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Institutional reform

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Institutional reform


Institutional reform is at the core of a relaunched, democratic Europe. This includes electoral reform and a revision of representative democracy as one of the three pillars of Europe's democracy, along with direct and particiaptory democracy. 

Parliamentary right of initiative

The European Parliament, as the only directly elected body of the EU, should have the right to propose legislation. This would further strengthen the Parliament's legitimacy and would strengthen the link between citizens and the EU. 

Transnational lists

Europeans should have the right to vote on EU-wide as well as national programmes, as opposed to the current European election system of holding 27 seperate national elections in the member states. This will expand the possiblity to vote for candiates focusing on pan-European topics.

A democratic European federation

After over 70 years, real European integration is still unfinished and still lacking competences in key areas, which holds the EU back from its full potential to serve citizens. This could look like a European Parliament (with right of initaitive) sharing its powers with a European Senate, which would replace today's Council. Laws are to be adopted by simple majority in both institutions. Today's European Commission would be the executive branch, appointed by the Chamber of the Parliament and Senate. 

Lower the Voting Age

The future of Europe is its youth, who have proven themselves to be informed, active, and engaged Europeans. The voting age for European elections, and therefore the minimum age to sign a Euroepan Citizens' Initiative, should be lowered to 16 years of age.

Accountable Spitzenkandidat Process

The current nomination process of the European Commission President lacks transparency and is often dominated by the interests of individual EU governments over the candidate's democratic legitimacy. To improve the system, the Spitzenkandidat (lead candidate) should be revised to be a binding process in order to allow for more transparency, accountabilty, and visibilty when choosing the European Commission President. 

Accessible Voting

Every person, especially people with disabilities, should be ensured adequate facilities, opportunity, and information to vote.

Lobby Transparency

With no mandatory lobby register in the EU, financial and corporate lobbyists have unregulated access to influence EU decision-makers. Registration in the EU Transparency Register, currently non-binding, should be mandatory in order to meet with any member of an EU institution so that there is no question about whose interests represesentatives truly represent. More information here


A poster of the European Parliament's election campaign in 2014. Image by Eurpean Parliament
Fair, democratic and truly European elections are a core element of Democracy International's mission. Political parties perform an essential role in...
Meeting of EU Presidents. Source: European Union 2015, EU Parliament
Over 30,000 lobbyists are said to roam Brussels, meeting unchecked with Members of European Parliament (MEPs) behind closed doors. With no mandatory...
The European Parliament represents the European people as a whole. Fair, democratic and common European voting is a core theme of Democracy...

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