The new political season: A presidential P.I.A. (Broad Political Initiative) that lacks diversity and a European flavour

The new political season: A presidential P.I.A. (Broad Political Initiative) that lacks diversity and a European flavour

Aug 30, 2023, 12:09:56 PM UTC
The President's political initiative to foster unity among major political parties falls short due to excluding smaller parties and overlooking Europe
Volt France - IPA sans ingrédients

> Political parties are invited to work on proposals in the interests of the people, but the exclusion of small parties prevents a full understanding of diverse needs and opinions.

> The meeting is taking place in the run-up to the European elections, but does not reflect the urgency and complexity of the issues at stake.

> Including parties with less media coverage would enrich the diversity of ideas and proposals, renewing democratic practice.

Paris, 30th of August

It's back to school time, and the political parties are already being asked to work on "proposals in the interests of the people" by the President, who promised a "major political initiative (I.P.A)" this summer. All the political groupings? No, just the main political parties represented in the National Assembly. The centrist parliamentary group Libertés, Indépendants, Outre-mer et Territoires (LIOT), which has played a pivotal role in the Assembly over the past year, was not invited, for example, because it brings together elected representatives who are independent or belong to small parties. Other small political parties, although represented at regional level or in the European Parliament, were also not invited.

It's unfortunate, as President Emmanuel Macron's initiative to convene a meeting aimed at forging 'agreements on cross-party legislation and possibly even referendums' could have been a fruitful endeavor. It promises an open dialogue among diverse political forces and aims to foster unity in times of increasing division. However, both the guest list and the agenda suggest that this Political Initiative of Ample Scale (I.P.A) will leave a bitter taste.

The first disappointment stems from excluding small parties and political groups from the discussion table. The vitality of a democracy relies on representing all voices, regardless of size. While major parties have their roles to play, neglecting smaller parties turns this opportunity into a missed chance for a fuller understanding of the diverse needs and opinions within the French population. Inviting representatives from all parliamentary groups, including those in regional and European Parliament positions, would have broken from the usual path and truly promoted political renewal (recall the promise of the 'new world'). It would also have facilitated transcending cross-party divides and negotiated compromises, in line with the President's call for European engagement.

The second disappointment is the timing of the meeting, which cannot be overlooked. With European elections on the horizon, it's puzzling that the French political return doesn't emphasize European politics more. The themes for Wednesday's meeting were set by Emmanuel Macron in the letter he sent to party leaders on Friday. The themes include 'the international situation,' 'efficiency for our public action,' 'simplifying procedures,' 'decentralization,' and 'ensuring national cohesion.'

However, France is not alone in facing geopolitical, economic, environmental, and social challenges. War in Ukraine, climate change, heatwaves, fires, health, an aging population, immigration, inflation, inequalities, urban violence, etc. - all of Europe is experiencing upheaval that demands decisive action and thoughtful cooperation among member states.

Disregarding this imperative perpetuates the notion that national concerns overshadow a collective European vision. Worse, it suggests that addressing current challenges through solely national-level political action can be transformative, when in reality, only collective action on a European scale can be transformative.

President Macron's initiative holds much promise; yet, the meeting's agenda doesn't reflect the urgency and complexity of the issues at hand. Including lesser-known parties not only enriches the diversity of ideas and proposals but also renews democratic practices. Given the magnitude of challenges to overcome, it's imperative to engage in discussions about the direction of the European project, especially as European elections approach. Ignoring this crucial aspect diminishes France's opportunity to set an example and rally its European counterparts toward significant change.

In conclusion, we now hope that the majority of political parties invited to this I.P.A will take a stand in favor of strong European commitment to better reflect the urgency and depth of the challenges we face.

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.

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Valérie Chartrain - Responsable Relations Médias et Presse, Volt France

Mail : / 0049 176 99361238

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Updated on August 30th, 2023, Photo by Hansjörg Keller, Unsplash