On Saturday, 2 June, 70 members from all over Germany came together in Frankfurt to found the electoral wing “Demokratie in Europa DiEM25” and bring our fight to the German ballot box.
The procedures for the meeting were as follows:
After introducing the chairman and the clerks, the first point was the discussion of the name. In a Europe-wide vote, our members selected the name „Democracy in Europe DiEM25,“ with 56.73% of the vote.
The second item on the agenda was the statutes. In addition to an adaptation of the preamble, those present discussed the quota of members of the federal collective in the executive committee. The quota aims to ensure an influence of the movement on the electoral wing. The members of the federal collective are directly elected by all DiEM25 members, while the board can only be elected by members of the German electoral wing.Following a compromise proposal, the majority of those present opted for an indirect quota. This was intended to promote participation by the federal collective within the new board, but the quota should not be a duty. After a short break, a large majority accepted the statute.
Thus, the first hurdles for the implementation of the founding meeting were taken. Now the accreditation of the founding members could begin.
In the accreditation, all people who wanted to join the “other political association” had to complete some formalities. Among other things the founding protocol was signed. After the meeting, these documents were to to be submitted to the federal German election officer in order to register the “other political association”.After the formalities, the founding members received their voting cards. Therewith they are members of the German electoral wing, which can compete in the elections for the European Parliament in 2019.
Once all the members had been accredited and the electoral assistants appointed, the meeting turned toward the election of the board, the treasurer and the assessors of the board.
First, the chairman was elected. There were five candidates (one woman and four men). Each of them had three minutes to introduce herself or himself.Stefan Vardopoulos, who is also a member of the federal collective, started the introduction. Stefan introduced himself as the son of a German mother and a Greek father, who has always felt European.The second was Michael Fromm, who is also a member of the German Federal Collective. Michael is a former trade unionist and former SPD member before he left the party in 1990.
The next candidate was F. Woodie Reche, who is a political newcomer and has always felt part of an extra parliamentary opposition.
The fourth candidate was Jasper Finkeldey. He is a member of the spontaneous collective of DiEM25 (DSC) in Berlin. Furthermore he is involved in the European New Deal cooperation and the organisation of the March for Europe in Berlin.The only woman who was running for the chairmanship of the board is Anja Kühnel. Anja comes from the DSC Munich and emphasises how important it is that also non academics are represented in DiEM25.
There were a total of 57 votes cast: 28 votes for Stefan Vardopuolus, 18 votes for Michael Fromm, 8 votes for F. Woodie Reche, 29 votes for Jasper Finkeldey and 25 votes for Anja Kühnel. Jasper Finkeldey therewith won the election of the board by one vote.
He comments on the founding meeting as follows:
„We have set ourselves the task of forging an alliance to give Europe a progressive face and to save it from further disintegration. For too long, the EU has been paralysed by oligarchy and bureaucracy. Democracy in Europe is campaigning for a new deal for Europe and a new constitution. German politics in particular has betrayed the idea of Europe as a community of solidarity. We as the election wing are now exploring possibilities for a broad progressive alliance in Germany and with our European partners.“
Then the next elections for the vice-chair and the treasurer’s office. Stefan Vardopoulos was elected to the vice chairmanship with 31 votes, and Carmen Goeddaeus was elected as treasurer with 34 votes.
A total of 18 people ran for the position of an assessor of the board. Michael Fromm, Robin Scheben, Knut Bänsch, Evelyn Löwenstein, Julijana Zita, Luisa Barbas, Lorin Brenig, Carmen Goeddddaeus, Jasper Finkeldey, Susanne Helfrich-Vardopoulos, Anja Kühnel, David Schwertgen, Thomas Geiseler, Stefan Vardopuolos and Benjamin Lemke are elected as assessors of the board.
The meeting ended with the determination of the date for the next general meeting.
The next step is now the submission of the necessary documents to the federal German election officer to officially register the “other political association”. Following the successful registration of the “other political association”, there will be a renewed membership decision of all DiEM25 members to decide whether the “other political association” should take part in the 2019 European elections as an independent party.
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