Global democracy and world vote debated in EU Parliament

Secretariat, 25. February 2010

At an event inside the European Parliament hosted by European lawmaker Graham Watson, the Club of Rome – EU Chapter and the Campaign for a UN Parliamentary Assembly, the cornerstones for a possible future global democracy were debated on the occasion of a special screening of the documentary “World Vote Now” by Joel Ben Marsden.

Graham Watson MEP (left) and Pau Solanilla (right) during the debate
Image: KDUN

Jessica Elio, Chargé d´affaires of the Bolivian Embassy to the EU elaborated on the proposal for a global referendum that Bolivian President Evo Morales made during the recent Climate talks in Copenhagen. “When my President, went to Copenhagen, what most struck him was the lack of democracy,” she stated. “It´s the people that will decide what the states have not been able to decide.” According to President Morales, the citizens of all nations should be asked, among other things, whether consumption patterns on the planet should be changed, and whether pollutants emission should be reduced to one percent. Elio commented that “President Morales gave this idea, now it is up to a World Vote to decide on this.”

Pau Solanilla, representing the Spanish Presidency of the EU Council, stated that “we need to create the conditions for this democratic process.” Solanilla named five fundamental conditions for global democracy. These included global citizenship with equal rights and duties, a global constitution and rules at the global level, a global public opinion and debate, a parliamentary assembly at the global level and truly global political actors,“that think globally and not only in terms of their territory or their particular interests.”

Solanilla, who is Parliamentary Advisor to the Spanish Secretary of State for the EU stressed that “we need a kind of parliamentary assembly.”

The Director of the Secretariat of the Campaign for a UN Parliamentary Assembly, Andreas Bummel, pointed out that the efforts for global democracy are closely connected with the struggle to establish democracy at the national level. “Both is interlinked and cannot be separated,” he said.

Commenting on the debate, the Director of amnesty international’s EU office, Nicolas J. Beger said that “I do not see why the Utopia of global democracy should not come.”

Graham Watson summarized: “People are recognizing that we have a global economy, but we don´t yet have a global culture, or a global governance or even a coherent vision of global concern. And that´s what I think we have to build.”

Brussels Declaration on Global Democracy

On the occasion of the event, Watson presented the Brussels Declaration on Global Democracy that demands “sound democratic structures at the global level” and that ”mechanisms and preconditions are explored that make it possible to conduct a global referendum.”

Initial supporters of this declaration include former UN Secretary General, Dr. Boutros Boutros Ghali, UBUNTU-World Forum of Civil Society Networks, the Club of Rome – EU Chapter and the Union of European Federalists.

Download the Declaration
Pictures of the event
More on the film "World Vote Now"

Film trailer