The Left: Legislative proposals should come from citizens

European Parliament Press Seminar – A new political agenda for Europe: The priorities of the European parliament group leaders
Philippe Buissin © European Union 2019 – Source : EP

On the occasion of Europe Day on May 9, the EU is kicking off the long-awaited and much-debated A year-long series of events and fora to discuss the future of the EU involving civil society, local, regional and national authorities, as well as policymakers. Concluded in May 2022. Conference on the Future of Europe. The events will give citizens a chance to become more involved in what is by many perceived as opaque and mysterious Brussels bubble politics. Current challenges and ideas for the future will be discussed in various formats, ranging from a multilingual dual platform through smaller decentralised events to large european citizens’ panels and conference plenaries. We are looking ahead at what the different party groups of the The EU’s directly elected legislative body comprised of 705 members. It is involved in policymaking but it does not have the power to propose new legislation. European Parliament (ultimately the EU’s most direct representation of its citizens) envision the EU’s future to look like. Every day this week, there will be a new article analysing another party group’s position and vision.

Part 7: the Left (Gue/NGL)

‘The Left in the The EU’s directly elected legislative body comprised of 705 members. It is involved in policymaking but it does not have the power to propose new legislation. European Parliament’ (or short GUE/NGL for ‘Gauche Unitaire Européenne/Nordic Green Left’), is the smallest group in the The EU’s directly elected legislative body comprised of 705 members. It is involved in policymaking but it does not have the power to propose new legislation. European Parliament with 39 A Member of the European Parliament (MEP) is a person who has been elected to serve as a representative in the European Parliament. MEPs from thirteen The 27 countries that are part of the EU. See the list of all members here. Member States. As their name already suggests, they see themselves as the political representation of workers, trade unions and social movements with their main goal being to create ‘a social EU’. In the run-up to the A year-long series of events and fora to discuss the future of the EU involving civil society, local, regional and national authorities, as well as policymakers. Concluded in May 2022. Conference on the Future of Europe, the group heavily criticised the flawed planning and the disputes surrounding organisational aspects. According to Co-President Manon Aubry, this only highlighted how badly profound change was needed for the EU.

The group’s main vision for the future is a more social EU. Besides a change in its policies – for instance regarding migration, trade, and economic policies – citizen involvement is key in the Left’s eyes. Citizens should be able to participate more in EU politics in various ways:

A STRENGTHENED The EU’s directly elected legislative body comprised of 705 members. It is involved in policymaking but it does not have the power to propose new legislation. EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT

The group wants to empower the The EU’s directly elected legislative body comprised of 705 members. It is involved in policymaking but it does not have the power to propose new legislation. European Parliament, as the EU’s only directly elected body, by giving it more competences vis-à-vis the Commission and national governments. In their view, this will also lead to more transparency and democratic accountability of all EU institutions.

CITIZENS SHOULD PROPOSE NEW LAWS

Currently, the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) allows EU citizens to request a legislative proposal from the Commission on issues that have attracted at least 1 million signatures. The Left wants to strengthen the role of the ECI by lowering the threshold. This will allow citizens to participate more easily in EU politics and shape its policies. Most striking, though, is that GUE/NGL also wants to make the ECI a necessary precondition for proposals. This would essentially take the right to initiate legislative proposals away from the Commission and give it directly to citizens.

A SOCIAL PROTOCOL

Lastly, GUE/NGL thinks that a social protocol should be added to the Treaties currently governing the EU. The protocol should protect citizens’ fundamental social rights and always prioritise social rights over economic freedoms and competition rules. The protocol should be legally binding and guide decisions over cases that land before the European Court of Justice, the highest court in the EU. 

This marks the end of our series on the launch of the A year-long series of events and fora to discuss the future of the EU involving civil society, local, regional and national authorities, as well as policymakers. Concluded in May 2022. Conference on the Future of Europe. If you missed any of the previous articles of this series and want to know more about the vision of other party groups, read more here.

Do you enjoy what we’re doing and do you want to help us grow as a platform?

Please consider donating so we can keep the articles up, and cover more European politics for you.