News > EM Germany: ‘Spitzenkandidaten‘ – Youth hold mirror up to ‘the waverers’ on democracy in the EU

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Participative democracy and civil dialogue

EM Germany: ‘Spitzenkandidaten‘ – Youth hold mirror up to ‘the waverers’ on democracy in the EU

Save the ,Spitzenkandidaten’ – the youth organisations of our member political parties and the German section of the Young European Federalists are right, writes EM Germany President Dr Rainer Wend on their joint campaign. The EU Council and German federal government have to support the European democratic competition whenever possible. It’s high time for the delay tactics on all things Spitzenkandidat to come to an end!

Peter Altmaier, the Chief of Staff of the German Chancellery, hit the nail on the head after the 2014 European elections when he tweeted: “The vote of the presidents of almost all EP-groups in favour of @JunckerEU is the beginning of a democratic (r)evolution: History in making!”

Thus it is fair to assume that everything will be better at the 2019 European elections. With the democratic ‘Spitzenkandidaten’ principle in hand, the competing political parties will be able to choose and publicly announce their candidate for the Commission Presidency race. The citizens of the European Union would, in a time of great uncertainty, receive a clear compass to determine what the candidates for the top EU executive position stand for, both in substance and in person.

However, a counter revolution is taking place, with 27 out of the EU’s 28 foreign ministers speaking out against a renewal of the Spitzenkandidaten process in 2019, according to a non-paper by the Dutch EU Council Presidency leaked by the German MEP Sven Giegold.

I welcome the initiative by JEF Germany and the party youth organisations because they hold the mirror up to ‘the waverers’ on democracy in the EU. I have signed their petition and hope many within the European Movement network will follow!

The JEF and the CDU, SPD, Greens and FDP youth organisations want to “defend European democracy across party lines and (…) prevent the abolition of the ‘Spitzenkandidaten’ principle.” In a joint appeal to all EU heads of state and government, excerpts of which were featured on SPIEGEL online today, they demand that the practice of having formal candidates for the position of Commission President from each European political party be adhered to.

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