May 2019, here we come!
A letter from Yanis Varoufakis about DiEM25’s ‘electoral wing’ and the path to 2019.
This is a good time to be a DiEMer.
Last week we “seized the day” and plunged ourselves into a challenging, perilous, but also exciting new phase for our young movement: Yes, we will go for it!
May 2019, here we come!
Our internal vote was decisive: 73% of verified members voted and of those 93% voted “yes”. Even before DiEM25’s second anniversary comes and goes, we shall begin working tirelessly to take our European New Deal, our Progressive Agenda for Europe, to ballot boxed across Europe in the May 2019 European Parliament election.
Whatever happens in the end, this is a historic moment: Never before has a movement tried to present a SINGLE comprehensive policy agenda to ALL Europeans on the basis of ONE party list across our divided and fragmenting Union.
We are in it to win. But our notion of victory is very, very different. Victory for us means putting on the agenda, everywhere, our progressive, moderate, but also radical policy framework. It means doing so in a manner that shows Europeans that a transnational European democracy is not only possible but also that it is already here – in embryonic form within the ranks of DiEM25. It means giving birth to a new politics, a new ethos in the face of elections, a new spirit of electoral engagement by activists who detest ‘authority’ but who contest elections to restore sovereignty to persons, collectives, cities, regions, peoples and Parliaments.
From today, we begin discussions in every country, in every city with civil society and with political actors whose politics is close to our Manifesto and whose policies are consistent with our Progressive Agenda for Europe and our European New Deal. The aim? To prepare, in good time, the SINGLE comprehensive policy agenda to be presented in May 2019 to voters everywhere. Our members, DSCs, National Collectives, the Coordinating Collective, all of us must prepare for this Grand Dialogue across Europe. Let’s begin!
What can you do?
In the recent vote we decided, amongst other things, to create thematic DSCs. Now is the time for you to form such Thematic DSCs and use them to help build up our SINGLE comprehensive policy agenda. In collaboration with existing DSCs. These Thematic DSCs could take these themes and topical issues out into discussions in the wider community to create the political buzz, awareness and literacy that we shall need, as part of the urgent process of producing recommendations to the rest of the movement, regarding the following areas of DiEM25’s May 2019 electoral program:
- Green Investment and Ecological Transition Across the Whole of Europe
- Public/Private Debt management for the Eurozone
- A Pan-European Anti-Poverty Program
- Post-capitalism (E.g. Universal Basic Dividend, changes to property rights over capital etc.)
- A humane, efficient plan for Migration & Refugees
- European Foreign Policy and Defence
- Closure of tax heavens
- Regulating Big Tech
- Regulating Big Pharma
- A European Charter for the Commons
- European municipalism (plan for greater autonomy for cities)
- A different kind of European trade treaties
- Toward a Democratic European Constitution (A constitutional assembly process leading to the drafting of a constitution by which to replace all the Treaties)
The list of priorities may change as we firm up our political alliances and new issues emerge in this multivalent process, which we will share with our DiEM25 members as we proceed.
What National Collectives must do?
Help us, in collaboration with DSCs, to map the political situation (with upcoming elections, possible allies, etc.) in each nation-state ahead of the European parliament elections in 2019. Consider the legal issues relating to putting up candidates in your country, propose to the CC potential partners in your country, work on ways in which our European New Deal can be developed (i.e. deepened) for your country.
The Coordinating Collective’s role
Commence the discussions with potential partners across Europe, in collaboration with PNCs, DSCs etc., and coordinate the authoring of the pan European SINGLE comprehensive policy agenda that will be presented to voters in May 2019.
And that’s just the beginning.
Our path to May 2019 is, undoubtedly, strewn with many issues, problems, dangers. Some of our members were reluctant to endorse our Not Just Another Political Party proposal for this reason. We take their warnings seriously. We are particularly mindful of the importance of maintaining DiEM25 as a movement while keeping our ‘electoral wing’ as an instrument – rather than a driver of what we do. Lest we forget, the deepening of our internal democracy is essential to the democratization of Europe.
Nevertheless, while keeping these concerns firmly in our mind, it is also crucial that we allow ourselves a few minutes to celebrate the moment we seized the day. This is a truly exciting moment. We may fail. But it will be tremendous fun trying. And if we do our best, without taking ourselves too seriously, we shall succeed. Why? Because what DiEM25 is about, and our latest endeavour, is precisely what this moment in history demands.
>>DiEM25 co-founder and member of the Coordinating Collective