Democratizing Europe: Varoufakis launches new movement to save EU from ‘disintegration’

Democracy or disintegration are the EU’s only options, Greece’s ex-finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, said before the official launch of a pan-European political movement he hopes will help tackle the nationalization of policies in the 28-member union.

The “spectacular failure of the EU” to implement sound economic and refugee policies has tilted its members towards nationalism, the bike-riding former PM of Greece said on Tuesday, speaking to reporters at the Volksbühne Theater in Berlin.

The remarks came ahead of the official Tuesday night launch of DiEM25 – the Democracy in Europe Movement 2025.

The European Union is disintegrating, and it is doing so quite fast,” he said. “The process of depoliticizing decision making at the heart of Europe, at our core European institutions” has been ongoing for decades, he said, adding that the EU’s “bureaucratic, technocratic decision-making process” has amounted to “authoritarianism.”

The vast majority of Europeans feel “there is lack of legitimacy,” the ex-leader of Greece’s left-wing government, who led Athens in negotiating with Greece’s troika creditors, said, urging the EU to put “the Deimos back into Democracy.”

Describing the EU’s current state as “a post-modern version of the 1930s,” Varoufakis warned against a return to individual nation states and “building walls again.

He also warned against turning Greece and Italy into “concentration camps” for refugees. In answering a question on the refugee crisis posed by RT’s Peter Oliver, Varoufakis asserted that the EU needed to look “[Turkish President Recep] Erdogan in the eyes as Europeans with a coherent policy” from a position of “solidarity within Europe.”

In November, Erdogan reportedly threatened to “put refugees on buses” and flood Europe with migrants if EU leaders did not offer him enough cash to help curb the influx of asylum seekers. The information was revealed in a leaked report published by Greek financial news website euro2day.gr on Tuesday.

Diem25 will serve as a platform for mediating negotiations, according to Varoufakis.

He stated that the “old fashioned system of creating a political party in the context of a nation state” has failed to work in the context of the EU.

The only alternative is “a political movement that starts everywhere in Europe at once: cross border, independent, prior to political party affiliations,” he said. The movement will have “one single objective – to get Europeans around a metaphorical (digital) table …to discuss as Europeans their common problems and solutions.”

The movement’s manifesto says that its goal is to democratize Europe by 2025 before it goes “past the point of no return” and to establish “full transparency in decision-making.” In the roadmap outlined by the movement, the manifesto’s authors propose setting up a Constitutional Assembly of representatives elected on trans-national tickets within two years.