The European political community - based on the blueprint of Volt Europa?

The European political community - based on the blueprint of Volt Europa?

Oct 10, 2022
The leaders of 44 European countries met in Prague to bring to life a European political community. Just like Volt Europa
Volt France - European Political Community

> Leaders from 44 European countries met in Prague on the initiative of Emmanuel Macron to discuss security, energy  and youth.

> With its 31 chapters (including the UK and Ukraine), Volt Europa serves as a blueprint for a European political community that is not intimate but pragmatic.

> Volt France stresses the importance for reforming the European Union's decision making processes instead of watering down the Union through communities absent of clear purposes and rules for cooperation.

Volt France - Sven Franck

Sven Franck

Co-président Volt France

This week saw political leaders from 44 countries convene in Prague for the inaugural meeting of the European political community outlined by Emmanual Macron in his "Serment of Strasbourg" on May 9th during which he also stressed the need to reform the European treaties and introduce majority voting. Against the backdrop of the war in Ukraine and the corresponding energy crisis, both would go a long way to rendering the European Union a political actor on the geopolitical parquet. A political community without a political objective on the other hand? Not really. 

Been there. Done that.

A European political community is nothing new. Volt Europa was created in 2017 and today counts around 30000 members from 31 countries (including the UK, Switzerland, the UK and Albania) out of which 18 have established political parties. Compared to the European political community, all Volt co-presidents (one binom per country) convene every other week in Volt's country council with a clear agenda: coordinate the work across the continent on national and local level and oversee the work of the European board of Volt Europa. Whether it's building consensus on political topics or scaling joint initiatives, five years of Volt's political community have resulted in an interaction model and processes that define the decision making competences of participating chapters. 

Sven Franck, co-president of Volt France: "I cringed a bit on hearing the summit of EU leaders deemed "intimate". It is a big group and without clear objectives, I'd be weary before getting too "intimate" in such a community. We learned at Volt, that regular exchanges are absolutely paramount, but just as in our Country Council, there needs to be a perspective, an agenda and decision making procedures if this initiative is to become more than an informal exchange." 

What about existing treaties?

With the initial group going way beyond the 27 EU member states and a potpourri of topics from energy, security, cybersecurity and youth, it is not clear what role this community should play besides the European Union. Creating a bigger community with or without competences will also not remedy the need for treaty reforms within the EU before any of the ascension candidates moves closer to becoming an EU member state. There are also many bilateral initiatives that could serve as a foundation if enlarged to allow more countries to join: the Aachen treaty between Germany and France covers many topics from defense to culture. It is a proven and longstanding initiative and if our president was serious, why is he not proposing other EU and non-EU member states to join the Aachen treaty?

Sven Franck, co-president of Volt France: "We must avoid watering down the importance of the Union itself in absence of legitimate alternatives. The EU is built on treaties and a coffee round, even in locations with historical gravity, is a meager token of participation for non-EU countries seeking to join the EU. It cannot replace the foundation of the EU which is in dire need of an overhaul: its legitimizing treaties. If our president really wants to move ahead in "community" building, why not convince Germany to grow the Aachen treaty into a pan-european treaty instead of launching a pan-european community. There is no time, neither to reinvent the wheel nor to only meet to be intimate."

If you also think that it is time for Europe to become more democratic and capable of action…

About Volt

As the first truly pan-European party, Volt is committed to reforming the European Union and responding to today's challenges in a coordinated way at European level. Volt's vision: a progressive Europe with an inclusive society, a climate-friendly economy, an adaptable education system and self-determined digitalisation.

Volt is convinced that only the democratic participation of all European citizens will prepare us for a sustainable, economically strong and socially just future. This is why Volt acts at all levels - from local to European, as a movement and as a party. The movement gives everyone a voice and the opportunity to engage politically from within society. Today, Volt is present all over Europe: thousands of people of all ages and professions are involved in 30 European countries with teams in hundreds of cities.

Sven Franck - Co-président of Volt France
Mail : sven.franck@volteuropa.org

Robin Fontaine - Non executive member of the board
Mail : robin.fontaine@volteuropa.org 

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Photo by Wikimedia - Creative CommonsAttribution 4.0 International license. Attribution: President.az