European Citizens’ Initiative: first step towards Europe 2.0

Whether we like it or not, Europe is becoming increasingly important. For that very reason, new tools are needed to increase the quality of european democracy. The European Citizens’ Initiative is a first step.. Matt Poelmans. Member of the Board, Petities.nl Foundation Democratic deficit If anything, the euro crisis has made it clear that we can not escape european cooperation. The alternative, the disintegration of the European Union (EU), has more disadvantages or brings even greater consequences and costs. In his recent book “The Hound of Ti┼íma, What if Europe collapsed?” the Dutch historian Geert Mak notes that postponing decisions tends to makethe final solution even more difficult. Whether the euro will be a failure or a success, does not depend so much on what happened in the past, but rather what is awaiting us. Both supporters and opponents are right. The single currency in recent years has obscured the need for adjustments. But the euro now forces action that otherwise would also have been necessary because of diverging economic developments. The 20th century has shown how drastic and uncontrolled this can work out. The 21st century should reveal whether the awareness will rise that a better outcome can be reached through consultation. Greece is the test case. Anyway, when Europe gets more to say, the democratic deficit is increasingly a barrier. The EU political system is democratic in intent, but in practice people do not experience this. Hence the Euro scepticism is understandable. But instead of waiting until this changes for the better, we might as well seize the opportunity to create the requirements for further integration. European...