“To be honest, I was wrong about the Spitzenkandidaten process. It is an important first step to give the EU a face – and it gives the public a buy-in to EU politics”, mentioned a former UK cabinet minister at an event in Brussels, under the Chatham House rule.
In 2014 the European Union introduced primary elections for the first time in the European history. The election of the new European Commission president confirmed that the primaries mattered and are a step forward for European democracy.
Although still more than 4 years until the next European Parliament elections, it is important to already discuss what kind of EU primary elections we would want to have in 2019.
Further reforms will be needed to improve the election of the successor of President Juncker in 2019. The year 2015 is the perfect time for starting with discussions in European political parties, internal debate about their experience with the primary elections in 2014 and how we could improve the system for the European elections in 2019.
Europe's citizens are eager to understand the European project better and would want to be involved in choosing their leaders democratically. European political parties have a responsibility to propose real, transparent and functional systems.
Dan LUCA / Brussels