Election programme for the 2019 European elections
The free development of the individual on the basis of human rights is the starting point of our policy – in Germany, in Europe and all over the world. Politics should only set limits where it is absolutely necessary. Our policy follows rational arguments and scientific findings and always focuses on the well-being of the individual. No religion or belief is superior to this well-being. Humans are part of nature and social creatures. This results in our responsibility for our fellow human beings, animals and the environment.
For over 70 years, the European Union has proven itself to be a guarantor of freedom and freedom of movement, peace and diversity in Europe. In the course of the irreversible economic globalisation, from which we in Germany and Europe massively benefit, the importance of the EU has grown further. For us, there is no alternative to this European future-oriented unification project, but we want to reform it and think ahead.
In our „Vision for Europe“, we call for the overcoming of national egoisms, such as those that can be seen in Brexit and the demands of the Eastern European states, which today are like a millstone around the neck of the European project for the future. We demand a genuine, democratic European Republic, European citizenship, a binding constitutional framework and uniform social standards and workers‘ rights, which should also increasingly be applied to the manufacturing conditions of imported products.
We call for a European army, central ministries for foreign, security and trade policy and coherent coordination of migration at EU level. We demand decision-making to be transferred back to the level of regions, and that people affected regain a democratic voice.
Our detailed „Vision for Europe“ can be found at https://diehumanisten.de/visioneuropa
For us as humanists, freedom is the basis for the free development of the individual. Freedom is based on rights. The cornerstones of these rights are the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of the United Nations (UN), the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and our German Constitution (Grundgesetz). They grant us achievements such as equality before the law, equality of the sexes, freedom from serfdom, freedom of faith and conscience, freedom to choose one’s profession, one’s partner and one’s place of residence. They grant property and legal protection, social and democratic participation, freedom of art, opinion and assembly, freedom of occupation and establishment, and freedom from existential need.
However, neither in Germany nor in other EU states these rights have been fully implemented or are undisputed. Poland is dismantling the rule of law and continues to treat all abortions as criminal offences, even for rape victims. Hungary is grinding down the plural press and freedom of opinion, while Romania recently sought a final ban on „marriage for all“ by means of a constitutional referendum. Religious moral concepts can be found across Europe in constitutions and laws and restrict individual lifestyles, medicine and research unacceptably.
We want to change this and fight for a strong, uniform and binding basic framework for the whole of Europe, through which human rights are enforced fully and bindingly for all.
A partial aspect of this is the complete separation of state and religious and ideological communities: no religious instruction at state schools, no financing of bishops‘ salaries from general tax revenues, no tax concessions for church assets, no collection of church contributions by the state, no religious dignitaries as advisors on legislative initiatives or in committees such as broadcasting boards, ethics committees or youth protection testing bodies.
The rights on which our freedom is based must be uniformly enforced throughout Europe. We want to prevent police arbitrariness and corruption by means of a uniform European code of criminal procedure in which every European citizen knows and can assert their rights. This includes a central Ministry of Justice and Home Affairs and a European Federal Police, which can conduct independent investigations.
We see progress in a positive and fearless way: life means change, change can be shaped. If you don’t know, you have to believe – that’s why education and research are the central keys for us to actively shape the future.
Scientific findings – including basic research – directly benefit people: for example, when it comes to new medical active ingredients and processes, or to higher-nutrient and higher-yielding foods and climate-change-resistant plants.
We want Europe to occupy a leading position in science and therefore call for a significant increase in European research budgets. Innovative company founders and start-ups are the growth engine and driving force behind progress in Europe. In particular, we want to actively promote university spin-offs and thus make Europe a top location for the world’s most capable minds.
Today’s young people have the task of shaping tomorrow’s future. We demand a better school education throughout Europe, in which everyone has equal opportunities and support regardless of their social background. We want to promote the cross-border exchange of knowledge and experience not only by expanding the Erasmus student programme, but also by networking trainees and teachers across borders through state-financed exchange programmes of this kind, in order to raise the level of education throughout Europe and promote peaceful coexistence and a European identity.
The consistent teaching and implementation of a uniform European lingua franca – English, from today’s perspective – is indispensable for this. In addition, we call for the Europe-wide introduction of public and thus non-government controlled media institutions that convey proven facts in an appealing form instead of fake news.
As humanists, we recognize our responsibility for our fellow human beings, for animals and the environment: The freedom of the individual can only unfold in the social community. To this end, the social and political participation of each individual must be ensured. Only those who are free from existential need can shape society.
The aim of our social policy is therefore to create the basis for a free and self-determined life. To this end, we want to introduce an unconditional basic income across Europe which adapts to regional conditions, but which in any case enables a dignified life without hunger and homelessness. As an intermediate step, we call for the introduction of a regionally determined minimum wage throughout Europe, which would protect against exploitation. We want to introduce a Europe-wide citizens‘ insurance system, social security and pension insurance within the framework of the European citizenship that we propose to establish, in order to make a genuine European free movement of workers a reality without a marathon of authorities.
The state must handle its citizens‘ money responsibly. The basis of our budgetary, financial and tax policy is therefore: more citizen participation in major projects, reduction of subsidies, simplification of tax legislation and raising debts only for investments in future-oriented infrastructure measures. Tax loopholes for companies and private individuals must be closed so that no one can evade their social responsibility.
In economic policy, we are committed to fairness and responsibility, both in Europe and in the rest of the world. The social market economy is the only economic order that is compatible with humanist values such as individual freedom, reconciliation of interests and help for self-help. Our goal is a market economy that is free from both state arbitrariness and monopolised economic power and allows all social classes to participate in growth and prosperity. To this end, working conditions and occupational health and safety guidelines in Europe must be harmonised and the free exchange of goods promoted and made more environmentally friendly within the framework of international treaties.
Climate change is probably the greatest challenge of our time. We must assume our responsibility for our children and grandchildren here and act today to secure their future. We want to rise to this global challenge with courage and technological openness and become pioneers in the world in the process. We want to expand European projects for demand-oriented, flexible and CO2-neutral electricity production as well as the research and promotion of new energy sources, storage solutions, emission reduction methods and the expansion of European long-distance rail transport. Political control instruments such as emissions trading and the clear will to turn away from fossil fuels are also indispensable for mitigating climate change.
We want to counter the great climate killer of industrial meat production by reforming large-scale livestock farming and intensively promoting laboratory-produced cultivated meat. It is our ethical duty as humanists to ensure the welfare of animals in Europe and to reduce their suffering. This objective must be given more weight than traditions, entertainment, religious rites or economic interests.
For over 70 years, the European Union has ensured peace in Europe – through internal and external cooperation. The integration of the EU into international institutions such as the UN, NATO and the WHO, as well as the integration of states through globalisation, now contribute to the resolutions of conflicts through negotiation rather than war. Nevertheless, wars do exist, and the armed conflicts in our relative neighbourhood in the Balkans in the 1990s and in our time in Eastern Ukraine or Syria show that we still cannot do without military forces. But these forces can be converged and organized more efficiently within the EU: We call for the establishment of a modern European defence army and the dismantling of national armed forces.
A strong, united, democratic Europe is a guarantee of stability in world politics and, in view of the declining US dominance, is more important than ever today. But even after 70 years, Europe does not speak with one voice to the outside world. We therefore want to upgrade the position of the EU’s foreign envoys to that of a genuine foreign minister of the Federal Republic of Europe, who makes her voice be heard. The aim of European foreign and economic policy must be to make the world a better place for all, beyond national or territorial egoisms. Investments in infrastructure, state legal systems, education and training, climate change mitigation and economic cooperation at eye level are further essential elements of the foreign and economic policy we are striving for.
No human being flees without a reason. Group violence, war and personal persecution commit us without any doubt to humanitarian aid. We call for the expansion of militarily secured, livable subsidiary protection zones in the neighbouring states of conflict centres, as well as economic and political reconstruction programmes that create long-term prospects for return. We want to guarantee safe entry to Europe for individual reasons of asylum. To this end, we advocate a European asylum system based on solidarity, which distributes refugees within Europe based on clear criteria. The criteria include, for example, the population size and economic strength of the receiving regions.
Hunger, impoverishment and a lack of prospects are equally respectable reasons for packing one’s belongings and striving for a better life elsewhere. This kind of migration, however, is not the same as seeking refuge and needs to be handled according to different rules. We call for a migration system that takes into account criteria such as professional qualifications and training, language skills and a cultural fit assessment, but also the demand for qualifications in the various regions. Applications for migration must, in principle, be made before entering the EU. A „lane change“ between asylum and migration should be explicitly possible. Integration is best achieved with a clear future perspective.
We want to dare more Europe, rethink Europe and make it better, and give Europe a stronger voice in the world in order to make it a better place. Now is the time to initiate change for the future. We want to win at least one seat in the European Parliament in this European election.
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