DiEM25

Democracy in Europe Movement 2025

Berlin

Tag: Verfassung

That astonishingly there is an alternative for Europe!

On 25th and 26th of May DiEM25 members from all over Europe came together in Berlin to exchange their work and ideas on democratising the EU. People from countries like Finland, Serbia, Ireland, Spain, Romania, Poland, Norway, France, Italy, Austria and Germany discussed how to build a solidly united system in Europe that offers equal rights and opportunities for everybody living on the continent.

The Democracy in DiEM25 (DiD) group shared their ideas on Distributed Network Collectives and Grassroots Democracy. We think internal democracy is crucial and communication and transparency are the key elements. DiEM25’s European Gender group pointed out that gender equality and diversity are everyday practices and should be embraced to foster our democratic discourse in including and representing as much perspectives as possible.

The DiEM25 Spontaneous Collective (DSC) Berlin provided an input on the topic of Multiparty Politics. The debate will go on: Should we found the first exclusively pan European Party? This question is crucial when thinking about strategies to put our agenda to the ballot boxes at the European elections of 2019! Of course endorsing candidates or parties in the elections are the other possibilities, as we recently did in the French and English elections. It’s clear for us that we will put an end to the politics of “There Is No Alternative” (TINA) and challenge the national phlegmatism of Lexiteers. We therefore say “TATIANA” (That Astonishingly There Is AN Alternative!) to Angela Merkel, Wolfgang Schäuble, Jean-Claude Juncker and everybody else: The European New Deal!

The DSC Belgrade later asked: How to deal with the European New Deal? And presented answers like “With the European New Deal paper we are able to embrace the robot army appearing on the horizon and let them work for us.” We are going to put forth green investments and finally regulate the banking sector. We are going to provide a job guarantee, basic goods and social housing for everybody.

In other workshops we pointed out that art should question the morality of the public and shift the thinking of people. Art as a fundamental form of societal and political expression will be at the heart of DiEM25 (DiEM25 Voice). Furthermore we learned about the peculiarities of the French elections from DSC Lyon and the history of the disintegration of Yugoslavia through an economic crisis from DSCs Ljubljana and Belgrade.

We also exchanged our ideas for a European Constitution after an input from DSC Asturias and elaborated on: “Let’s democratise Innovation and Production!” With a political framework for the encouragement of free and open source products that will empower us to become smart citizens instead of being controlled by overbearing smart cities. During the last panel we concluded that it’s about time to form a truly democratic European demos and put our ideas into practice.

We closed these incredible two days and twelve hours of workshops with a dinner at a Croatian Restaurant in Berlin. We thank all participants for the sparkling atmosphere, splendid talks and valuable inputs. We will very eagerly work on our policies and ideas, together with our new friends from all over Europe.

Some more impressions about the whole event are provided in this Video:

Lively start into 2017

Our DiEM25 group started lively into the New Year. Good, as the general elections in Germany are just around the corner and we plan great things for 2017.

We had an intensive Newcomer meeting on the 9th of January. After a short introduction to DiEM25 and our work in Berlin, we spread into small groups with the 60 participants to work on different topics. We had discussions about DiEM25 policy papers and our internal organisation. Also the new taskforce “diversity” was founded, which will deal with the important task to include different human beings into DiEM25 to make our movement as colourful and diverse as our society.

On the 15th of January our second DiEM25 documentation night followed at B-Lage in Neukölln. We presented the crowdfunded documentary “This is not a coup”. It describes the European Central Bank’s (ECB) financial interventions in states like Italy, Ireland, Portugal, Cyprus and Greece. Featuring well-known academics, politicians and journalists, “This is not a coup” analyses the interdependences of EU institutions with big corporations and banks and the undemocratic and hidden influence they exert on national politics. After the film we had an interesting exchange with the audience and are looking forward to the documentation night on the 19th of February.

Do you want to join? Contact berlin1dsc@de.diem25.org

DSC Berlin at the congress of the European Left

380 delegates from 27 member parties and from nine observation parties arrived in Berlin for the 5th Congress of the European Left. The concerns about Europe were connected: austerity politics, growing precariousness, rise of the populous right, higher military budget for geopolitical power games, just to name a few of these concerns. Europe is standing knee deep in crises and that’s not just from the Left‘s viewpoint. The question, however, “what to do?”, brings an end to the unification.

Gregor Gysi, still chairman in the German Bundestag, was elected as the new chairman of the European Left. Without opponents, Gysi can only have a short majority of the delegates behind him, with only 68% of the votes, and the EL made a rather split impression.

Naturally, DiEM25 wasn‘t officially invited to the Congress. Through “Die Linke”, however, the possibility was offered to set up a stand and present the proposal of our Pan-European democratic movement to the interested delegates and representatives.

Despite the not very original red color in this environment, the DiEM stand stood out clearly. During the three-day congress, 8 DSC members alternated regularly at the stand and radiated a relaxed and cheerful atmosphere.

Constitutional reform in Italy? No!

On Wednesday, November 23rd DiEM25 Berlin, Die Linke International and Berlin’s Comitato per il No held a public meeting to discuss the upcoming referendum on the constitutional reform in Italy. Around 25 participants attended the meeting, which included interventions by Andrej Hunko (member of Parliament for Die Linke), Anna Ballarin-Denti (Comitato per il No), and Paola Giaculli (Die Linke).

Italy’s Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and his government promise that the reform of the second part of the Italian Constitution will cut the costs of politics and simplify the legislative process. The reform, however, has been widely criticised by the country’s political opposition, by civil society movements as well as by the left fringe of Renzi’s party. Eminent constitutionalists also warn against a reform that, without noticeably cutting bureaucratic costs, would concentrate decision-making power in the hands of the country’s executive, strengthen the power of the central state vis à vis the regions, and hinder the direct democratic processes allowed by the current Constitution.

DiEM25 joins Italy’s progressive forces in supporting the NO vote to a constitutional reform that would weaken democratic decision-making within parliament and society. These constitutional amendments, if passed, would favour the interests of international financial capital and of the political elites that have promoted EU’s disastrous austerity policies.

Vote in Italy: 4th December 2016

Members of AIRE can vote by post. The ballot should reach the embassy by December 1st, 2016.

Movie night in Berlin: Debt is the money of the rich

In the heart of Neukölln-Berlin, in B-Lage, DiEM25 Berlin presented the film “Who is Saving Whom? – Crisis as a business model at the expense of democracy and social security”.

Although the screening room was crowded and crammed with 80 visitors, the mostly young audience attentively watched the documentary until the end. The documentary from 2015 clearly shows who was responsible for the financial crisis in 2008 and how multi-billion euro and dollar rescue packages almost magically turned bank debts into public debts. The consequences for civil society are enormous and presented in the film through impressive pictures and testimonies.

The film also shows alternatives. Iceland chose a completely different way out of the crisis: the citizens took their fate into their own hands, demanded new elections and a thorough revision of the banking crisis – with success. There was no rescue of international capital, but a democratic redistribution from the top to the bottom. Even the bank executives did not get away unscathed.

Following the film, Ragnar Hjalmarsson provided more nuanced information on the Icelandic case, drawing on his experience as an employee of the IMF Resident Representative Office in Reykjavik from 2008 to 2013. Spanish/Icelandic artist couple Libia Castro and Ólafur Ólafsson also contributed to the intriguing discussion.

During the discussion, it became clear that very special circumstances contributed to Iceland’s unique path. Nevertheless, Iceland remains an encouraging example of how a broad social movement can free a country from the dictatorship of the financial sector and move towards a real democracy.

In the film, the German politician Oskar Lafontaine was quoted as follows: “If one knows that debt is the money of the rich, then one would have to get the idea that if I want to lower the debt, I will reduce rich people’s money. I’ve never heard that this may have been discussed in that way in parliaments. Instead of taking money from the rich, they dive into the wallet of the pensioners and the workers who earn very little. This is an incredible fact.

DiEM25 is currently working on a policy paper for Europe’s new economy, which will be presented end of February in Paris.

Carpe DiEM25

© 2017 DiEM25 Berlin