Interview with Reinier Bakker, member of Volt Nederland.
By David Zühlke |
Volt comes as a avant-garde in today’s politics, a wake up call for society, governance and politics but also for banks, business and multinationals.
What makes Volt avant-garde in politics?
National states are no longer able to solve European and world wide problems. National political parties discuss most of the items only in a national context and not in an international perspective and this does little to help find solutions. Politicians argue without understanding the other side, creating division among themselves and in society. A lack of self-reflection and not picking up signals from society causes governmental authority to wane. That’s a reason why national administrative cultures are dated and cracking.
People run away from politics because they don’t feel themselves being heard. Former elites, such as social democracy, christian democracy and liberals, are being extinguished. Distrust leads to fragmentation of the political landscape and empowers populism, which is a threat for peace and stability worldwide. Volt is avant-garde in politics because it gives new spirit, new energy to face today’s worldwide problems and to find solutions in a European context. Volt empowers citizens all over the EU to take part in the living, pulsing local democracy.
It’s time for change. As such Volt wants to take advantage of today’s challenges. Volt is a break through in politics and governance. Brexit showed that people lost faith in the public administration. Voting for Leave was also a vote against the British government. Brexit is the symptom of the final hour of a political system that dates from the mid-19th century. Stop the classical clash between left and right, between liberals and conservatives. Stop politics of contrasts. No more ideology like socialism or communism. Volt is pragmatic and wants smart and realistic solutions for today’s worldwide problems regarding climate, migration, biodiversity and questions about labour, hunger and health care.
Volt wants to redefine EU collaboration since World War II, which was fruitful so far. Volt however wants to improve this collaboration by creating a federal state, with a chosen president and more power for the Parliament. More Europe is necessary to strengthen the EU on today’s world platform. Volt wants to share knowledge and experience between the member states. EU countries can’t do this on their own. That’s what Brexit showed us. With 27 countries and 500 million people we have to fix this together as a political power, an economic power with the euro as currency and as a righteous and sustainable society. That makes Europe a strong partner worldwide.
Volt is an answer to nationalism and populism. Volt wants to keep Europe together, a strong continent in a world adrift with power change from US to China and with the threats from Russia, Africa, The Middle East and growing Islamic influence.
Another important topic is safety, fighting against (cyber)crime and terrorism, and living in peace in an open society with social justice. Europe is in danger. Brexit proved this to us. That’s why so many, particularly young, people stand up and say we embrace European values that emerged from humanism and Enlightenment. In the spirit of Erasmus, a new generation wants to safeguard and strengthen these values for the present and future generations. Europe is a unique mix of different cultures and diversity, which unites us as well. Despite awful wars and religious strife, Europe has more similarities than differences. That’s what Volt stands for.
It is necessary to refresh politics in the EU and to reinforce democracy by citizen empowerment, which means mobilising people in their local situation and make them feel responsible for idea- and decision-making together with the local governments. Many people feel discomfort in politics. There is a big gap between rich and poor, as part of the big gap between state and street. Volt wants to close the gap and give back trust between governance and society. This demands a smart state and e-governance in the interests of democracy.
First step for Volt is to enter the European Parliament as of May 2019 as the first pan European party. Furthermore, Volt wants to enter national parliaments and local governments to realise administrative reform in the spirit of Europe. That makes Volt different from national politics. Most national parties don’t bring Europe into consideration. Volt does, and that makes the difference between a dated tradition and the avant-garde.