Transnational political parties: An urgent revision of the legal status is required! This is possible up to 13 November
On 13 September the European Commission initiated a consultation process on the revision of the status of European political parties, the link to this document is here:
This revision does not foresee any opening of the European elections to truly trans-European lists, as it relies still on the notion of an alliance of parties that emerge from purely national, regional or local groups.
Indeed, to be able to qualify as a European party, only political alliances of parties already represented in parliament, or whose party members participated in the last European elections in 2014 can be considered. All other options, including notably the constitution of a Trans-European list that does not have national level, or is not represented in parliaments locally, is excluded.
Here are the proposed modifications to be made to the regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1141/2014 of the EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE CONSIL OF MINISTERS of 22 October 2014 relative to the status and financing of European political parties and European political foundations as described in the amendments proposed:
Proposal for a REGULATION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL amending Regulation (EU, Euratom) No. 1141/2014 of the European Parliament and the Council of 22 October 2014 on the statute and funding of European political parties and European political foundations
Article 1 – Regulation (EU, Euratom) No. 1141/2014 of the European Parliament and the Council of 22 October 2014 on the statute and funding of European political parties and European political foundations is amended as follows:
(1) In Article 3(1)b, the first subparagraph is replaced by the following:
“its member parties must be represented by, in at least one quarter of the Member States, members of the European Parliament, of national Parliaments, of regional parliaments or of regional assemblies, or”
REGULATION (EU, EURATOM) No 1141/2014 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 22 October 2014 on the statute and funding of European political parties and European political foundations – CHAPTER II – STATUTE FOR EUROPEAN POLITICAL PARTIES AND EUROPEAN POLITICAL FOUNDATIONS
Article 3 – Conditions for registration
1. A political alliance shall be entitled to apply to register as a European political party subject to the following conditions:
(a) it must have its seat in a Member State as indicated in its statutes;
it or its members must be, or be represented by, in at least one quarter of the Member States, members of the European Parliament, of national parliaments, of regional parliaments or of regional assemblies, its member parties must be represented by, in at least one quarter of the Member States, members of the European Parliament, of national Parliaments, of regional parliaments or of regional assemblies, or
it or its member parties must have received, in at least one quarter of the Member States, at least three per cent of the votes cast in each of those Member States at the most recent elections to the European Parliament;
Contrarily to what we could hope to see, the status as proposed in this consultation actually reinforces the role of national party alliances, and is actually discriminatory against political parties that are trying to be trans-national in their structure.
But it is precisely such trans-national structures that would be the most legitimate to present trans-national lists that we both wish to see, and which could actually address the problems Europe face at the right level.
We have the chance to give our views and to equip Europeans with the tools needed to establish truly European elections and a real democratisation of Europe!
We must take advantage of this historic chance to show that European politics is a matter for all citizens.
We all have to respond to this consultation, open to all, until 13 November 2017!
We notably propose you follow the proposals submitted by Laurent Zibell on behalf of the Cosmpolitical Party in the European Union … the only one who has responded to the consultation to date:
The current Regulation No 1141/2014 of 22 October 2014 on the statute and funding of European political parties and European political foundations, and the proposed evolution 2017/0219 (COD), unduly favour incumbent political alliances, and discriminate against trans-national political parties, where citizens would directly be members of one single organisation, operating at the scale of the whole European Union, with no legal entity at national, regional or local scale.
Such trans-national political parties, with direct membership by citizens, are however fully in line with:
* the wording in Article 10(4) of the TEU of “political parties at European level”
* the recital 4 of Regulation No 1141/2014, mentioning “Truly transnational European political parties”
* the positive views of President Juncker expressed in his “State of the European Union” speech of 13 September 2017 to “trans-national lists” in the elections to the European Parliament. Indeed, the best organisational setting to define trans-national lists for elections is that of trans-national political parties.
I would therefore strongly advocate to take the opportunity of the revision engaged since 13 September 2017, to introduce the following changes in the proposed revised Regulation. Additions are indicated IN BOLD, deletions (between brackets).
* Art. 2(3): ‘European political party’ means a political alliance OR A TRANS-NATIONAL POLITICAL PARTY WITH DIRECT MEMBERSHIP OF CITIZENS AT THE SCALE OF THE EUROPEAN UNION.
* Art. 3(1)b, first sub-paragraph: IN THE CASE OF A POLITICAL ALLIANCE, its member parties must be represented by, in at least one quarter of the Member States, members of the European Parliament, of national Parliaments, of regional parliaments or of regional assemblies, IN THE CASE OF A TRANS-NATIONAL POLITICAL PARTY WITH DIRECT MEMBERSHIP OF CITIZENS AT THE SCALE OF THE EUROPEAN UNION, THE NUMBER OF ITS MEMBERS MUST BE SUPERIOR OR EQUAL TO 50,000, THE NATIONALITY OF ITS MEMBERS SHOULD COMPLY WITH THE PROVISIONS REGULATING THE SIGNATORIES OF A EUROPEAN CITIZENS’ INITIATIVE, AS STATED IN ART. 7(1) OF REGULATION No 211/2011 [Art. 3(1)a of the revised Regulation, proposed under number 2017/0220(COD)], AND THEIR NUMBER SHOULD BE SUPERIOR OR EQUAL TO 1/10 OF THE REQUIRED NUMBERS OF SIGNATORIES SPECIFIED IN ART. 7(2) OF THE SAME REGULATION [Art. 3(1)b of the revised Regulation, proposed under number 2017/0220(COD)] or
* Deletion of the last two sentences of Recital 18 (Such legal capacity and recognition do not entitle them to nominate candidates in national elections or elections to the European Parliament or to participate in referendum campaigns. Any such or similar entitlement remains under the competence of Member States.)
* Art. 13: Legal recognition and capacity European political parties and European political foundations shall enjoy legal recognition and capacity in all Member States. THIS LEGAL CAPACITY AND RECOGNITION ENTITLES THEM TO NOMINATE CANDIDATES IN NATIONAL ELECTIONS, TO ELECTIONS TO THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND TO REFERENDUM CAMPAIGNS.
- Everyone should respond to the consultation using his own arguments. Identical responses will be interpreted as a single collective response. We do not need to be identical – on the contrary: the more we show diversity, the more the Commission will realize that each response is independent of each other:
- Concerning the mention of 50,000 members: Laurent says there is no particular justification for this number, except that it seems to him a reasonable order of magnitude: one member per 10 000 EU citizens, about 1/20 of the threshold for a European Citizens’ Initiative, (which gives value to the status of European political party) but not impossible, even when starting small.
- The response text must not exceed 4000 characters, and no text style elements (bold, underline, bulleted …) will be accepted by the interface (This is why the proposal by Laurent includes so much text in CAPITAL LETTERS).
- Rules for feedback and suggestions of the EC website
Let’s work on#CitizensRoute!