Minutes 11-10-2016: Democracy in Diem25
9 people present (M-A, Ezekiel, Wessel, Hagen, Tony, Pedrojuán, K-Nut, Tuulia, Ville)
1.- The goals of DiD
All present where given the chance of expressing by written or spoken word which they think would be the goals and objectives that we should attempt to reach as a group. There was general agreement on the spirit and many of us actually expressed the same ideas in different ways. Five points where selected and discussed until there was a consensus on all of them.
o 1. Engagement with Diem25 members
o 2. Democracy + subject to change
o 3. Review the organizational principles to respect what the grassroots level believes is democracy
o 4. Set up a dialogue with the CC
o 5. To experiment with the new tools of democracy
These points will be written up by Wessel and we will all have the chance of working on the final text which we strive to prove by Oct 18th in slack.
2.- Real life meeting
The idea of holding a meeting somewhere in Europe may be in the spring was posed to the group. There was general agreement on exploring the idea although the question was raised that we need to be aware that these activities can be selective of participants based on their income.
Unable to treat points 3 and 4 due to lack of time
There is general agreement that these points are important and should be dealt with in the future:
3.- Discuss the Demos of Diem25
4.- The role of the grassroots in Diem25
Next meeting arrangements
Meeting will be held biweekly on Tuesday at 7:00CET – voted yes
Mumble will be used as a tool until future reference – voted yes
M-A Will chair next meeting
A pad will be used to prepare the agenda which will discussed in slack
Recording of meeting – decision to be made
· Tony: DiD2025 is dealing with the structure and the policy DSC is dealing with the contents of Diem25.
o M-A: when dealing with democracy, also points in the policy papers will follow.
· The purpose of DiD2025:
§ What we have discussed in Frankfurt: the thing we found very strange is that there is no protocol and no minutes of the meeting where there was a first draft. We could give our opinions and then there was an exclusive meeting on an island where the principles were discussed. Then some points of the comments were just dropped without comments.
§ Right now Diem25 is not a grassroot movement. Only if the DSCs all over Europe that are active are empowered. If the power is concentrated at the CC, we are on the wrong way. It has to come from all of us, the members of the DSCs. There is a guy on the list of the CC whom we never heard of here. He has not been at the meetings and has not visited any events. This is very strange. We were told the CC consists only of people who were active.
§ We don’t like the idea of a yes/no democracy, but rather want to see a constant democracy.
§ Purpose DiD: we have to bring the discussion into the DSCs and we have to bring up amendments to the organising principles; we have to start a dialogue with the members of the CC.
§ I agree with a lot that Hagen said. I’m actually worried that Diem25 is losing members. In the PR release last week, there’s no grassroots.
§ — DiD connects DiEM25 members horizontally and encourages dialogues in order to empower them to take ownership of the movement and ensure a true democratic process is established and maintained at every level.
§ — DiD aims to create a safe place of discussion on issues arising for members around policies/decisions taken and the striving for consensus in order to make possible a continuous improvement of the Operating Principles. One aim would be that nobody leaves DiEM25 in disappointment or anger, but finds in DiD a place where issues are met by a reflective community.
§ — DiD is the tool that we can use to make DiEM25 as great as what we dreamt it would be when we joined.
§ The people in the CC that should be locally active have not made any contact with the members.
§ DiD strives to spread awareness to the need of internal democracy in DiEM25, involve as many DiEM25 members in the process of taking democratizing decisions and implement and facilitate the mechanisms and tools to make large scale, effective and inclusive decisions possible and practicable.
§ DiD will strive to change the organizing principles in order to shift the power to the grassroots of the organization.
§ Problem: In a political organization with urgent objectives there is a general/constant pressure to be efficient which easily leads to centralization of power over time.
§ Approach: There needs to be a firm enough grassroot-base to create counterbalance to this tendency and organizational structure which constantly supports member’s participation.
§ We need to ensure that: Inclusion, transparency, community, accountability and empowerment of people.
§ DiD is a transnational group of members of Diem25, which purpose is:
§ To facilitate and promote a process of internal discussions about ways in which the Diem25 movement can be rendered as democratic as possible, in which as many people in Diem25 as possible will be engaged; and:
§ To actively engage with the question of finding the most efficient form of transnational democratic organization, which will include searching and testing democratic tools and setting up processes of consultations and engagements with all Diem25 members.
§ We seem to make assumptions here about knowing what democracy is.
§ How do we know what the core values of democracy are? We can agree on what criteria should apply? Then we should talk about channels can be used, what structures etc. Structures that are flexible that won’t lock us in.
§ Loads of negative comments are made about people with whom we didn’t discuss these things.
§ Purpose: This group has a very important function to fulfill, namely to spell out what norms should guide a democratic organization and we have to negotiate with others groups to see whether they agree.
§ We have to monitor ourselves as well; we should not collect too much negativity.
§ Comment Ezekiel: We have actually contacted the CC and in fact we just don’t get any replies from them.
§ Comment Pedro: I agree with the setting the criteria for a democratic movement. I think that the idea is to increase the range of our democracy. It starts by abiding to the rules we ourselves establish; then extends to the people who are included later and include their conceptions of democracy. The seed of democracy is there, and it’s only through dialogue that we can set rules. By incorporating and growing the circle of people who want to be involved.
§ Comment Tony: I think we are letting ourselves off the hook. We have to be a bit more self-critical before we criticise others.
§ -DiD can be a platform to slowly test democratic practices that can be implemented ion a wider scale.
§ –DiD is a horizontal platform that is truly ‘democratic’ as DiEM should be, this will show how DiEM could operate.
§ — A method of communicating with democrats throughout Europe to organize online actions and spread Democracy
§ –A ‘think-tank’ for democracy in DiEM and the EU
§ I feel that the definition for democracy is highly important and we shouldn’t criticize the CC perse but really have to highlight problems.
§ I would be interested in finding out what makes people less interested in Diem25. Initially there were many interested people in Finland in the early meetings, now there are just a few of us who really do something here. The problem could be communication, that there is no transnational Internet agora provided for the debate on our common questions.
§ Comment Tony: We need to be more conscious about the image we are now projecting. It seems very chaotic right now. (reference was made to diem25.org)
§ Comment M-A: I commented on the PR on Slack, but nothing was done with that. I was basically told that I did not have anything to say. There is a severe lack of communication and transparency.
§ We have some organizing principles and we are voting on people in a way which is not in accordance with the principles. I hope it will be better in the future. If we want to be a grassroots movement, the grassroots need to be heard.
§ Purpose DiD: We can show that Diem25 is not only some special people but that it’s a big movement of people in which everyone will be heard.
o 1. Try to build an platform for common discussions on policies and politics between DiEM members in different DSCs and different countries. Try to build a common space of discussion/public sphere for preparing and scrutinizing DiEM policies and activities. 2. Try to move the emphasis from speaking tours, intellectuals and politicians’ alliances (the leaders’ level) into activism at the local level and alliance-building at the national and transnational levels. 3. Think and have a discussion, how publicity by Varoufakis and the other leaders, activism at the grassroots level and alliance building at different levels could strengthen each other and form a mutually supporting whole.
o 1. Engagement with Diem25 members – voted yes
o 2. Democracy + subject to change – voted yes
o 3. (
Modify) Review the organizational principles to respect what the grassroots level believes is democracy – voted yes
o 4. Set up a dialogue with the CC – voted yes
o 5. To experiment with the new tools of democracy – voted yes
· Wessel will write the first draft of the text about the objectives
· We vote on these 5 objectives for DiD.
· A “real-life” meeting
o Idea for a “real life” meeting somewhere in Europe.
o There is general approval of this idea.
o Hagen: we have to keep in mind to lower the threshold for people to join our discussions.
· M-A will chair the next meeting
· Next time we’ll record the meeting
· We decided upon a regular meeting moment: Tuesday once every two weeks, at 7pm CET.