The first pan-EU po­li­ti­cal par­ty?

Zoom sur le jeune mou­ve­ment po­li­tique pa­neu­ro­péen Volt.

Vocable (Anglais) - - Édito Sommaire -

Volt has some things going for it: young, cle­ver lea­ders who look good on te­le­vi­sion.

À quelques mois des pro­chaines élec­tions eu­ro­péennes, Volt, un tout jeune mou­ve­ment po­li­tique, af­fine sa stra­té­gie. Lan­cé l’an­née der­nière par de jeunes Eu­ro­péens dé­çus par le Brexit, le mou­ve­ment s’est très ra­pi­de­ment étof­fé et compte au­jourd’hui des membres dans plus de trente pays. L’ob­jec­tif de Volt ? De­ve­nir le pre­mier groupe po­li­tique pa­neu­ro­péen du Par­le­ment. Qui sont les jeunes en­thou­siastes qui com­posent ce mou­ve­ment ?

Eve­ryone agrees that the Eu­ro­pean Union is not de­mo­cra­tic en­ough, but they di­sa­gree on what to do about it. In 2016, sho­cked by the Brexit re­fe­ren­dum, a group of young Eu­ro­peans who had stu­died in Bri­tain de­ci­ded that one so­lu­tion might be a pan-Eu­ro­pean po­li­ti­cal par­ty. Their brain­child, Volt, now has thou­sands of mem­bers across 30 coun­tries (the EU28 plus Al­ba­nia and Swit­zer­land), and will run in the Eu­ro­pean Par­lia­ment elec­tions next year. In Oc­to­ber about 450 de­le­gates met in Am­ster­dam to ap­prove the par­ty’s pro­gramme, in a sea of you­th­ful op­ti­mism and mul­ti­lin­gual po­li­cy won­ke­ry.

2. The pro­blem with Eu­ro­pean par­ties is that there aren’t any, ex­plains Volt’s po­li­cy chief, Co­lombe Ca­hen-Sal­va­dor, a 24-year-old French hu­man-rights lawyer. Eve­ry coun­try has its own par­ties. In Eu­ro­pean Par­lia­ment elec­tions, vo­ters back va­rious na­tio­nal par­ties, which form groups at the Eu­ro­pean le­vel. Ci­ti­zens can­not be sure what they are get­ting. DIEM25, a new lef­tist mo­ve­ment, tries to fix this by get­ting par­ties in dif­ferent coun­tries to adopt one plat­form.

“THE SAME BRAND ACROSS EU­ROPE”

3. In contrast, Volt has “the same brand and the same po­li­cies all across Eu­rope”, says An­drea Ven­zon, a 26-year-old Ita­lian ex-McKin­sey consul­tant who foun­ded the par­ty with Ms Ca­hen-Sal­va­dor and a Ger­man friend, Da­mian Boe­se­la­ger. Volt’s mem­bers have spent 18 months de­ba­ting po­li­cies in in­ter­net groups and live meet-ups. Dif­ferent coun­try chap­ters di­sa­greed over how em­pha­ti­cal­ly to sup­port gay mar­riage and the fight against cli­mate change, but ba­cked both, along with an EU-wide re­fu­gee sys­tem and gen­der quo­tas on cor­po­rate boards. 4. Volt will face tre­men­dous hurdles. It is re­gis­te­red in on­ly ten coun­tries and may suc­ceed in fiel­ding can­di­dates in even fe­wer. It will struggle to take votes from es­ta­bli­shed pro-EU out­fits, such as green and li­be­ral par­ties. It al­so has some things going for it: young, cle­ver lea­ders who look good on te­le­vi­sion and a bot­tom-up or­ga­ni­sa­tion sui­ted to an age of di­rect de­mo­cra­cy. Be­sides, the line bet­ween the prag­ma­tic and the idea­lis­tic is not al­ways so clear. For example, Volt wants to slash the par­lia­ment’s en­or­mous in­ter­nal trans­la­tion costs by re­qui­ring MEPs to be mi­ni­mal­ly fluent in En­glish. Talk about Uto­pia­nism.

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