A Democratic Constitution
Citizen assemblies in every country to develop a Democratic Constitution for Europe
We call to bring the people of Europe together to develop a new Democratic Constitution for Europe. The EU is currently governed by a set of treaties drafted by unelected diplomats and government ministers. European Spring will launch a series of citizen assemblies, traveling country to country to ask people what they want from a new European constitution. This process will culminate in a referendum requesting a Constitutional Assembly, composed of democratically elected representatives from across Europe, who will draft the new democratic constitution.
Empowering European Parliament
We propose to strengthen the European Parliament in fundamental ways
European Parliament must have the power to represent the interests of its democratic constituencies — and to check the power of the EU’s unelected bodies. We propose to strengthen the European Parliament in several ways. Parliament should have the competence to determine how its members are elected. Parliament should have the right to initiate legislation. And Parliament should be able to elect the President of the Commission freely and democratically — and to dismiss the Commission and its President through a constructive vote of no confidence.
Mandatory Lobby Register
All EU officials should report when, where, and why they meet with corporate lobbyists
We propose a public “Mandatory Lobby Register” that requires all lobbyists to register with the EU and requires all EU officials to report when, where, and why they meet with lobbyists, as well as any benefits they receive from them — directly or indirectly, before or after the lobbying campaign. The current lobby register is “voluntary.” We believe that all lobby groups should be forced to disclose how much they spend on their campaigns, and which officials they target. Minutes of all such meetings must be prepared and submitted to an independent oversight body.
Granting EU citizenships should be independent of an applicant’s assets
The granting of EU citizenship should be independent of an applicant’s assets. However, governments across the EU currently sell European citizenship to the highest bidder. Malta, for example, offers citizenship to anyone who agrees to spend one million Euros on development and real estate. These cash-for-citizenship schemes violate the fundamental right to equality, and render Europe into a playground for the super-rich. European Spring will strive to introduce legislation that will end cash-for-citizenship schemes.
Beneficial Ownership Registry
A Beneficial Ownership Registry that declares the identities of all asset owners in Europe
There are thousands of shell companies and “special purposes entities” that do not declare their true owners. European Spring will introduce a Beneficial Ownership Registry that will require all companies, corporations, and economic entities to declare the identities of their owners and the details of their assets. We demand transparency.
Closing the Revolving Door
We will block the ‘revolving door’ that moves EU officials to lucrative lobbying positions
European Spring will block the ‘revolving door’ that moves EU officials from public office to lucrative lobbying positions in the private sector and then back again. There is almost no regulation of the revolving door in the EU today: officials have a two-year period during which they must apply for permission to take lobbying positions, and it is almost always granted. We need a 10-year ban on lobbying after holding EU office, and conflicts of interest regarding current office holders must be investigated.
We will investigate the abuse of public money across the EU
The European Union is rife with corruption. Member-state governments funnel EU money into the pockets of their friends, family, and political supporters. Companies engage in tax fraud. And European banks launder money for criminals. European Spring will fight to increase the resources of the European Anti-Fraud Office to investigate the use of public money across the EU, strengthen the sanctions against EU officials and member-state governments that are found guilty, and close the VAT loopholes that currently enable billions of tax fraud each year.
European Autonomous Data Network
A decentralised, anonymous, and encrypted network that protects our data
The current structure of the Internet is far too centralized. Much of the “cloud” that stores and manages our data is privately owned and perfectly structured for government surveillance. We propose a new European Autonomous Data Network (EADN): a decentralised, anonymous, and encrypted network of devices that protects our data and prevents surveillance. All public services should be based on the EADN, and all citizens should be granted a Citizen Digital Identity that allows them to access government websites and participate in public forums — verified but anonymous.
Building the Digital Commons
A raft of reforms to rebalance the rights of users, creators, and innovators
Corporate control of patents and copyrights limits innovation and prevents free expression. We will build the digital commons by restricting the power of copyright. We propose to require that all code developed with public money remains in the public domain, expand the “Fair Use” clause in all Copyright law, reverse the burden of proof in copyright so that, unless something it shown to be protected by copyright, it remains in the digital commons, and review the EU Copyright Directive to rebalance the rights of users, creators, and innovators.
Open Platform Standards
Give decision-making power back to platform users
We will work toward mandatory open standards for online platforms. These standards will allow all users to interact with social media platforms without giving away their data, and they will allow users to switch platforms without losing all the data that they have stored. By allowing users to migrate off of these platforms, we will reduce the monopoly control of large tech platforms and encourage new digital ventures, both public and private.
Free & Open-Source Governance
Technology can and should be a vehicle for transparency
Public authorities must retire pre-digital practices that prevented the public from overseeing their work. We are calling for the introduction of free and open-source software at all levels of public administration and publicly funded institutions. And we are calling for all records that are available to the public to be digitized and published in an open online database. Technology can and should be a vehicle for transparency.
Right to Information
We will radically expand transparency in EU institutions
Transparency is the oxygen of democracy. To hold leaders accountable, citizens must be able to see how decisions are made. We will strengthen the “Right to Information” in the European Union. We will make the minutes from all meetings in EU bodies available to the public. We will challenge the use of “LIMITE” designations that prevent the public from seeing important EU documents. We will require MEPs to fully disclose their use of public funds, and we will call for MEPs to disclose their large financial assets to watchdog authorities. Finally, we will propose that all trade and treaty negotiations — often designated as classified — become part of the public record.
Transforming the Single Market
We will replace the principle of free competition in the EU Single Market with the principle of solidarity
We believe that no government should be prevented from providing public goods because of private interests. We will replace the principle of free competition in the EU Single Market with the principle of solidarity. We will introduce fundamental changes to the EU’s state aid regulation in order to allow governments to provide better public services. We will widen the ‘De Minimis Regulation’ in order to allow public authorities to invest in critical services, and we will guarantee their right to remunicipalize them, as needed. In addition, we will reform public procurement regulation, broadening the definition of procurement for “social value” in order to facilitate cooperative ownership and allow for public provision of services like healthcare.