11 April 2018
Rue Belliard 137
Doors open 18:30, start 19:00
Europe is in the midst of an intense debate about the EU's future direction, but citizens are feeling left behind. Low turnout in elections only intensifies the sense of disconnect. With an eye towards the European elections in 2019 the question we want to raise is how our European Democracy can become more inclusive, participatory and truly European and how the EU can improve its institutional links to the "demos" - the citizens of Europe.
One of our main hopes is to bring people from different areas and backgrounds together, to hear their perspectives and learn from each other. This means your opinion is particularly important for us. Together with you, we want to actively participate in the political and social dialogue.
Already before the event, you have the opportunity to engage in the discussion by leaving your comments on this page (link at the end of article or on the top on the right). You just need to register (it won't take you more than one minute!) and leave your comment.
During the discussion with Jo Leinen, our moderator, Joe B. Lynam from the BBC, will refer to the comments and questions voiced here.
If you haven't registered yet, you can still do it here on the website of our partner the European Movement International.
Theses by Jo Leinen / 9th Wednesday Social Brussels
Thesis 1: The European Union's functioning is founded on representative democracy (Art. 10 TEU). The Union is democratic, but it lacks European democracy.
Thesis 2: European elections are still largely governed by national rules. Despite the success of the European political parties' "Spitzenkandidaten initiative" in the 2014 EU elections, electoral campaigns are dominated by domestic issues and national personalities.
Thesis 3: To strengthen the European dimension, the Spitzenkandidaten-exercise must be repeated and consolidated in the 2019 European elections. The leader of the European executive (that is, the Commission) must be known to European citizens before the elections, and present himself together with a programme.
Thesis 4: In the medium term, European Parties should be able to compete for mandates, e.g. through transnational lists. Direct participation in EU elections would give European Parties a greater visibility and lead to a transnationalisation of election campaigns and political debates.
Thesis 5: Transnational lists would make the European Parties' candidates for the post of Commission President electable in all Member States of the EU, and thus complement the "Spitzenkandidaten".
Thesis 6: The European Parliament made a proposal for the reform of the European electoral law in November 2015, but is yet to receive a reply by the Member States in the Council.
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Picture Credits: © http://www.joleinen.de/