Open letter: future MEPs, show us democratic leadership!

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Dear candidate Members of the European Parliament,

You are running for the European Parliament at a time that Europe and the world suffer from systemic challenges - challenges that can only be overcome with the right type of political leadership that transcends national boundaries and traditional ideological divides. As the world’s first and only directly elected supranational institution, we hereby jointly call upon you, if elected, to commit yourself to demonstrating political leadership in the democratic reform of the European Union by putting citizens center stage!

The still unfolding Brexit tragedy is not only a story about the United Kingdom. It is a story about a European Union that has been effective at integrating economies, but ineffective at integrating democracies. Additionally, it is one of the most poignant illustrations that a ‘Europe of the citizens’ is a bare necessity for the EU to survive and to deliver on its promise of peace and prosperity for all.

There is increasing recognition of the need to actively involve citizens in the debate on the future of Europe, including at the highest political level. However, it is equally apparent that the European political leaders, acting on their own, are incapable of addressing this critical need in an effective manner.

The European Citizens’ Consultations, initiated by French President Emmanuel Macron, may have been well-intentioned but failed to achieve their desired effect: the bottom-up re-launch of the European project. Furthermore, traumatised by the last exercise in Treaty change, there is a political paralysis when it comes to the effective debate on the ‘constitutional essentials’ of the European Union. Failing to address this paralysis can have catastrophic consequences for the European Union.

As potential future elected Members of the European Parliament, we rely on your ability to demonstrate political leadership, to give the citizens of Europe political control over their democratic future, so that the European project becomes truly sustainable.

This is why we call upon you to take the lead in the democratic reform of the European Union, involving the design of a roadmap for democratic reform, including at least the following elements:

  • the organization of randomly-selected citizens’ assemblies at the national and/or EU-level to develop concrete recommendations on the democratic future of Europe;
  • prompt responses and adequate follow-up on citizens’ recommendations by the EU institutions by means of legislative proposals for democratic reform, including, if deemed necessary, a proposal for Treaty change involving a new Convention;
  • giving citizens a final say on the outcome of a possible Convention in order to ensure broad support among the population.

Moreover, in order to design this roadmap and to push for the democratic reform of the EU, we call upon you to support the establishment of an intergroup on the future of European democracy for the EP mandate 2019-2024.

We count on you to become our pioneers in building a truly transnational democracy! 

Democratically yours,


Democracy International e.V.

Mehr Demokratie (Germany)

Meer Democratie (Netherlands)

Meer Democratie (Belgium)

Mehr Demokratie (Austria)

Omnibus für Direkte Demokratie (Germany)

AEGEE Europe / European Students' Forum (Belgium)

Association for Democratic Initiatives (North Macedonia)

Berliner Wassertisch (Germany)

Center for Citizenship Education (Poland)

Commons Network (Netherlands)

Community Development Institute Macedonia (North Macedonia)

Compassion in World Farming (Belgium)

Citizens' Juries c.i.c (United Kingdom)

Clean Air Action Group (Hungary)

DemNet Foundation for Development of Democratic Rights (Hungary)

Dreamocracy (Belgium)

Eerlijke Verkiezingen (Netherlands)

Eumans (Belgium)

European Alternatives (Italy)

European Citizen Action Service (ECAS) (Belgium)

European Citizens' Rights, Involvement and Trust Foundation (ECIT) (Belgium)

European Civic Forum (France)

European Credit Initiative (Austria)

European Democracy Lab (Germany)

European Democracy Foundation (Switzerland)

European House (Hungary)

European Movement Italy (Italy)

Europe's People's Forum (Denmark)

Fórum dos Cidadãos (Portugal) (Netherlands)

G1000 Belgium (Belgium)

Initiative and Referendum Institute Europe (Switzerland)

Instituut voor Maatschappelijke Innovatie (Netherlands)

Missions Publiques (France)

Netwerk Democratie (Netherlands)

New Europeans (Belgium)

Open Knowledge International (United Kingdom)

Open Ministry (Finland)

Participalab Madrid (Spain)

Particitiz (Belgium) (Switzerland)

Più Democrazia Italia (Italy) 

Project for Democratic Union (Germany)

Public Participation Foundation, ManBalss (Latvia)

School With Class Foundation (Poland)

Sénat Citoyen (France)

Solidarietà e Cooperazione - CIPSI (Italy)

Sortition Foundation (United Kingdom)

Stichting Agora Europa (Netherlands)

Stichting (Netherlands)

Swiss Democracy Foundation (Switzerland)

The Democratic Society (Belgium)

The ECI Campaign (Germany)

The Good Lobby (Belgium)

Transeuropa Caravans (Belgium)

Unconditional Basic Income Europe (Germany)

Vereniging Democratisch Europa (Netherlands)

WeCitizens (Belgium)

Are you an NGO? Sign this open letter, too!

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