Volt

What is Volt?

Volt was created the day the Brexit vote was announced and has since grown to be present in 30 European countries with established political parties in 15 of them. We are a citizen's movement volunteering to work towards a more participatory, progressive and pan-European way of doing politics - with a focus on redefining what ecological, solidarity and democracy should mean in the 21st century.

General Assembly, Amsterdam (before Covid)

With little experience and financial means, we participated in the European elections in eight countries. We won an elected MEP in Germany, who our members voted to join the Greens/European Free Alliance group and since March 2021, we also have three seats in the Dutch national assembly. Time to work towards having representatives in France.

A new way of doing politics?

The idea of Volt is to give citizens a voice, to facilitate the development of a political agenda based on citizens' needs and to find the means to implement it - whether we are elected or not. Most of us are volunteers with little experience and without political colour. We care about the issues themselves rather than about power, and advocate for a different way of doing politics.

Discussing elections

We believe that a democracy is not only defined by voting for representatives, but also by engaging in local communities and associations, bringing important issues into the debate, proposing ideas and working closely with the administration. And like that administration, we must strive to serve all citizens, to be efficient and responsive in meeting their changing needs, to listen and to implement an agenda that will win the consensus of citizens and provide answers to the challenges we face today.

European ideas on local level?

Volt was created on a day when Europe failed to show why Europe is essential at national level. But don't we also fail to recognise why Europe is important at the local level? The last municipal elections and the campaign proved that European residents in Lille were not informed about their possibility to vote. It is disappointing to see that a metropolis that calls itself "European" distinguishes itself mostly by naming things "Eura" and wasting opportunities on key regional projects such as the Lille-Tourcoing-Kortrijk Eurometropolis. Instead of looking for inspiration and collaboration with other European metropoles - one can only imagine Lille with adequate cycling infrastructure, reduced air pollution, cleanliness, cheaper waste management through recycling, large green spaces and addressing homelessness and security - the city continues its unsustainable building spree by neglecting the demand for social and student housing and appeasing citizens with an occasional forest of potted trees. All this against a backdrop of climate change, the first effects of which, such as record temperatures and drinking water shortages, are already being felt here in Lille, and which, to try to address, would require not only cooperation and consensus across political divides, but also across borders - which brings us back to why Europe is important here in Lille.

"Eura"lille

Although after the municipal elections, we cannot actively work on municipal policies, we will continue to advocate for our solutions and our responsibility as citizens, not only to vote but also to make our society all that it can and should be.