe.

We launch an appeal for the constitution of a vast coalition of social movements, associations, movements, political and trade union forces, but also individual citizens, recognizing itself in the concrete demand of European democracy. We propose for such coalition to meet in an assembly to be held in the context of the Firenze 10+10 mobilizations on 8-11 November, capable of bringing together around a common set of demands for democratic reform the plurality of voices that have crossed Europe in the recent period.  It will be important for such democratic front to be truly transnational, remembering the centrality of the Central and Eastern European space, and to contribute to the innovation of the political practices of movements, parties, and trade unions in Europe. Because democracy does not depend only on institutions, but also on the capacity of active citizenship to develop new transnational political practices.

Alternative Europe, Altramente and transform! italia



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