Europe was founded on a vision of shared values, including democracy. But financial targets and economic rules have taken over as a secular and anti-democratic religion. The Euro currently fails to act as a shared bond of trust; instead it has become a common constraint preventing us from realising our shared ideals. In this project, we want to show how and why this is so; educate citizens about the political nature of our money; and help make it work for, rather than against, democracy again.
Berlin. Other locations event-driven, with likely candidates Amsterdam, Bochum, Halle and Frankfurt.
The most immediate threat to European democracy are populists aiming to ‘retake control’. Instead of instinctively rejecting this discourse, we want to foster a debate that leads to a return of sovereignty to the European citizenry, not to nationalistic governments practicing economic Darwinism.
A serious, well-informed public debate about: 1) the constitutional standing and mandate of the European Central Bank, 2) the principles guiding public finance in Europe (both at the national and European level) and 3) the purpose, structure and regulation of the private financial sector.
We will combine fiscal and monetary expertise with political philosophy, data analysis and visualisation to produce multimedia/multi-platform content relevant to people’s everyday life. Via a first workshop in Berlin we have already begun to build a cross-party network of supporters to refine and disseminate content. To foster the public debate we aim to create, we will replicate this event in other cities, build a social media presence, and engage in artistic and cultural grassroots activism.
We care about liberal democracy, and about the freedom and prosperity it provides. Our idea is important to us because we think that discussions about the threat to European liberal democracy focus on the wrong threats—and how can you protect democracy if you don’t know what is undermining it?
For ourselves, our friends, our co-citizens, and for future generations. We believe that Europe is at a crossroads of history, and that it is our duty to try to influence decisions and events in what we think is the right direction.
How can we make questions of monetary and fiscal policy interesting, relevant, and accessible for non-experts, esp. for the younger generation, without oversimplification or populism? What creative channels could we use to reach audiences that are traditionally distant from political debate?