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European View - Volume 3 - Spring 2006 Transnational Parties and European Democracy


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European View - Volume 3 - Spring 2006 Transnational Parties and European Democracy

  1. 1. E uropEan V iEw Volume 3 - Spring 2006TransnaTional ParTies and euroPean democracy Wilfried Martens Editorial • Jan Peter Balkenende European Va- lues and Transnational Cooperation as Cornerstones of Our Fu- ture European Union • Luciano Bardi EU Enlargement, Euro- pean Parliament Elections and Transnational Trends in European Parties • José de Venecia The Expansion of International Party Coo- peration: CDI Creating Bonds among Asian Centrist Parties • Afonso Dhalakama Political Parties in Africa as Instruments of Democracy • David Hanley Keeping it in the Family? Natio- nal Parties and the Transnational Experience • Thomas Jansen The Emergence of a Transnational European Party System • Kostas Karamanlis European Parties and Their Role in Building De- mocracy: The Case of the Western Balkans • Ernst Kuper Towards a European Political Public: The Role of Transnational European Parties • Robert Ladrech The Promise and Reality of Euro-par- ties • Doris Leuthard The Swiss Referendum: A Political Mo- del for the European Union? • Gutenberg Martínez Ocamica Par- ty Cooperation between Continents: ODCA and a Proposal for the EPP • Annemie Neyts The Evolution and Function of the European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party • John Palmer The Future of European Union Political Parties • Hans-Gert Pöttering The EPP and the EPP-ED Group: Success through Synergy • Poul Nyrup Rasmussen The Future of the Party of European Socialists • Fredrik Reinfeldt Eu- ropean Parties and Party Cooperation: A Personal View • Ivo Sanader Transnational Parties in Regional Cooperation: The Impact of the EPP on Central and South-East Europe • Justus Schönlau European Party Statute: Filling the Half-full Glass? • Steven Van Hecke On the Road towards Transnational Parties in Europe: Why and How the European People’s Party Was Founded • Andreas von Gehlen Two Steps to Euro- pean Party Democracy • Alexis Wintoniak Uniting the Centre-right of Europe: The Result of Historical Developments and Political Leadership A Journal of the Forum for European Studies
  2. 2. EUROPEAN VIEW European View is a journal of the Forum for European Studies, published by the European People’s Party. European View is a biannual publication that tackles the entire spectrum of Europe’s political, economic, social and cultural developments. European View is an open forum for academics, experts and decision-makers across Europe to debate and exchange views and ideas. EDITORIAL BOARD Chairman: Wilfried Martens, President of the European People’s Party, former Prime Minister, Belgium Carl Bildt, former Prime Minister, Sweden Elmar Brok, Member of the European Parliament, Germany John Bruton, former Prime Minister, Ireland Mário David, Member of Parliament, Portugal Vicente Martínez-Pujalte López, Member of Parliament, Spain Loyola de Palacio, former Vice-President of the European Commission, Spain Chris Patten, former Member of the European Commission, United Kingdom Jan Petersen, former Foreign Minister, Norway Hans-Gert Pöttering, Chairman of the EPP-ED Group in the European Parliament, Germany Alexander Stubb, Member of the European Parliament, Finland József Szájer, Vice-Chairman of the EPP-ED Group in the European Parliament, Hungary Andrej Umek, former Minister for Science and Technology, Slovenia Per Unckel, former Minister of Education and Science, Sweden Yannis Valinakis, Deputy Foreign Minister, Greece ADVISORY BOARD Antonio López-Istúriz, Christian Kremer, Luc Vandeputte, Kostas Sasmatzoglou, Ingrid Goossens, Guy Volckaert EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Tomi Huhtanen Assistant Editors: Galina Fomenchenko, Mélanie Dursin, Marvin DuBois, Maureen Epp, Richard Ratzlaff, John Lunn For editorial inquiries please contact: European View Editor-in-Chief Rue d’Arlon 67 1040 Brussels email: Tel. +32 2 285 41 49 Fax. +32 2 285 41 41 Url: The Forum for European Studies is a think-tank dedicated to Christian Democrat and like-minded political values, which is engaged in open, comprehensive and analytical debate. European View and its publishers assume no responsibility for facts or opinions expressed in this publication. Articles are subject to editing and final approval by the Editorial Board. This publication is partly funded by the European Parliament.2 European View
  3. 3. cONtENts• Editorial ..........................................................................................................................................................................................................5 Wilfried Martens• European Values and Transnational Cooperation as Cornerstones of Our Future European Union ......................................................................................................................................................................7 Jan Peter Balkenende• EU Enlargement, European Parliament Elections and Transnational Trends in European Parties.............................................................................................................................................................................13 Luciano Bardi• The Expansion of International Party Cooperation: CDI Creating Bonds among Asian Centrist Parties .........................................................................................................................................................................21 José de Venecia• Political Parties in Africa as Instruments of Democracy...........................................................................................31 Afonso Dhalakama• Keeping it in the Family? National Parties and the Transnational Experience....................................................................................................35 David Hanley• The Emergence of a Transnational European Party System ...................................................................................45 thomas Jansen• European Parties and Their Role in Building Democracy: The Case of the Western Balkans .......57 Kostas Karamanlis• Towards a European Political Public: The Role of Transnational European Parties ............................63 Ernst Kuper• The Promise and Reality of Euro-parties ..............................................................................................................................73 Robert Ladrech• The Swiss Referendum: A Political Model for the European Union? ..................................................................81 Doris Leuthard• Party Cooperation between Continents: ODCA and a Proposal for the EPP ...............................................87 Gutenberg Martínez Ocamica• The Evolution and Function of the European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party .............................93 Annemie Neyts• The Future of European Union Political Parties...........................................................................................................101 John Palmer• The EPP and the EPP-ED Group: Success through Synergy..................................................................................111 Hans-Gert Pöttering• The Future of the Party of European Socialists ..............................................................................................................121 Poul Nyrup Rasmussen 3 Volume 3 - Spring 2006
  4. 4. • European Parties and Party Cooperation: A Personal View ................................................................................129 Fredrik Reinfeldt • Transnational Parties in Regional Cooperation: The Impact of the EPP on Central and South-East Europe...................................................................................................................................................................135 Ivo sanader • European Party Statute: Filling the Half-full Glass? ...................................................................................................143 Justus schönlau • On the Road towards Transnational Parties in Europe:Why and How the European People’s Party Was Founded .......................................................................................................................................................153 steven Van Hecke • Two Steps to European Party Democracy ..........................................................................................................................161 Andreas von Gehlen • Uniting the Centre-right of Europe: The Result of Historical Developments and Political Leadership...........................................................................................................................................................................173 Alexis Wintoniak • ANNEx The EU regulation governing political parties at European level and the rules regarding their funding .........................................................................................................................................................................................1794 European View
  5. 5. Wilfried Martens Editorial By Wilfried MartensOne year after the French and only if two conditions are met. First,Dutch referenda on the European European parties must propose validConstitution, the potent political answers in the ongoing debate onmessage of its rejection continues the identity, the development andto resound: Europe will not be the borders of the EU of the future.shaped automatically. As long as Second, to put those answers intothe European Union cannot count on a greater action, European parties must have sufficientdegree of support from its citizens, it will input into the European decision-makingremain a fragile edifice. Established by treaties, process; the parties must also be provided withthe institutions of the European Union cannot, the necessary legal and financial foundation forby their nature, fully and flexibly respond to playing their role at the European level.the challenge of this unique moment in thehistory of the European Union. The only way In order to justify their existence, the Europeanto ensure the success of our common European political parties are obliged to continuouslyfuture is for European political leaders and develop alternative policies which can stimulatetheir political parties to take full responsibility the unification process. It is up to us, thefor this challenge and show the way forward European politicians, to come up with afor Europe. In order to carry out this task, the comprehensible plan for Europe’s developmentpolitical parties at the European level have for and deepening and also to communicate thisyears been developing their role, transforming plan clearly to the citizens of Europe. Shapingthemselves from umbrella organizations to a clear vision for Europe is the commondynamic actors in European politics, not only responsibility of all European parties. Most ofthrough European elections, but also in all other the European level parties are committed toaspects of European political life. providing new impetus to Europe. But goodwill is not sufficient. For a political party, it isToday, European parties are actively engaged, at necessary to count quantitatively if it is to haveall levels, in the major institutions of the EU: the sufficient weight in the current decision-makingCouncil, Commission, Parliament, Committee of process to implement its vision: few things areRegions, etc. For example, the European People’s possible without political parties.Party (EPP) organises its own summit of headsof government and opposition leaders prior to Transnational European parties, some of whicheach European Council summit. Such informal have been in existence for many years, havemeetings are also taking place at the various gone through different stages of development.other levels of the EU. These meetings are For example, the process of integrating newbecoming increasingly important for European member parties into the EPP was essential, ifpolitical development as the EU becomes more highly controversial. How else was the EPP tomultidimensional and parallel political dynamics escape marginalisation? How else would the EPPin different EU Member States need to be taken have been able to make the kind of differenceto account. it has made—I think particularly of our initiative in establishing the European Convention andBut political parties can succeed in this huge the EPP’s subsequent vital participation? Howtask of convincing European citizens of the else will it be able to go on making a difference,importance of our common European future today and in the future? 5 Volume 3 - Spring 2006
  6. 6. Editorial Transnational parties, by definition, have to legal. Henceforth, abuses or the improper use undergo a profound debate on the matter of public funds will be almost impossible. The of their core principles. For the EPP, being a work is far from finished, however, as a full select but weak club of so-called pure Christian fledged ‘statute’ for European level parties is not Democrats, isolated from a separate conservative yet complete. force—a situation that could only have had the effect of weakening our own position and that of Together with the changing European political the centre-right as a whole—was no real option. system, the role of European parties is changing ‘Unity in diversity’ remained—and remains—the and becoming more important. European parties motto that the EPP needs to implement. Thus I did play an essential role in facilitating and even fully accept the process of opening up the EPP managing EU enlargement; now their role has to other traditions. This has to be managed with been highlighted by the challenges Europe a measure of caution; it is necessary to maintain is facing. This development is not limited to the identity of the EPP itself. When Europe is Europe. changing, however, European political parties need to change as well. Regional cooperation between parties from different countries is growing on other continents. Apart from the particular situation in which the Global party cooperation is becoming both richer EPP finds itself today, I am quite convinced that in content and greater in importance. Decision- all political parties at the European level find makers, the media and academics are showing themselves in a better position to exercise their a growing interest in the newly developing role huge responsibility than they were in 15 years of transnational parties. In this new context, ago. This is due primarily to the improvement European parties and their evolution are on the of the legal and financial basis on which they front line of a phenomenon which, I believe, can build their organisation and develop their may one day become an example for global activities. political development. Thanks to the Regulation on European level Political Parties,1 political parties can now count on public funding. They have legal status, Wilfried Martens is the President of the European through obtaining legal personality in the People’s Party. country where they are registered. This should be considered a great step forward in building a European political space with real transnational parties. A strong impetus has been given to the Europeanisation of the democratic party system and the politicising of the European decision- making process. Thus the EPP has had legal personality since 2004 and receives public funds directly from the European Parliament—a minimum amount and additional funds a rato based on the percentage of votes it receives—as do all the other recognised European level parties. The system is now transparent and completely 1 No 2004/2003 of the Council and the European Parliament of November 2003.6 European View
  7. 7. Jan Peter Balkenende European Values and Transnational Cooperation as Cornerstones of Our Future European Union By Jan Peter Balkenende In a comparatively integration has come to a standstill. Personally, short space of time, the I don’t believe that at all. The majority of European Union has Europeans—including the ‘no’ voters—support undergone tremendous European integration. Polls have shown that, change and has been in many areas, EU citizens want even closer confronted with chal- cooperation than their governments arelenges that are unique in its relatively short ready for—for instance, in the fight againsthistory. Since the turn of the millennium, the international terrorism. There can be no doubtUnion has expanded significantly (it now that, even without a Constitution, the EU willaccounts for over a quarter of the world’s GNP) continue to exist and seek solutions that serveand made a huge success of the reunification the interests of its own people and the rest ofof the European continent. It has also altered the world. Fortunately we are still managingits role and position within a changing global to make progress on key issues, like the dealarena, with countries like China and India on on the new financial perspectives for the nextthe rise and challenges ahead such as energy seven years and on the start of accession talkssupply. At the same time, it has recently had to with Turkey.face up to terrorist attacks and growing internaldifferences, and it was unable to convince its The European Union will emerge from this periodcitizens to take the next step towards a closer of reflection even stronger if we have the courageUnion by accepting the proposed Constitutional to communicate more openly and honestly withTreaty. each other. Our future Europe will be shaped by civil society, business, NGOs, and cultural andAfter the French and Dutch rejection of the academic entities, not just by politicians andTreaty, the Member States agreed to a period of policymakers in Europe’s capitals and Brussels’reflection during which all these different and institutions. European values and transnationaldiverse developments could be given proper cooperation will become a central theme.consideration, so that European citizens couldbe given a sound and satisfactory response. current state of affairsIt is already clear that this response will dealwith not just traditional policy-oriented, top- At the start of the twenty-first century, it is cleardown political initiatives, but also a new way of that the concept of partly sharing sovereignty‘communicating Europe’ by giving the people with a supranational organisation (the Europeana more central role in the debate. ‘The people’ Commission), combined with upholdinghave often been absent in the elitist European intergovernmental primacy in other fields, hasdecision-making of the past decades. That will been successful. Even the harshest critics of thenot be possible anymore. EU have to concede that the seeds of peace, freedom, prosperity and stability have taken rootFar from being the end of the road, the Union’s across the European continent. In fact, despitecurrent impasse is therefore in fact a new the current political debate within the EU,beginning. Some people have concluded from the winds of change are blowing these seedsthe French and Dutch ‘no’ votes that European further eastward into Turkey and the Balkans. 7 Volume 3 - Spring 2006
  8. 8. European Values and Transnational Cooperation as Cornerstones of Our Future European Union More recently we have seen positive results in integration matters. The ever-increasing Ukraine and Georgia as well. You could call it influence of EU decision-making and legislation the post-modern European dynamic: differences is recognised by the public; but the politically at all levels are settled at the negotiating table, elitist method of reaching agreement, which has not on the battlefield. We have been there and grown historically, needs to be revised in this do not want to go there ever again. This principle new era: people want more public involvement is already endorsed by twenty-five Member and information. States with a combined population of over 455 million—with more countries yet to come. The other debate centres on the sharing of Together they constitute not just an economic, power and sovereignty within the Union. The but also a democratic space in which people European Union is not a ‘superstate’. It is based can move and trade freely. For me personally, on the principle of subsidiarity. This means this is Europe’s greatest achievement. that decisions are taken at the closest possible level of government to the public: wherever However, this should not lead to complacency possible at local or national level, and only and a passive approach to European issues. The at international level when the scale of the French and Dutch ‘no’ votes were clear signals to problem calls for joint action. So the European continue and intensify our public debate on the Union should not concern itself with the content future of Europe. Both highlighted a change in of education, social security and tax policy. But the public’s attitude towards Europe. The desire it does exist to deal with state aid to businesses for peace and stability is no longer a convincing and environmental standards for cars. In a argument for further European integration. Sixty common market, these issues transcend national years is apparently such a long time that we have boundaries. If effective action can be taken at begun to take peace and prosperity for granted. local or national level, the European Union does Similar processes can, to a lesser extent, be not need to be involved. It only needs to act if witnessed in Central and Eastern Europe, even a transnational approach is the only solution. though the memory of oppression is still fresh. Member States must formulate a clear overview This approach is clearly no longer sufficient. of the current distribution of power, including Here, the Union is faced with a dilemma. In a the possibility of ‘renationalising’ some parts of way the EU has fallen victim to its own success: traditional ‘European’ policies. people do recognise the added value of closer European cooperation in a globalising world, The relatively positive outcome of the but they no longer accept the way the European Eurobarometer and other polls after the Dutch project is being communicated to them. ‘no’ vote is one of the reasons why I’m convinced that these negative referendum results stemmed A similar development can be seen in the from developments beneath the surface, which Netherlands. Despite the result in the Dutch had been neglected by too many decision- referendum, more than three-quarters of Dutch makers for far too long. We have had a rude people still answer ‘yes’ to the question ‘do awakening, but it may have been just the wake- you support EU membership?’ The question up call we needed. From this positive starting for Dutch citizens seems to be not whether the point, we shouldn’t blame each other or force European Union should continue to widen and Member States to take a specific position, but deepen, but how this should be done. Two think about how we can make the most of this different debates are important here. The first opportunity for reflection and reform. In the centres on the very policy-oriented way political following paragraphs I would like to give an decision-makers have communicated with the outline of my own view of where the Union public over the last few decades on European currently stands.8 European View
  9. 9. Jan Peter BalkenendeWhat is at stake? for the EU, from six Member States to twenty- five. But how many Dutchmen or Britons couldAt a time of rapid globalisation, in order to find Slovenia on a map? And what percentageremain successful, nations have to act together of Slovaks know where Belgium is? Moreover,even more intensively than before. We can immigrants now make up 10% of the Dutchonly combat terrorism and international crime population. In the cities, half of all young peopleby joining forces. We can only secure jobs and are the children of newcomers. We see the sameprosperity through economic cooperation and by ethnic and cultural diversity in France, Belgium,making rules that create the same opportunities Germany, the Baltic States and elsewhere.for all. We can only avoid the dangers of climate In other words, people don’t feel European.change and rising sea levels by taking joint Europe is perceived as an abstract construct, asaction. We can only tackle air and water pollution being distant and not representing the wishesby acting together. Countries cannot solve these of the people.problems on their own: transnational challengesrequire transnational solutions. Diversity is a good thing; it enriches society. However, it has a downside as well: it can leadIt is in our common interest to push Europe to uncertainty and conflicting ideas. Sometimesbeyond simply the consolidation of national it even leads to distrust and, as we have sadlyvested interests. We should pursue the reforms witnessed, to violence. It’s not just the diversityneeded, display solidarity with less prosperous of countries within the Union that has grown.people both inside and outside the EU, and listen Diversity within the Member States themselvesbetter and communicate more transparently has also increased dramatically. As I said at thewith our citizens. The Union should do so along Collège d’Europe in Bruges in April last year,two lines. our challenge now is not preventing countries from drifting apart, but preventing people fromThe EU must intensify and improve its drifting apart.implementation of the policies that will guideus through the coming decades. These are It is interesting to note that one of the EU’spolicies in the areas of research, innovation, founding fathers, Jean Monnet, mentioned thisinternational environmental issues, immigration, important element of successful integration. Heenergy (supply and security) and the fight understood two things quite clearly. First, peaceagainst transnational crime—indeed, all policy demands our constant attention, even in timesareas that stem from a globalising world and of peace and prosperity. For this idea Monnetthat, by their very nature, call for a transnational is often quoted and praised. However, he putapproach. However, this policy-oriented forward a second very important element asapproach is at best only part of the solution, well: conflicts and violence can only be resolvedif not part of the problem. I’m fully convinced if nations move beyond nationalism. Lastingthat the current debate on the future of Europe peace only has a chance if Member States andgoes deeper. nations are willing and able to cooperate and build something that stands above borders:The European Union’s tremendous economic transnational cooperation as a cornerstone forgrowth has made it possible to spread prosperity lasting European integration. His words are asand stability to the new Member States. At the true today as they were half a century ago.same time it has led to an increase in cultural,political and social diversity. As this diversity There is also another factor in the mix. Myhas grown, it has weakened people’s sense generation—the baby boom generation—grewof belonging to a larger whole. The last few up with an image of Europe as an economicdecades have been a time of spectacular growth enterprise: a business partnership. Far less 9 Volume 3 - Spring 2006
  10. 10. European Values and Transnational Cooperation as Cornerstones of Our Future European Union was said about the other side of European need Europeans.” We have learned that this takes integration: Europe as a political project time. One cannot expect 450 million Europeans designed to preserve common values and put in 25 different countries with over 20 different them into practice. A rapidly expanding Union, languages to feel closely connected with one increasing diversity and an image of Europe as another. What’s more, many people are afraid an economic enterprise: these three factors have that the Union has too much influence over their helped weaken people’s sense of commitment daily lives. Many have difficulty identifying with to the European project. We run the risk of an expanding European Union, the euro and ending up with a European house that looks potential new Member States. These factors may strong from the outside, but is crumbling on the well undermine the European Union from within. inside. That is why we Europeans should continue to give careful thought to what binds us. We During the Dutch EU Presidency in 2004, we should be able to have an EU-wide debate on drew attention to European values and what they the core values of European integration. These meant for our future. The Netherlands organised core European values are at the foundation of a series of international conferences where this everything we do in Europe—from our security theme was debated by a range of thinkers from strategy to the Lisbon agenda. If we don’t make around the world. There was general agreement those values explicit, how can we expect people that, even on this diverse continent, certain to get excited about Europe? We should think of values bind us together. Freedom, respect for values as our inspiration. If we don’t talk about human rights and the rule of law, solidarity and our common inspiration, we will never be able equality—these values are universal. And it is to act boldly on the major issues of our time: precisely these values that make it possible to security, sustainable economic growth and the live in a Europe that encompasses so many integration of newcomers. And we will never differences. A number of guidelines for action feel European! emerged from the conferences: People don’t get enthusiastic about complex • European governments and the European explanations on interinstitutional agreements by Union must take a firm stand against any politicians. People don’t start to feel European individuals or groups who attack our rights because European decision-makers tell them to. and the values on which they are based. People want to be inspired by new concepts • We must strengthen the vital role of education of cooperation. People demand European in transmitting values and improve mobility solutions to transboundary problems. People in Europe. People, ideas and knowledge are want European political leadership. still not circulating enough. • There is still an urgent need to ‘communicate Where do we go from here? How do we put this Europe’ to our citizens. new dynamism into daily practice? The maxim of the European Union is “unity in diversity”. All these issues are currently high on the This implies that Europeans are united in European agenda. I would like to present a working together for peace and prosperity general overarching approach as a basis for our despite their many different cultures, traditions joint actions in the future. and languages. The scholar Amitai Etzioni, whose ideas I agree with firmly, compares it to From unity in diversity towards diversity a mosaic, with many different colours within a within unity? single frame. This framework consists of shared core values. Values are an element that binds. The former Polish foreign minister and current Values are guidelines, which must not be taken member of the European Parliament Bronislaw for granted. Democracy, freedom, solidarity, Geremek once said, “We have Europe. Now we respect, equity and tolerance are at the heart10 European View
  11. 11. Jan Peter Balkenendeof my view of our future Europe: a European have partly shifted their focus to the regional,society with peacefully coexisting minorities transboundary level. National boundaries aresharing a common set of core values. tending to fade, and European concepts are considered to be at least one step too far. ThisIn other words, to uphold these common values, development has influenced both national andwe need to invest in serious community building. European political parties. A perfect example:We have to actively translate these values into the committee that will write the CDA electionconcrete proposals and actions. These proposals programme for next year’s national electionsand actions will create the necessary equilibrium. no longer consists solely of Dutch ChristianThe EU should make ‘diversity within unity’ the Democrats. We take great pride in the fact thatcentral theme of its communication strategy for Mr Peter Altmaier of the German CDU willEU citizens. We will only see a coherent and actively take part in the drafting process and isunified Europe in the twenty-first century if all a full member of our election committee. It’s justconcerned—politicians, companies, NGOs, civil an example, but to my mind a highly revealingsociety and academics—invest in and endorse one. This is the way forward in Europe: sharedEuropean values. As Etzioni has said, if the values within transnational groupings, basedEU is not to deteriorate into little more than a on core values shared by other minorities, allfree trade zone, serious community-building accepting European values as their commonmeasures are essential. These measures would basis.aim ultimately at ordinary people transferringto the European community and to their regionmore of the kind of commitment, loyalty andsense of identity they now attach to their nation. Jan Peter Balkenende is the Prime Minister of theUntil this is done, the current structure will not able carry the heavy loads being imposedon it.1This is where transnational cooperation comesinto play. European citizens are increasingly beingconfronted with transnational developments.Transboundary cooperation in a growingnumber of policy areas can be seen. Europeanintegration has enabled people to cross internalborders extensively. However, their values don’tchange when they cross the border.European citizens seek a new kind ofrepresentation that coincides with their interestsand demands. National parties no longer havea monopoly, or the authority to act as the solesource of representation. On the other hand,people don’t feel European yet. Europeanpolitical parties are still considered distant—notwithstanding the excellent work of ourEuropean People’s Party in and outside theEuropean Parliament. In other words, people1 Amitai Etzioni, “How to build a European Community”, U.S.-Europe Analysis Series, July 2005. 11 Volume 3 - Spring 2006
  12. 12. Luciano Bardi EU Enlargement, European Parliament Elections and Transnational Trends in European Parties By Luciano Bardi This article aims to assess to date of other important party components, the impact that the direct such as central and territorial organisational elections to the European structures. Especially the latter are completely Parliament (EP) have absent from the Europarty literature, not only in had on the development empirical analyses (which is hardly a surprise, of genuine European, given that such structures are non-existent), buttransnational political parties (Europarties also in more prescriptive works. In this case thehenceforth). Our focus on Europarties is justified omission is more serious, if it is accepted thatby the fact that they have been considered Europarties should be a link between Europeanimportant actors in the European Community’s citizens and EU institutions.(EC) and subsequently in the European Union’s(EU) development; this has been true at least Transnational federations are undoubtedly verysince Ernst Haas suggested that the growth of weak institutions in terms of visibility, numberEuroparties provides an essential analytical focus of members, professionalisation and financialfor an assessment of the EU’s political system.1 resources. Far more than the parliamentaryEspecially since the EP’s first elections based on groups, the transnational federations haveuniversal suffrage were held in 1979, scholarly suffered from the need to respect the specificitiesinterest in the development and potential role of and objectives of their national components.EU-specific parties has been conspicuous. Within the two largest federations, the European People’s Party (EPP) and the Party of EuropeanAcademic books and articles on the topic are Socialists (PES), the national components oftentoo numerous to be individually discussed here. seem to be concerned about justifying theirOn balance, however, we can affirm that most actions at the national level. This limits theirhave found a positive association between EP ability to act decisively at the European level.elections based on universal suffrage and thedevelopment of Europarties. The important role played by federations, above all in working out common positionsSuch views are often based on the simple at intergovernmental conferences, hasconsideration that elections are the necessary overshadowed their growing internalprerequisite for the development of a democratic differences. Their lack of cohesion is due tosystem and, consequently, also of the elements, the ever-larger number of delegations of whichsuch as political parties, that are essential they are composed, the result of successive EUcomponents of democratic systems. As a result, enlargements and the extension of membershipmost authors do not elaborate on the desirable to parties of diverse traditions. This is particularlycharacteristics of would-be Europarties; others true of the EPP, which has added a largelimit themselves to considering the EP party conservative component to its original Christian-groups, that is, the party structures directly and Democratic nucleus. The European Liberals,visibly produced by EP elections. This certainly is Democrats and Reformists (ELDR), now thean important limitation that has led to the neglect group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats1 E. B. Haas, The Uniting of Europe: Political, Social and Economical Forces 1950–1957 (London: Stevens & Sons, 1958). 13 Volume 3 - Spring 2006
  13. 13. EU Enlargement, European Parliament Elections and Transnational Trends in European Parties for Europe (ALDE), have also had problems EP elections are a necessary prerequisite, of cohesion as a result of diverse ideological but they are certainly not sufficient for orientations and the general weakness of Europarty development, that is, for their their national components. For the Greens- effective transnationalisation; moreover, in EFA, on the other hand, the widespread anti- some circumstances, they can also disrupt the bureaucratic attitude and the clear preference for process of Europarty institutionalisation. There decentralised, more grassroots decision-making is agreement in the literature, albeit sometimes of many of its delegations have translated into only implicit, that the institutionalisation of the an evident reluctance to create a full-fledged Europarty system requires very stable, inclusive transnational party organisation. This has made and cohesive EP party groups; that is, EP party it easier for the Green federation to maintain groups exhibiting a durable composition and a pan-European nature, that is, its openness to structure, capable of attracting the largest Green parties in countries outside the EU. possible number of national party delegations from individual Member States and displaying More generally, however, the difficult growth of a homogeneous ideological orientation and transnational federations can be explained by voting behaviour. the lack of a ‘demand for Europe’ from the base. Aware of this, the national parties that make There is evidence that EP party groups have up the basic components of the federations proven capable of great progress in response find it more productive to represent their to the incentives (material resources as well as electorate directly through representatives at the better positions in parliamentary committees European level (ministers) than to strengthen and other components of the EP) provided for the federations. At the moment, this is the main their formation and functioning.2 Positive trends obstacle to the rise of Europarties able to carry in the consolidation of EP party groups have out effectively the representative function at the indeed been observed in the course of the first European level. five terms following direct elections to the EP, but the process of party group consolidation When the focus is on EP party groups as seems to have also suffered interruptions and a whole, however, the general impression even reversals resulting from EP elections one gets from the literature is a positive one. results.3 Since the direct elections, we have witnessed the strengthening of EP party groups, which There are several possible explanations for appear to be more lasting and more inclusive these reversals. For one thing, the fragmentation than their pre-elections predecessors; this is of the electoral arena permits the survival at the taken to indicate that direct elections have European level of practically every relevant—and been good for Europarty development. Here, sometimes even not so relevant—component of consistent with a research focus that I have most national party systems. This makes the EU been following for several years, I will present a party system very sensitive to individual national slightly different view, which takes into account party system realignments and to Member State the discontinuities that EP elections may cause specific voter opinion trends. Moreover, the in Europarty institutionalisation. I will also try to very high proportionality of many of the 25 extend my analysis, albeit briefly, to the extra- electoral laws contributes to this phenomenon. parliamentary components of Europarties. Even parties with negligible support on an EU- 2 F. Attinà, ‘The voting behaviour of European Parliament members and the problem of the Europarties’, European Journal of Political Research, 29 (17), 1990, pp. 557–79; F. Jacobs, R. Corbett & M. Shackleton, The European Parliament, 5th ed. (London: Cartermill, 2003); T. Raunio, The European Perspective: Transnational Party Groups in the 1989-1994 European Parliament (Aldershot: Ashgate, 1997). 3 See L. Bardi, ‘Parties and party systems in the European Union’, in K.R. Luther & F. Mueller-Rommel (Eds.), Political Parties in a Changing Europe: Political and Analytical Challenges (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002) pp. 292–322.14 European View
  14. 14. Luciano Bardiwide level can obtain seats in the EP because of for the first time, will give a strong impetus tothe over-representation of the smaller Member the development of the extra-parliamentaryStates. Second, the continuing expansion of organisational structures of the Europarties.the EU can be either a positive or a negativefactor for Europarty evolution. Previously EU Enlargement and the 2004 electionsisolated national delegations may find allies toform a party group among the representatives As we had anticipated, the 2004 elections wereof newly incorporated Member States. But the an unprecedented event in the history of theincorporation of new delegations into existing Europarty system in terms of the sheer numericalparty groups can prove to be problematic. In impact of the delegations from the new Membersome cases, EP elections can be very disruptive, States on the existing party groups, and alsoespecially for the more recent and smaller EP because of what we could broadly define asparty groups; as a result, elections can be a qualitative differences between the newcomersnegative factor in party system consolidation. and the longer-established parties from the older Member States. Both factors could haveOn balance, however, these two sets of factors, an impact on Europarty development. Whilstwhich have their effects during the parliamentary we can only speculate on the consequencesterm as well as at election time and both favour of the latter, we are able to study empiricallyand potentially hinder Europarty development, the effects of the former. We know from thehave produced an overall positive trend in EP literature that the institutional development ofparty group consolidation. EP party groups can be assessed by monitoring their inclusiveness and cohesion.In the last two years, the general context inwhich Europarties are developing has undergone The inclusiveness of the groups in the EPsome significant changes. With the sixth direct can be observed from diachronic changes inelections to the EP held in June 2004, the group membership and, more specifically, fromeffects of the latest EU enlargement from 15 to trends in the number of members and number25 countries came to bear on the EP and on of countries represented. The cohesion of thethe Europarty system. The 732 member strong groups, on the other hand, can be observedEP now represents approximately 455 million from the degree of agreement shown in roll-European citizens whose cultural and political call votes by the MEPs composing the groups.milieus reflect unprecedented diversity. As a Empirical studies of these phenomena haveresult, it was anticipated that the disturbances cumulatively produced a positive assessmentto the party system normally associated with of EP group institutionalisation.5 Here we willelections would be even greater than in the perforce limit ourselves to updating the analysispast. Furthermore, although the implications of of inclusiveness as it is too early in the termthis were contested, Europarties were for the to collect sufficient data for an assessment offirst time regulated by a new statute defining cohesion. We will also consider, through antheir role and organisation, even outside of the analysis of appropriate indicators, the impact ofEP.4 It is expected that the new statute, perhaps the 2004 elections on the Europarty system.4 Statute for European political parties, EP and Council regulation No 2004/2003, 4 November 2003.5 For a summary of these results, see L. Bardi, ‘Parties and party systems in the European Union’ (see n. 3). 15 Volume 3 - Spring 2006
  15. 15. EU Enlargement, European Parliament Elections and Transnational Trends in European Parties tABLE 1 Europarty system indicators 1979–2006 % of non- PES, EPP-ED, No EP One- Effective attached MEPs ELDR/ALDE No Parties party Party Term Parties** or in One-Party Total Seat groups* Groups*** Groups**** percentage EP I 1979–1984 54 58 8 8 5.2 5.0 3 3 33.9 19.6 63.4 64.5 EP II 1984–1989 76 88 9 9 5.3 5.2 4 3 29.3 18.5 62.4 63.1 EP III 1989–1994 99 101 11 9 5.0 3.8 4 2 20.8 11.4 67.6 77.8 EP IV 1994–1999 88 106 10 9 4.6 4.3 6 4 21.2 11.8 70.2 73.0 EP V 1999–2004 122 122 9 8 4.2 4.2 0 0 1.3 5.1 73.9 73.5 EP VI 2004–2006 169 8 4.4 0 4.4 75.7 Adapted from (Bardi, 2002). The last update reflects EP composition in March 2006. Note: For EP I – EP V, the first figure in each cell refers to the beginning and the second to the end of the relevant term. * Non-attached counted as one group 1 ** N = ------- where si represents the seat shares of the i parties in the system ∑ si2 (Laakso and Taagepera, 1979). *** In 1994–1999 the non-attached AN and FN delegations are included as individual one-party groups. In EP V no non-attached delegations had enough members (10) to qualify as one-party groups. **** Includes non-attached MEPs. tABLE 2 Number of Member states represented in the five largest EP party groups 1979–2004 1979 1984 1989 1994 1999 2004 EPP-ED 7/9 9/10 12/12 12/12 15/15 25/25 PES 9/9 9/10 12/12 12/12 15/15 23/25 ELDR/ALDE 8/9 7/10 10/12 10/12 10/15 20/25 EUL/NGL 4/12 5/12 10/15 14/25 7/12 7/12 12/15 13/25 GREENS-EFA EP official sources16 European View
  16. 16. Luciano BardiThe groups connected to the three historic A general indication emerging from the datatransnational federations—the PES, EPP-ED and is that the Europarty system is on the path tothe ELDR/ALDE—certainly represent the core of consolidation. Despite the large number ofthe Europarty system; their overall inclusiveness national parties that obtain representation in themust be considered a positive indicator of its EP, the number of EP party groups has remainedinstitutionalisation. The figures in Table 1 clearly fairly stable. In fact, the party/EP-group ratioshow the ability of these groups to absorb the has risen constantly over the years: 21.1:1 innational party delegations from old and new 2004, as compared to a low of 6.8:1 in 1979. TheMember States, even as they more than tribled party groups are thus demonstrating the ability(from 54 to 169) between 1979 and 2004. Above to incorporate new parties. The Europarty coreand beyond the absolute number of MEPs has grown, even if not dramatically, from slightlybelonging to the three groups, of significance is under two thirds to just above three quarters ofthe percentage with respect to the total number the EP’s total membership. At the same time,of MEPs: close to 76%. the relative weight of the larger party groups has increased, as demonstrated by the effectiveTable 2 shows that the EPP-ED has MEPs from parties indicator, which declined markedlyall Member States, while the PES and the ELDR/ between 1984 and 2004. The disappearance ofALDE, penalised in some countries by electoral one-party groups and the impressive declinethresholds that they find difficult to surpass, are since 1979 in the percentage of MEPs thatrepresented in 23 and 20 respectively of the 25 belong to one-party groups or are non-attachedMember States. These figures also indicate an confirm this impression. Within this fairly clear-overall positive trend towards inclusiveness. The cut picture, a contrast can be observed betweenGreens-EFA and the EUL/NGL have grown out the values immediately following an electionof two groups that have a long history in the EP, and those registered at the end of each term.the Rainbow group and the Communists. They Generally, all party-system institutionalisationhave gone through innumerable changes and indicators are much more positive at the end ofin some cases real transformations. In general, each term than at its beginning.they include fewer national components thantransnational groups. Nonetheless, the figures Overall, these findings, based on post-electionrelative to these groups in Table 2 point to and end-of-term data for the first five electedreassuring levels of inclusiveness. EPs and only post-election results for the sixth, confirm the research hypotheses suggested byTable 1 also provides data for a discussion of the literature. The hypothesis that institutionalthe evolution of the Europarty system. The table and political pressures in the course of theincludes values for five measures of EU party legislative term favour inter-group cooperationsystem institutionalisation. The operationalisation and eventually foster group integration is indeed consistent with the data. At the sameof the number of parties and groups is self- time, the hypothesis that elections can produceexplanatory. One-party group scores and the very disruptive effects on the Europarty systempercentage of MEPs not belonging to transnational appears to be confirmed, although recentor multi-party groups, that is, one-party group elections show a possible reversal in this trend.members plus the non-attached, are included in Finally, single-party groups—for as long as theythe table as a measure of overall MEP resistance have existed—have represented a real obstacle toto Europarty incorporation. Conversely, total the institutionalisation of the Europarty system,seat percentages for the three transnational- as have the non-attached MEPs. They could re-party groups are included to monitor the size emerge in the future, but it is more likely thatof the Europarty system’s core. Finally, Laakso’s the category will become permanently extinct,index for the effective number of parties once even though a residual group of non-integratedthe total number of parties is known adequately national party delegations will probably survivemeasures the relative size of parties. among the non-attached. 17 Volume 3 - Spring 2006
  17. 17. EU Enlargement, European Parliament Elections and Transnational Trends in European Parties It would thus seem that the 2004 elections or at least maintain their numerical force in the have not had a measurable negative impact enlarged EP and, as we shall see in our discussion on the Europarty system. The quantitative of the new statute, a source of possible financial measurements of a number of indicators are in advantage. In the 2004–09 parliament, the new line with those of previous parliaments, when entries account for 158 out of the 732 seats or EU membership was much smaller. It might be almost 22% of the total—a percentage that no too soon, however, to discount the possible Europarty can afford to ignore. qualitative effects of enlargement. The majority of the countries involved had to simultaneously The statute for European political parties, convert to democracy, develop capitalist and approved in November 2003, is a concise pluralist societies, adopt full national sovereignty document that defines the role of European and meet EU conditions within a relatively short political parties and the requirements for period of time. From this perspective, the efforts receiving funding from the European Union. of Europarties to proactively bring the political Much space is dedicated to the aspects directly forces of future Member States into the European linked to financing, perhaps because the statute mainstream had important implications both was in part justified by the need to use public for themselves and for party and party-system funds to promote democracy in the new member development in the candidate countries. countries. Paradoxically, the success that Europarties have The statute’s provisions may well be able to demonstrated in attracting the overwhelming consolidate more effectively than has been the majority of the new national party delegations case up to now the various party components might cause a further weakening of their operating at the European level: transnational identity and cohesiveness. It is still unclear, in federations, parliamentary groups and national fact, whether such efforts have been able to parties. In fact, even if the statute practically overcome the cultural and value differences identifies Europarties with federations, the articulated in the parties and party systems provisions for their constitutions and for their of the new, developing Member States. These access to financing link them with the other may well spill over into broader EU political two components. The preamble reiterates the processes with unpredictable effects on wording of Article 191 TEC on the importance Europarty development. of Europarties in shaping a European consciousness and for expressing the political EU enlargement, the statute governing will of EU citizens. European political parties and Europarty federations The requirements for the recognition of Europarties, in addition to a desire to participate Whatever its effects on EP party groups, EU in the EP elections, are the following: legal enlargement may lead to a strengthening of status in the country in which the Europarty has the party federations.6 Because of the EU’s size its headquarters (almost inevitably Belgium); following the entry of the ten new members, representatives elected to the EP, the national or the federations may find new incentives and the regional parliaments in at least one quarter of opportunities for action. In fact, the federations the member countries or at least 3% of the votes see the inclusion of the parties coming from the in the last EP elections in at least one quarter of new member countries as a way to strengthen the Member States;7 and respect shown in the 6 Bardi and Ignazi, Il parlamento europeo, 2nd ed. (Bologna: Il Mulino, 2004) pp. 126-8. 7 This clause, and the fact that the total financing also depends on the party’s size, constitutes an incentive for Europarties to attract kindred parties from new Member States.18 European View
  18. 18. Luciano Bardiparty’s platform and actions for the principles statute is that it does not address the issue ofof freedom and democracy, respect for human how to effectively link Europarties to Europeanrights, the fundamental freedoms and the rule citizens and their societies, beyond the generalof law on which the EU is founded. These are statement that such linkage is the main reason fornot particularly restrictive conditions and, even the existence of the federations. This function isif the statute prohibits the financing of national still performed exclusively through the nationalparties with European funds, few will renounce parties, who therefore remain the principalthe financial opportunities offered by the new gatekeepers of EU-level representation. It isregime. This has already led to an increase in therefore unlikely that the federations, even ifthe number of Europarties. The Party of the more integrated, will play a primary role in theEuropean United Left was founded in Rome in Europarties in the near future.May 2004; others could follow suit. That such alarge share of resources—85% of the total—is In conclusion, both EU enlargement and theallotted to parties with representatives elected to statute for European political parties seem tothe EP should lead to the consolidation of links favour a further expansion of Europarties andto parliamentary groups. Greater integration of of the number of transnational federations.the various components should foster greater While this would be a positive outcome,institutionalisation. fostering greater integration among the various components of the Europarties, it is unlikelyThis undoubtedly positive picture is that this would challenge the primacy andcounterbalanced by two provisions, one reduce significantly the autonomy of nationalcontained directly in the statute, the other in its political parties, even at the European level.implementation rules, which keep the federations This is destined to be the state of affairs as longin a subordinate position with respect to their as national parties are able to reap the rewardsnational components and the parliamentary of the direct representation of the interestsgroups. In fact, the latter have been made of citizens through the intergovernmentaldirectly responsible for the management of the institutional circuit and to take the place offunds for party financing. This was done at the federations in linking civil society to Europeaninsistence of the EP since the funds are taken institutions.from the budget of the EP rather than that ofthe EU, as the federations would have preferred(this would have given them greater financialautonomy). Luciano Bardi is Professor of Political Science at the University of Pisa. He is the author ofFurthermore, the provision of the statute that several articles on European Parties. Recently hemakes the allocation of public funds conditional has been co-author of ‘Il parlamento europeo’on 25% co-financing from other sources makes (2004) and editor of ‘Partiti e sistemi di partito’national parties, above all the stronger and richer (2006).ones, decisive in constituting and maintainingEuroparties. These resources can only be foundat the national level, either directly throughcontributions from member parties—up to aceiling of 40% of the total, which is in any casemore than the amount needed for co-financing—or through the party’s contacts among the publicand in the business sector. These are in generalvery weak, a situation not likely to improve inthe near future. The biggest shortcoming of the 19 Volume 3 - Spring 2006
  19. 19. José de Venecia The Expansion of International Party Cooperation: CDI Creating Bonds among Asian Centrist Parties By José de Venecia The world’s centre of Muslim League. Alongside these historic parties gravity is shifting to there are also young parties—South Korea’s Uri the Asia Pacific. The Party, Thailand’s Thai Rak Thai and our own Centrist Democrat Lakas Christian-Muslim Democrats—which International (CDI) is are as new as Asia’s eminence in the global expanding into Asia community.because it recognises the continent’s increasingprominence in the global community. The other political parties are: UMNO of Malaysia; Funcinpec and the Cambodia People’sThe end of the ‘Cold War’ has not just seen Party, Cambodia; and the Party of the People’sa seismic shift in the configuration of global Unity of Kazakhstan.political power; it has also seen a revolutionarychange in the global economy. The emergence On this occasion, I think it fit and proper for ourof China, India, Russia, Brazil and other once- grouping to explain its motives, purposes andclosed economies has redrawn the map of ideals as forces of the middle and to proclaimworld trade. These emerging economies are the political principles that have brought usradically changing the relative prices of labour,, goods and assets around the globe. Andbecause the largest of them are Asian, they are Twelve political principlesalso shifting the world’s centre of economic andpolitical gravity from the Atlantic Ocean to the At the CDI Asia-Pacific and the CDI ExecutivePacific. Since early 2005, Asia has produced a Committee meetings in Manila last January,full third of the gross global product. I unveiled 12 major political principles that encompass initiatives through which theIn Asia today are to be found both the fastest CDI’s Asian parties and 110 political partiesgrowing economies and the rising powers of worldwide can hopefully make some significantour time. Well before 2040, China is likely to contributions to Asia and the world. I reiteratebecome the largest economy and India the third these 12 principles, which I hope the centristlargest, after that of the United States. Japan political parties will address in addition to theirshould then be fifth, after the European Union. existing programs and platforms:Moreover, today’s Asia has become the focalpoint of humanity’s fears of nuclear war and its 1. find common ground between the forceshopes for a hundred years of peace. of capitalism and the forces of socialism; 2. reconcile the forces of extremism andAsia’s first transnational party excessive fundamentalism with the forces of moderation as an antidote to terrorism;In January 2006, eight political parties from seven 3. reach out to the forces of the Extreme LeftAsian states met in Manila to launch the Asia and the Extreme Right;Pacific’s first centrist transnational party, whose 4. bridge the social and income gaps betweeneventual goal is to organise Asian solidarity. the rich and poor by creating an Asian middle class and ensuring opportunitiesAmong the CDI Asia-Pacific’s founding parties for all;are the nationalist icons of Asia’s struggle for 5. reconcile the principles of politics withindependence, represented initially by Pakistan’s the principles of religion—the role of the 21 Volume 3 - Spring 2006
  20. 20. The Expansion of International Party Cooperation: CDI Creating Bonds among Asian Centrist Parties state and the role of the Church must be in a state ruled by law. And we see our central delineated; task as making democracy in Asia work for 6. reconcile the forces of spirituality with ordinary people—by serving their needs, wants the forces of secularism; public life can and hopes. be empty without a moral purpose, and society can be rootless without some Defeating the forces of extremism transcendent foundation; 7. rationalise relations between strong central The historian Eric Hobsbawm has described governments, distant provinces and outer the period in which we live as “The Age of islands in the case of nations with pluralist Extremes”. And it is true that the twentieth and multi-ethnic societies; century was one of both great creativity and 8. rationalise the needs of development with great destructiveness. The past hundred years the need to care for the environment; have raised great hopes, but they have also 9. bring together the great religions, great destroyed many illusions and ideals. civilisations and great cultures to avert a clash of religions and a clash of civilisations We in the CDI Asia-Pacific do not see ourselves through Interfaith dialogues; as living in a world of binary opposites: in a 10. reconcile the forces of nationalism with world of mutually exclusive alternatives. On the forces of globalisation; the contrary, we believe that our work is to 11. rationalise the workings of the market confront the forces of extremism with the forces with the social responsibilities of the state; of moderation. and 12. build strong family values and faith in a There are two main extremist positions in living God to mirror the great Asian and our time. One is that of those who would use CDI community we envision. terrorism in the name of religion. And the other is held by those who would defeat terrorism Democracy must work for ordinary people even if it means deploying arbitrary police powers, curtailing the civil liberties of their As centrist political parties, we see our role as own people and even waging pre-emptive war. that of helping to broaden and deepen Asian The harsh response by Western powers to the democracy. We reject every type of extremist terrorist threat has helped create this frightening politics, whether on the Right or on the Left. We world we now find ourselves living in. are acutely aware that unrestrained zeal to make the world better could make it worse. And we Terror: a true crime against humanity accept that we cannot be for democracy only when the majority rule works in our favour. We regard the use of terror for political and military means as a true crime against We believe that it is through mutual tolerance, humanity—and terrorism as a barbaric act that conciliation and compromise that the business no appeal to religion can ever justify. But we of government is carried out, civic order agree with Pope John Paul II that the culpability maintained and the common purpose served. of terrorists is always personal—and cannot be And we believe democracy to be more than just extended to the nation, ethnic group or religion a set of procedures for holding elections and to which the terrorists may belong. passing laws. We regard democracy as a whole system of political and social values. Procedural We further believe that, while injustices existing democracy and formal entitlements for citizens in the world can never be used to excuse acts are a beginning. But they are not enough. We of terrorism, the anti-terrorist coalition is also believe authentic democracy to be possible only duty-bound to alleviate the poverty, oppression22 European View
  21. 21. José de Veneciaand marginalisation of peoples which facilitate with basic human needs. And because no singleterrorist recruitment. We condemn just as policy will spur development, the effort to growstrongly every arbitrary means that governments needs a comprehensive approach. Developmentresort to in their counter-terrorist campaigns, just must be both socially inclusive and flexibleas we condemn every form of discrimination enough to adapt to changing circumstances.and prejudice against minority and migrantpopulations. Making poverty historyReconciling the ‘two nations’ Since the eighteenth century, social reformers— inspired by scientific progress, the politicalWe believe that our urgent need is to bridge revolutions in Europe and the promise of thethe income and social gap between the rich new international economy—have believed itand the poor in national society—and between possible to protect people against the hazardsthe rich and poor countries in the international of poverty and insecurity. But until now, thecommunity. spectre of widespread want still haunts our countries.In Asia, Latin America and Africa, the ‘Privileged’and the ‘People’ are still culturally as well as Over these past 250 years, parts of the worldeconomically separate. Yet development, if it is have so improved their material conditionsto be meaningful, should leave no one behind. that they find it hard to imagine the poverty in which so many of their fellows still live. YetWe of the Asia Pacific must also speak out for even now, one-quarter of all the people in thefair global trade. We must oppose every form world still subsist on less than the equivalentof discrimination against migrant groups as well of one American dollar a day. What is worse isas minority religions and ethnicities in hybrid that some countries are growing even poorer—societies made up of a plurality of populations. relatively, and sometimes absolutely. Yet givenAnd we must do all we can to prevent the the revolution in information and communicationcollapse of weak states in the Third World, for technology, it has also become more and morefailed states will export their rage, their violence difficult to segregate poverty and wealth—toand their plagues to the rest of global society. prevent the poor from realizing the possibilities of modernisation. Thus, in the end, the peaceDevelopment must focus on basic human and prosperity of the rich depend on the well-needs being of all the poor.We recognise that, as Asia’s economies To remove poverty from among us, our overridingmature, governments must begin to make key concern must be to make the economy grow.development policies with more sophistication, Nowadays the poor benefit from growth just asand accuracy, than those based on the traditional much as everyone else because economies havemeasures of GDP growth and a rise in individual changed in ways that allow them to participateincomes. more fully during times of growth.We regard the task of reducing poverty as a Our national parties must help keep the Asiamoral challenge to political leaderships in the Pacific focused on development. Between 1990developing countries. Hence, we recognise that and 2002, more than 280 million East Asians—aour basic task must be to make our economies number equivalent to the entire population ofgrow, so that they can lift up the common life. the United States—pulled themselves out ofBecause growth trickles down too slowly, the extreme poverty: 233 million in China alone andstate’s efforts at development must deal directly 48 million in Southeast Asia. 23 Volume 3 - Spring 2006
  22. 22. The Expansion of International Party Cooperation: CDI Creating Bonds among Asian Centrist Parties Practical programs for the alleviation of Fair global trade poverty The poor countries’ proportionate share of global We believe that, in our interdependent world, trade has been declining, partly because of the peace and prosperity of the rich depend continuing protectionism in the rich economies. on the well-being of all the others. For this Yet an end to unfair trade practices, particularly reason we endorse the proposal for a Debt-for- in agriculture, by the rich countries could lift Equity Program that the Philippines has made millions of the world’s poorest peoples out of to the United Nations, the rich countries and the destitution. It would also strengthen the rules- international lending agencies. The UN Secretary based multilateral trading system if the rich General, Kofi Annan, gave this proposal his countries would give up the subsidies they pay endorsement as an imaginative approach to their farmers. fighting poverty, and the Italian government of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was one of the This year these subsidies run to some one billion G8 powers to give it immediate support. During dollars a day; and they are, in reality, paid not a visit to Washington, DC in mid-September by rich-country treasuries, but by the farmers of last year, I gave senior officials of the World poor countries, in the form of lower prices for Bank and the International Monetary Fund their products. separate extensive briefings on the details of the Program. Finding common ground between capitalism and socialism The Program calls for the creditor-countries to plough back into the economies of the debtor- To establish the political and social stability countries, over an agreed period, fifty percent that we need to pursue our goal of eliminating of the debt-service payments they receive in poverty and building up our middle classes, national anti-poverty projects in accordance with we need to find common ground between the the UN’s Millennium Development Goals. These forces of socialism and the forces of capitalism. payments would be ploughed back—either as We must seek ways to bring personal interest equity or social investments—in reforestation, and the interests of the national community into mass-housing, safe water systems, hospitals, harmony. We must find common ground between school-buildings, infrastructure, micro-financing market forces and the social responsibilities of and other anti-poverty programs. the state. This proposal we endorse as a complement Capitalism triumphant to the agreement by the G8 countries to write off multilateral debt owed by the 20 poorest The fall of Communism and the failure of countries, mostly in Africa. state management of the economy have left capitalism as the remaining political-economic We also endorse the proposal for an Asian Anti- ideology. The failed Marxist experiment proved Poverty Fund and an Asian Monetary Fund made conclusively that the private and the individual by Cambodia and the Philippines. The Anti- cannot be banished altogether from human Poverty Fund will back up the micro-banks that life. Capitalism has been better able to adapt lend working capital to Asia’s entrepreneurial to changing reality, and to deliver a measure of poor. The Asian Monetary Fund will come to the political stability as well as material prosperity. aid of Asian countries in crisis—faster and more substantially than the World Bank-IMF was able Free enterprise has come a long way since a to do for Thailand and Indonesia in 1997. nineteenth-century British Cabinet debated whether it was right to restrict the import of24 European View