Challenge +1 - EU Reform

A. General principles

First and foremost in the establishment of good governance and a good government are guiding principles, which all institutions and organisational decisions must aim to entrench. In its policy proposals, Volt follows six guiding principles.

  • Democracy. Volt supports institutions that give more decision-making power to the European people. This implies both ensuring that citizens’ representatives hold the bulk of the power and that these representatives have incentives to represent the general interests of their constituency.
  • Subsidiarity. Volt supports increased competencies at the European level only if that is the level at which they are best handled. All matters should be handled by the most appropriate level of government.
  • Efficiency. Volt supports the establishment of institutions that can act, in particular those that are not gridlocked by the need for consensus.
  • Transparency. Volt supports popular involvement in political decision-making and believes that the people need to have access to what their representatives discuss and decide.
  • Clarity. Unlike the current institutional set-up, Volt supports institutions and procedures that citizens can understand and make their own.
  • Ease of citizen involvement.[^1] Volt supports a system that, from elections to popular contributions, is designed to simplify and encourage citizens’ involvement. Our policy proposals below rest upon these principles.
  • Future Fit (Ready): Volt reflects their decision-making with regards to the needs of present and future generations.

I. Vision for Europe

The European Union is our common project. Following centuries of conflict, we have managed to come together and build a Union that has ensured peace and prosperity for over sixty years. We are proud of this achievement. Yet, the Europe we live in has its shortcomings. While others have enjoyed a quicker recovery from the economic crisis, EU countries have remained stuck in their austerity plans and structural deficiencies. Adding to inefficient and opaque public administrations, this has led to high unemployment rates, impeding investment and the growth of small businesses. Larger companies have benefited from easier access to a wider market and enjoyed cheaper labour, but workers have not received harmonised social protections. Wealthy individuals and companies also continue exploiting legal differences between countries to avoid paying their fair share, making everyone else foot the bill. And overall, people do not feel represented in the Union and see decisions as imposed upon them from above. Volt was born out of a crisis of European integration in a time of mistrust for common endeavours. We came together to affirm the strength of the European project, our commitment to joint efforts, and our belief in our shared future. Ours is a message of hope, of audacity, and of solidarity.