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Forget a United States of Europe: This politician wants an EU of regions and cities

Forget a United States of Europe: This politician wants an EU of regions and cities
By Euronews
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Johannes Voggenhuber, a former Green MEP, wants to counter "nationalists and racists" with a vision of a Europe consisting of cities and regions.


Forget the United States of Europe: one part of the green-left movement wants to counter "nationalists and racists" with a vision of a Republic of Europe consisting not of national states but of cities and regions.

The proposal comes from Austria and Johannes Voggenhuber, a former Green MEP until 2009 but who now has new political project called 1 Europe.

"The motto of our campaign is resistance and vision, resistance and alternative", Voggenhuber told Euronews. "This vision is the Republic of Europe made up of strong regions, a policy of common peace and a social union".

His party list includes six women and two men. In his manifesto, Voggenhuber calls for a strict separation between legislative and executive power as well as a mechanism for the redistribution of wealth between rich and poor regions.

Objective: "to overcome the inability of nation-states to handle the world of the future" and the cross-vetoes that block the most important decisions on social security, solidarity, justice and immigration.

Black hole of democracy in Europe

"I have the impression that we must redefine democracy from the basics", Voggenhuber says. "The separation of powers is essential for democracies. The fact that the members of the Council of the European Union are part of the executive when they board the plane in Vienna, and become legislative power when they come down from the plane ladder in Brussels, is a serious violation of this principle, as well as the fact that the legislative debates of the Council are not public."

His proposal is to transform the Council into a Chamber of States, made up of directly elected representatives in various countries and no longer by the heads of government.

"The Council is the black hole of democracy in Europe. Almost all the EU crises emerge from this intergovernmental Europe, this Council Europe.”

Voggenhuber, 68, has caused much debate in Austria with his new movement. A former spokesperson of the Greens until 1985, in February he announced the split within the Austrian ecological party, once the most popular in Europe.

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