In the recent years the problem of the democracy in the frame of the existing institutions of the European Union has emerged overbearingly. To cope with this unprecedented crisis, after 2008 several financial means and legislative measures have been set up by the national governments and the European Institutions, such as the European Stability Mechanism, the so called Fiscal Compact, as well as the action managed by the Troika and so on.
It is self-evident that the European Citizens have never had a say in all these cases, the decision making was always compliant to the
intergovernmental method of the European Council. This non-democratic method is feeding more and more euroscepticism and populism in Europe, as well as the demagogic attitude of many politicians who consider Europe responsible for the crisis, while it is clear that the crisis is due to a persistent lack of willingness on the part of the national governments in building a federal finance (a European Treasury) in the frame of a democratic European government.
The fact is that the European citizens have no voice in the EU decision making because democracy is still stuck at the national borders and the citizens undergo the contradiction between globalization and democracy, which still stops indeed at the national borders. There would be no conflict if sovereignty and democracy are brought at a supranational level, as shows the experience of the federal states where it is possible to transfer the state-sovereignty at the federal level, no giving up on democracy by the citizens.
Until now the reality is different and Europe faces a sort of political trilemma. We cannot have globalization, democracy, and national sovereignty simultaneously. We must choose two among the three.
Therefore, it is time to change, to overcome the old thinking of the last century according to which democracy can be achieved only at the national level. We have to build – starting from Europe - a supranational sovereignty, so that democracy and globalization can stand together at the same level.
What European democracy means? In my opinion, the concept itself of “European democracy” highlights four important messages.
First, it says that where there is democracy, there is always a government, responsible towards the people. Nowadays the European Union does not have an actual government, consequently a true democracy does not exist in the EU yet. Therefore Europe needs an actual government which can only be born with the simultaneous creation of the democracy at the European level.
Second, it says that democracy requires the participation of the people for addressing the main issues of the political community at the different levels. Consequently, a democratic Europe can emerge through the action and mobilization of the social movements at a European level. By this way these ones will have a role and a say in the European Project, by contributing to raise also the level of democracy in Europe.
Third, it says that European democracy is the answer and the alternative to the intergovernmental method which rules the EU, to overcome the absolute power of the European Council, by getting either a Parliament with a full-fledged legislative power and consequently a different Commission, in line with the results of European elections.
Fourth, it says that European democracy lives if the citizens will debate which political and economic programs, and which social
contents Europe has to pursue. In other words, European democracy means that it is up to the political parties, to the movements of civil society and to the intellectuals to promote a big debate and create a European public opinion around a “government program” for Europe.
By this perspective, the European Citizens’ Initiative for a European Special Plan for a Sustainable Development and Employment represents an extraordinary mean to allow the birth and the growth of European Democracy.