Why do you participate in political elections, and not create an EU-wide civic movement aiming at influencing decision-makers?

Some global Non-Governmental Organisations (e.g. Friends of the Earth, Amnesty International,…) have become very powerful lobbying organisations, able to raise public awareness on new political issues, and to exert pressure on governments and policy-makers to promote their civic agenda.

Their action however, falls short from full political action, in two respects:

  1. they support one cause, and one cause only, and deliberately disregard the consequences of their action on other stakeholders – under the assumption that these other stakeholders have (or should have) the means to take care of themselves and of their interests;

  2. they advise governments, but bear no responsibility whatsoever over the consequences of their recommendations.

In this sense, they act in the same way as multi-national corporations, industrial associations, trade unions, and all other members of organised civil society, at all scales (from the very local to global).

These players of civil society have a power of influence – but it is restricted to influence. Ultimate decision-making power remains – legitimately – in the hands of the official public bodies (which in democratic societies are elected) who have the global responsibility of the public interest.

The CosmoPolitical Cooperative has chosen to act fully in the political field, and to participate directly in political elections, precisely because:

  1. it defends the public interest at large, and not a specific, one-sided cause;

  2. it bears full responsibility of decisions taken, in front of voters;

  3. it intends to participate in actual decision-making, by being elected and taking positions of responsibility in government.

This is a choice, and a difficult one. Defining the public interest means taking into account the legitimate claims of all stakeholders (close and distant, current and future, human and non-human – e.g. the climate or biodiversity), and considering the potential impacts of policy on all of them – and yet being sure that the choice made will always create frustration and dissatisfaction for some. Having the courage to take decisions, to implement a specific policy, with the risk of technical failure, and with the certainty of being criticised, is much more difficult than claiming to be the proud knight defending one cause – and blaming any failure on the vilified other side. This courage is difficult, but it makes sense, and is necessary. It is also a source of satisfaction: that of acting concretely for the common good.