|Formation||9 February 2016|
The Democracy in Europe Movement 2025, or DiEM25, is a pan-European political movement launched in 2015 by former Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis and Croatian philosopher Sre?ko Horvat. The movement was officially presented at a ceremonial event held on 9 February 2016 in the Volksbühne theatre in Berlin and on 23 March in Rome.
Its tendencies are alter-globalisation,social ecology,ecofeminism,post-growth and post-capitalism. Implementation of a universal basic income is widely defended among its members.
DiEM25 argues that the opportunity to create political organisations at a pan-European level needs to be seized. Its participants consider that the model of national parties forming fragile alliances in the European Parliament is obsolete and that a pan-European movement is necessary to confront the great economic, political and social crisis that Europe is going through. In its analysis, the movement considers that this crisis threatens to disintegrate Europe and has characteristics that are similar to the Great Depression experienced in the 1930s.
The movement aims to reform the European Union's existing institutions to create a "full-fledged democracy with a sovereign Parliament respecting national self-determination and sharing power with national Parliaments, regional assemblies and municipal councils" in order to replace the "Brussel's bureaucracy". Among others, the movement is supported by prominent American linguist and political activist Noam Chomsky, Italian philosopher Antonio Negri, American anthropologist Charles Nuckolls, American economist James K. Galbraith, former Labour MP Stuart Holland. Diverse figures that among others include Julian Assange, Ken Loach, Caroline Lucas, British Labour politician John McDonnell, Dutch sociologist Saskia Sassen, Franco Berardi and Slovenian philosopher Slavoj ?i?ek are on its Advisory Panel.
The acronym DiEM alludes to the Latin phrase carpe diem. To highlight the urgency of democratising Europe before reaching a point of no return, the movement sets the horizon for the year 2025 to draft a democratic constitution that will replace all the European treaties that are in force today. One year after its foundation, DiEM25 declared that it had over 60,000 members from across the European Union.
DiEM25 seeks to create a more democratic Europe. They see the European Union becoming a technocratic superstate ruled by edict. DiEM25 aim instead to make Europe a union of people governed by democratic consent through a policy of decentralisation. DiEM25 cites eight distinct elements of European governance by compulsion, the first of which is "hit-squad inspectorates and the Troika they formed together with unelected 'technocrats' from other international and European institutions". Adding that the establishment is "contemptuous of democracy" and "all political authority [must come] from Europe's sovereign peoples".
DiEM25 would like to act as an umbrella organization, gathering left-wing parties, grassroots protest movements and "rebel regions" to develop a common response to the five crises Europe faces today, namely debt, banking, poverty, low investment and migration. Further, DiEM25 wishes to reform EU institutions, originally designed to serve industry, so that they become fully transparent and responsive to European citizens. Ultimately, DiEM25 envisions European citizens writing a democratic constitution for the European Union.
DiEM25 seeks to avert European fracture. They cite emerging extremist nationalism and so-called Brexit and Grexit as splintering Europe. In the lead up to the Brexit referendum, DiEM25 co-founder Yanis Varoufakis worked with British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn to support Britain's stay in the European Union. Varoufakis cited the special concessions granted by the European Union to the United Kingdom in February 2016 as evidence of European disintegration.
DiEM25 seeks to form the first transnational political party, and in May 2017 began discussing running such a party in the 2019 European Parliament election. Varoufakis stated that in some countries it would cooperate with national parties that agree with the DiEM25 agenda such as Razem in Poland or The Alternative in Denmark while in others it might decide to run separately from any existing parties. By 2019, this transnational party was working under the moniker European Spring.
DiEM25 supports the petition "Transparency in Europe now!", requesting the live broadcasting of the meetings of major European institutions, a comprehensive list of all Brussels lobbyists and the electronic publication of all TTIP negotiating documents.
DiEM25 has four constituent parts, namely a Coordinating Collective (CC), a Validation Council (VC), DiEM25 Spontaneous Collectives (DSCs) and an Advisory Board. To raise money, DiEM25 uses crowdfunding.
The Coordinating Collective has twelve members who meet weekly to lead DiEM25's actions. DiEM25 schedules an electronic vote every six months to permit all DiEM25 members to renew half of the CC's seats. Coordinating Collective members cannot simultaneously belong to another political party, or be ministers or parliamentarians still in office.
The Validation Council has 100 participants who monitor DiEM25 members' good conduct, make decisions when urgency and time do not permit a membership digital referendum and validate the Coordinating Collective's proposals. Any DiEM25 member can apply to join the VC; DiEM25 selects Validation Council seats by drawing lots. Like the Coordinating Collective vote, DiEM25 schedules a selection for half of the VC's seats every six months.
DiEM25 Spontaneous Collectives self-organize to forward DiEM's goals. DSCs form based on affinity and municipal, regional or national location, meeting face-to-face or online.
The Advisory Board advises DiEM25. The Coordinating Collective and the Validation Council jointly elect advisors based on their recognized achievements and expertise in their fields (artistic, political and academic, among others).
The launch of the initiative was widely covered by the international press. The leading European media reflected in their reports the following days both the potential of the movement and the major contradictions it faces. Varoufakis was asked by the press about the relationship between his initiative and the proposals that exist on the part of other leaders of the European left to confront and to handle the so-called "crisis of neoliberalism", namely the position of Oskar Lafontaine in Germany and Jean-Luc Mélenchon in France, for a recovery of sovereignty and a return to national currencies, abandoning the euro. On this point which is arguably the most contentious due to the confrontation of opposing positions within the European left, Varoufakis unequivocally rejected a return of sovereignty to nation-states. On the contrary, the emphasis of its movement would be on the repoliticisation of Europe as a unit and on the democratisation of its institutions as a way of dealing with tendencies of separation, fragmentation, competition and isolation.
In an article entitled "Varoufakis' kleine Internationale gegen Kapitalismus" ("Varoufakis' little International against capitalism"), the conservative German newspaper Die Welt suggested that Varoufakis' proposals "would shatter Europe apart rather than cure it". In its note on the launching of DiEM25, the paper suggests that this initiative was a product of Varoufakis being "embittered" by the rejection of his ideas. According to the article, Varoufakis could not have been able to accept that his colleagues had not wanted to follow him and would have concluded that he needed international alliances since he had not been able to impose himself at the national level. While in Hungary or Poland the conservative sectors are betting on emancipation, Varoufakis would be trying to form an alliance all across Europe to defend left-wing politics.
From its foundation, DiEM25 gathered affiliations from national political parties that agree with the DiEM25 agenda. From this alliance, DiEM25 established during 2018 an electoral list for the 2019 European Parliament elections named European Spring which by 2019 was styling itself a transnational European political party. On 25 November 2018, Varoufakis was chosen as a Spitzenkandidat for DiEM25 in the 2019 European Parliament elections. He has decided to be on the candidates list of Democracy in Europe in Germany later and was elected with a great majority. Affiliated parties include the following:
|Party[a]||Nation||Seats in upper chamber||Seats in lower chamber||Seats in the 2019-2024 European Parliament||Last national election result||Last European election result||Seats won||Ref|
|Der Wandel||Austria||Did not stand||Not competing|||
|Génération.s||France||Did not stand||3.3%|||
|Democracy in Europe - DiEM25||Germany||Did not stand||0.3%|||
|Democracy in Motion||0.1%||Standing as Democracy in Europe||N/A|||
|Mut||Did not stand||Not competing||N/A|||
|Razem||Poland||Stood as member of The Left||1.2%|||
|Izquierda en Positivo||0.1%[c]||0.1%|||
At the same time, we want to extend our engagement at the European level, and actively take part in the all-European debate so that we can find common solutions to our shared European problems. Therefore, we keep on strengthening our cooperation with other progressive forces and initiatives, such as the new progressive movement DiEM25.