On Thursday, May 25, 2017, the co-founders of the new democratic political movement DiEM25, Yanis Varoufakis and Srecko Horvat held a press conference in the “Red Salon” of the Berlin theater “Volksbühne”, in the place where more than a year ago everything started. They gave an overview of the development of the pan-European movement DiEM25 and presented their political roadmap to prepare for the European elections in the whole European Union under the motto “European New Deal”.
DiEM25 was born in February 2016 at the Volksbühne Theatre, by a coalition of European progressive democrats convinced that “Europe will be democratised or it will disintegrate!”. In the fifteen months that have passed events have, unfortunately, confirmed DiEM25’s prognosis. Brexit was only an early warning, caused to a large extent by the inane and authoritarian handling of the Eurozone’s socio-economic and governance failures.
Today, following the election of Emmanuel Macron in France (whose candidacy DiEM25 supported in view of the threat posed by the xenophobic ultra-right), the establishment is rejoicing, immersed in the fantasy that Europe’s disintegration and slide into a post-modern version of the 1930s has been halted.
While Macron’s victory has prevented the instant dissolution of the EU, his proposals for converting the Eurozone into a federation-lite in exchange for neoliberal reforms (especially vis-à-vis labour markets) at the level of the nation-state are guaranteed to fail, thus dashing the hyper-optimistic expectations that they are now creating and giving the crisis another spin.
On the one hand Macron’s domestic reforms will deepen the socio-economic crisis that strengthens xenophobic nationalism while, on the other hand, the German establishment and that of other surplus countries will veto his proposals for the Treaty changes necessary to usher in the federal model for the Eurozone that he is proposing. The deflation of the hopes that Macron’s victory has inflated will, before long, reinforce the centrifugal forces tearing Europe apart.
Since its inception, DiEM25 has posed a question to its members: Is there a policy agenda that could be implemented tomorrow morning, i.e. without Treaty changes, to stabilise Europe and thus give Europeans a chance to have the discussion amongst themselves of how the EU can be democratized?
Over the past fifteen months DiEM25 produced precisely such a practical, applicable and comprehensive policy agenda. It was presented in Rome, on the 60th Anniversary of the Treaty of Rome, on 25th March 2017, entitled DiEM25’s European New Deal. During its Rome launch, DiEM25 invited political parties, civil society organisations to answer their questions.
In Berlin, the civil society will be invited to discuss the contents of the program and what further content should be included in the “DiEM25 Program – European New Deal”. In the European parliamentary elections in 2019 voters all over Europe can give their ballot paper in the box in support of this program.
“Today and tomorrow we are here, with various political partners, members and activists from all over Europe, to discuss the next step toward 2019: The formation of the first transnational pan-European political party that is necessary to give such a comprehensive economic and social policy agenda the electoral expression that it deserves.” said Yanis Varoufakis.
“During the next couple of days, DiEM25 will develop, in conjunction with our political partners from different countries and political organisations, a credible blueprint for the transnational progressive party Europe needs – to be voted, after a process of serious deliberation, by our entire membership and announced in Brussels in the context of DiEM25’s “Real State of the Union” event on September 9.” He explained furthermore.
The most important event in the evening was the political discussion on the main stage of the theater with various members of the advisory committee of DiEM25 and political companions, including Yanis Varoufakis, Srećko Horvat, Saskia Sassen, Katja Kipping, Noam Chomsky, Renata Avila and Ken Loach.
In addition, members and activists from DiEM25 from across Europe accompanied the new political timetable with contributions and discussion rounds in various panels and workshops.