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Luister naar dit hoofdstuk ingesproken door kandidaat Bart Mijland

BIJ1 stands for a fair, equal and mutually supportive Europe. That is why we advocate radical democratisation of the European Union (EU). The participation of European citizens must be made easier and more accessible, and the influence of devastating multinationals must be kept to a minimum. We want to see a Union where human rights and climate change treaties are deployed and strengthened in order to achieve greater sustainability, fairer distribution of wealth and the fight against injustice. The EU must not serve as a racist institution serving the interests of big business.

NON-TRANSPARENT AND ANTI-DEMOCRATIC

A problem with the EU in its current form is that its governance, especially when it comes to the role of national governments represented in the Council of Ministers, is not transparent. The EU is still in many ways a ‘club of states’, not the ‘Union of peoples and citizens’ it should be. Also, other institutions within the EU are very much influenced by multinationals rather than European citizens. These multinationals are only accountable to their shareholders and therefore have free rein in politics where they should not. After all, they are not a political party. These multinationals often contribute to pollution, human rights violations and discrimination. In this way, the EU does not serve the interests of its inhabitants. The EU must become more transparent and democratic.

WASTE AND STINGINESS

Another problem is the enormous waste of money on the one hand and the contradictory miserliness on the other. On the one hand, the European Parliament moves from Brussels to Strasbourg every month unnecessarily, and vice versa. This costs 200 million Euros a year. On the other hand, the EU is stingy when it comes to emergency funds for southern European countries. These are the very countries that are hardest hit by, for example, the Corona crisis, but also the financial crisis in 2008, or the humanitarian migration crisis. In this way, it looks like stinginess and self-preservation are leading factors. That should not be the case. We want expenditure policy to be based on humanity, dignity and solidarity.

RULE OF LAW AND HUMAN RIGHTS ARE UNDER PRESSURE

At the same time, human rights, self-determination and freedom of expression are under increasing pressure within Europe. In all EU countries, the rule of law must be protected, and countries must call each other to account for violations of human rights, self-determination and freedom of expression. Existing human rights instruments must be improved and actively used to raise abuses within the EU and to draw consequences from them.

In short, there is currently a blockade at European level when it comes to democracy, the environment and human rights. In order to lift this blockade, we propose the following measures.

MORE DEMOCRACY AND BETTER PROTECTION OF HUMAN RIGHTS

  1. We are striving for radical democratisation of the EU. The transparency of the Council of Ministers and interinstitutional negotiations must be greatly improved. Existing forms of European citizens’ participation – such as the right of petition and the European citizens’ initiative – must also be strengthened.
  2. Citizens must be actively involved and co-determined in an overall review of the European Union’s priorities, plans and organisation, starting with the Conference on the Future of Europe already announced and ending with a fundamental reform of the European treaties.
  3. More resources must be devoted to the introduction and maintenance of human rights, instruments such as the European Charter, the Race Directive and compliance with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
  4. We aim to adopt and implement the equal treatment directive throughout Europe.
  5. More resources and capacity will be deployed to protect the rights of migrants, asylum seekers, stateless people and Roma and Sinti.
  6. We are committed to working within European cooperation to support resistance to imperialist exploitation and oppression.

MORE MONEY FOR PEOPLE AND CLIMATE

  1. More resources will be used to support and strengthen civil society (interest groups, human rights defenders, dissidents, free press). The agenda of interest groups is leading in this respect. Financial instruments such as grants are made more accessible and manageable so that small organisations and social movements can also make use of them.
  2. We are drawing up a comprehensive and legally binding climate treaty at European level, including far-reaching targets and sanctions.

COMBATING UNDESIRABLE ACTIVITIES OF MULTINATIONALS AND UNWANTED TRADE

  1. There will be new legislation, including a mandatory lobby register, to make lobbying more transparent and ethical. We are also looking for effective ways to reduce lobbying by multinationals and large private companies.
  2. We are seeking to raise taxes at European level for multinationals and wealthy people, and we’ll make a broader effort to detect capital flight and tax fraud and evasion.
  3. There will be a ban on all exports of European goods that violate human rights in other countries, such as arms and components or technology for arms and surveillance.

COUNTERING MILITARISATION AND ELIMINATING UNNECESSARY EXPENDITURE

  1. We will put an end to the militarisation of Europe’s borders.
  2. We will prevent the creation of a European Army.
  3. There will be an end to absurd cost items such as the monthly move to Strasbourg.
  4. We prevent European cooperation from being used to exploit or oppress people and/or countries internationally. European companies and projects that invest in foreign projects or companies must be able to demonstrate that this is not to the detriment of the local population and the local climate.

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