Only with the proliferation of trans-European parties can we build the “strong and stable democracy” needed to see the EU achieve its potential as a “world power”, Bart Kruitwagen, treasurer of the ‘Newropeans’ party, told EURACTIV in an exclusive interview ahead of the European elections.
The ‘Newropeans’ party is a trans-European party that is running candidates for the European Parliament elections in Germany, the Netherlands and France.
Kruitwagen is bewildered by Europe’s complacency at “losing its place” in the world, despite having “the best starting position”. “I’ve never understood why we are accepting the idea of the shifting of power from the US to India and China,” said the Dutch European Parliament candidate.
Kruitwagen wants to see Europe become “the next world power”. But he says that the EU lacks “the ambition and the democratic infrastructure” to achieve this.
Europe’s democratic difficulties
His party, Newropeans, wants to give European voters the opportunity to vote for a “truly European party”. According to the treasurer, the Newropeans party is going to present itself to the vote of “more than 130 million European citizens in Germany, The Netherlands and France”.
However, despite having active members in “Italy, Belgium, Spain and many other member states,” Newropeans was unable to run candidates in these countries because of the “lack of common electoral law” for European elections, lamented the candidate.
Despite this setback, Kruitwagen remains optimistic for the upcoming elections. “The positive feedback we get from voting websites is encouraging,” he said, adding that “it seems that obtaining more than 5% of the vote is possible”.
Representing small enterprise
The new party will act as a “lobby” for small and medium-sized companies if elected, says Kruitwagen, adding that policy initiatives have focused “too much” on big corporations, and any solution to the economic crisis should “focus more” on SMEs.
Nearly all employment growth and new technology comes from SMEs, Kruitwagen points out, arguing: “They are our main hope for our future wealth.”