“The emergence of a European political 'single market’”
We have talked to Franck Biancheri, Director of LEAP (Laboratoire Européen d'Anticipation Politique) and Honorary Chairman of Newropeans, about our appeal for a transnational electoral law.
How do you engage with democratic questions in your daily life?
My work very much relates to democratic matters. Currently, I am the director of LEAP (Laboratoire Européen d'Anticipation Politique) and Honorary Chairman of Newropeans. Since 1985, I have been involved in various attempts to democratize the European integration process: sometimes by means of concrete democratization methods such as founding the first trans-European student network (AEGEE-EUROPE), or allowing Erasmus to be politically adopted, or fighting against fraud, inefficiency and corruption in EU programs during the 1990s. In other cases, my engagement was more directly; I was a founding member of the first trans-European political party running for European elections in 3 countries in 1989 (IDE). In 2009, I have done same, founding the Newropeans, the only trans-European political party.
What is your stance to the current state of the European Union?
The most important development occurring right now in the European integration process is the emergence of a Euroland, a political entity shaping the Euro Zone, following the impact of the global crisis. The EU as such will become secondary in the upcoming years as the governing issues linked to the Euroland will dominate the political, economical, fiscal, and social agendas; and as more countries will adopt the Euro, the Euroland will only gain influence. Yet, for the first time ever, the Euroland is offering a homogeneous set of issues, that can translate into a common European political debate and can concern public opinions. These two aspects were missing for decades, preventing the European political debate to connect with people, and therefore preventing EU democratization to start.
How do you like the proposal to enhance the EU electoral law?
The proposal to enhance the EU electoral law is a first step in the right direction. There will be no European common democracy till trans-European political parties can emancipate themselves from national debates and national parties. A transnational voting rule will contribute to the emerging of a European political 'single market'; at the moment the polity is the only sector which is still operating from within closed national borders. Citizens should have the political systems they deserve. If they complain that Europe's decision making is too distanced from them, then they have to fight to take control of it, to create direct connections -via elections- between them and European decision makers. Involvement and participation is a necessity; there is no democracy without citizens.