The global challenges of the 21st century (global warming, demographic ageing, inequalities brought by technology, the power of multinational corporations, poverty and precariousness, migrations), are global. They would deserve being addressed by political action at the same scale, namely the global scale.
The problem with this approach however, is that, as of 2019, no political institution exists with a capacity to take decisions, and to implement them, even against the will of a given nation-state, at global level. We remain stuck in the pitfalls of inter-governmental negotiations, and with the universal veto right brought by unanimity decision-making (see our document on pan-European democracy, §2.3).
The European Union is the only existing exception to this situation. Despite its weaknesses, the EU bears the most advanced features of trans-national democracy in existing institutions (see our document on pan-European democracy, §2.5). Decision is taken (in the general case) by qualified majority of Member States, and by simple majority in the Parliament. Member States are subject to the rule of law, as expressed by the European Court of Justice. The European Parliament has decision-making powers, is directly elected by voters, and operates along political groups, and not according to national delegations. The Commission is politically responsible to the Parliament, and can be dismissed by it, like any government in a parliamentary democracy.
Setting up a trans-national democracy is a formidable endeavour. It has no precedent. The stakes are enormous: it is the only way to escape nationalistic fragmentation and wars at times when humanity should dedicate 100% of its energy and resources to solve civilisation-threatening challenges. We must make it work.
This is why we make the choice of starting at a small scale: that of the European Union. Thereby, we will experiment and validate the operations of a trans-national cooperative for economic, social and political transformation, make it work, and be ready – when needed – to scale up.