Volt Europa

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Volt Europa
Co-Presidents Francesca Romana D'Antuono
Reinier van Lanschot
TreasurerJohannes Heinrich
Founded29 March 2017;4 years ago (2017-03-29)
Headquarters Brussels
Ideology European federalism [1]
Social liberalism [2]
Progressivism [3]
Pro-Europeanism [4]
Political position Centre [5] to centre-left [6]
European Parliament group Greens/EFA
Colours  Purple [7]
European Parliament
1 / 705
Dutch House of Representatives
3 / 150
Bulgarian National Assembly
2 / 240
Website
volteuropa.org

Volt Europa (frequently abbreviated as Volt) is a pro-European and European federalist political movement that also serves as the pan-European structure for subsidiary parties in several EU member states. Volt candidates stood on a common, pan-European manifesto in eight member states at the European Parliament elections in May 2019. The organisation follows a "pan-European approach" in many policy fields such as climate change, migration, economic inequality, international conflict, terrorism and the impact of the technological revolution on the labour market. [8]

Contents

It was founded on 29 March 2017. In March 2018, the first national subsidiary party was founded in Hamburg, Germany. Volt has since established local teams in every EU member state, and is registered as a legal party in several of these countries. [7]

History

Foundation

Volt Europa was founded on 29 March 2017 by Andrea Venzon, Colombe Cahen-Salvador and Damian Boeselager, on the same day that the United Kingdom formally announced its intention to leave the European Union under Article 50 TEU. [9] [10] [11] According to their own statement, Volt's foundation was a reaction to growing populism in the world as well as to Brexit. [12] [13] Venzon became founding President, Boeselager Vice President, and Cahen-Salvador policy leader. [14] [15] [10]

First European Parliament election (2019)

European elections 2019 promo by Volt Netherlands, May 2019
Damian Boeselager, Volt's first Member of the European Parliament 2019-04-13 Damian Boeselager by Olaf Kosinsky-0518.jpg
Damian Boeselager, Volt's first Member of the European Parliament

From 27 to 28 October 2018 Volt Europa hosted its General Assembly meeting in Amsterdam, agreeing its Amsterdam Declaration, which also served as its manifesto programme for the European Parliament elections. [16] The party previously gathered in Berlin, Bucharest, and Paris.

From 22 to 24 March 2019 Volt Europa hosted its first European Congress in Rome, [17] presenting its candidates for the 2019 European Parliament election. The keynote speakers list included Paolo Gentiloni (former Prime Minister of Italy and President of the Italian Democratic Party), Emma Bonino (Italian senator and former European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety), Enrico Giovannini (former Italian Government minister), Marcella Panucci (Director General of the General Confederation of Italian Industry), Sandro Gozi (President of the Union of European Federalists) and Antonio Navarra (President of the Mediterranean Center for Climate Change).

During the European Parliament elections in May 2019 the party won one seat by winning 0.7 percent of votes in Germany, with Damian Boeselager its first Member of the European Parliament. [18]

On 9 June 2019, following a pan-European vote of party members, Volt elected to join the Greens–European Free Alliance group in the European Parliament. [19] In the future, Volt hopes to be able to form its own political group in the European Parliament, which would require a minimum of 25 MEPs from at least seven different member states.

Election of new board and first pan-European digital assembly (2019–2020)

Reinier van Lanschot, Volt Europa's co-president (together with Valerie Sternberg of Volt Germany) since 2019 Reinier van Lanschot 2 (cropped) 2.jpg
Reinier van Lanschot, Volt Europa's co-president (together with Valerie Sternberg of Volt Germany) since 2019

From 12 to 13 October 2019, Volt Europa hosted its general assembly in Sofia to elect the new board of Volt Europa. The movement elected former Volt Deutschland president Valerie Sternberg and the former MEP lead candidate of Volt Nederland, Reinier van Lanschot, as co-presidents of Volt Europa. The newly elected treasurer is the former MEP candidate of Volt Luxembourg Julia Pitterman. The elected non-executive board members consist of Konrad Ritter, Eileen O'Sullivan, Bruno Sánchez-Andrade Nuño (es), Sofia Gentiloni Silveri, Joel Boehme and Cornelia-Florina German. [20]

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Volt did not host its Spring 2020 general assembly in Lisbon as planned, but instead became the first pan-European political movement to publicly host a digital general assembly, including a vote on its programme until 2024. [21] [22]

First involvement in national politics (2021)

Laurens Dassen, Leader of Volt Netherlands in the House of Representatives (Netherlands) Laurens Dassen.png
Laurens Dassen, Leader of Volt Netherlands in the House of Representatives (Netherlands)

Volt contested the 2021 Dutch general election, with Laurens Dassen leading the party list. Volt Netherlands ultimately won 2.4% of votes, their best national performance in any election to date, and three seats, marking their first entrance into a national legislature. [23] [24]

Volt Bulgaria participated in all three Bulgarian parliamentary elections in 2021 as part of the anti-government coalitions ISMV and later PP. The first coalition won seats in both elections but none of them were allocated to members of Volt. [25] However, the second coalition won more seats, with Volt taking two seats in the Bulgarian National Assembly.

Volt UK's Scottish branch, Volt Scotland, formed an electoral pact with Renew Scotland, which saw candidates from Volt Scotland joining the Renew party list for the 2021 Scottish Parliament election. [26] For the Scottish Parliament elections, Volt joined Renew in calling for a multiple-choice referendum on the issue of Scottish independence. [27] Renew candidates received 493 votes or 0.02% of the vote for their regional lists and failed to return any MSPs. [28]

From 16 to 17 October 2021, Volt Europa hosted its General Assembly in Lisbon, Portugal. It was the first physical General Assembly since 2019. During the 2021 General Assembly, Reinier van Lanschot who has been Co-President since the General Assembly in Sofia 2019 was reelected. Francesca Romana D'Antuono from Italy was elected as co-president. Johannes Heinrich from Switzerland was elected as treasurer. The six non-executive board members elected were: Ines Consonni, Anouk Ooms, Lucia Nass, Thor Larholm, Charles Evain and Lucas Amorelli Ribeiro Kornexl.

Name

Volt Europa was incorporated as a non-profit association in Luxembourg under the name Volt Europa, [29] abandoning a previous name of Vox Europe to avoid any confusion with a similarly named far-right Spanish party. [30] "Volt" was chosen as a name due to its similarity to the initial name and the added meaning of figuratively bringing voltage into politics. Added to that, both the term "Volt" and the Latin version of name of the European continent have in common that they are understood in all European languages, hence as a transcontinental movement Volt Europa loses the need to adopt translations of its own name, except for languages where non-Latin alphabets are used (like Bulgaria and Greece). [31]

Ideology and policies

In 2018, Volt identified "the 5+1 fundamental challenges": [32]

On economic issues, Volt Europa supports digitisation, investment in the green and blue economy, measures to address poverty and inequality (including a European minimum wage), a more integrated European tax system, and the use of public-private partnerships; it also supports increased spending on welfare, in particular related to education and healthcare. [32] On social policy, Volt opposes sexism and racism and supports LGBT+ rights. It also supports deep reforms to EU institutions, including common management of migration, a European army, and eurobonds. [33] [34] [32] Volt argues that the relationship between the EU and NATO should be reviewed in the long term. [35]

Volt supports the idea of a federal Europe with a strong European Parliament, [36] [37] in order to create a united European voice on the global stage. [38]

Unlike other pro-European movements, such as Pulse of Europe or the European Federalists, Volt aims to participate in European, local and national elections through its subsidiary organisations in EU member states. Its first major objective was the European Parliament elections in May 2019. [39] [40]

National sections

Austria

Volt Österreich
PresidentVictoria Bringmann, Alexander Harrer
TreasurerMarek Skalicka
Founded12 October 2018 (2018-10-12)
Headquarters Vienna, Austria
Website
https://www.voltoesterreich.org/

Volt Österreich is Volt's registered political party in Austria. The party planned to take part in the European elections in 2019, [41] but did not succeed in collecting the required 2,600 signatures in time to qualify for the ballot. [42] The party ran in two constituencies in the 2020 Viennese state election, winning 0.1% in each, and 0.01% of the vote statewide (102 votes total). [43] [44]

Belgium

Volt Belgium
Co-PresidentJordy Vanpoucke
Co-PresidentOlivia ten Horn
TreasurerJérôme Tancrez
SecretaryArno Sterck
Other board memberJuliette Limousin-Golub
Founded28 July 2018 (2018-07-28).
Website
https://www.voltbelgium.org

Volt Belgium/Belgique/België/Belgien is Volt's registered political party in Belgium. [45] Volt Belgium was the first section to participate in elections, when they took part in the 2018 Belgian local elections in Ixelles, Etterbeek and also shared a list with the local Pirate Party (Paars) for Antwerp. [46] During the 2019 European Parliament elections, Volt participated in the Dutch Speaking electoral college, receiving 0.48% of the vote, not enough for a seat. [47]

Bulgaria

Волт България (Volt Bulgaria) is Volt's registered political party in Bulgaria. In the national parliamentary elections in November 2021, Volt achieved a mandate in the National Assembly for the first time as part of the electoral alliance We Continue the Change. In December 2021, Volt Bulgaria achieved a second mandate, when a Member of Parliament from their coalition became a minister and freed up an MP spot for Volt Bulgaria.

Czech Republic

Volt Česká republika, z. s
Co-PresidentKarolína Machová
Co-PresidentAdam Hanka
TreasurerJan Klátil
Headquarters Prague, Czech republic
Locally elected officials0
Website
https://www.voltcesko.org

Volt currently operates in the Czech Republic as the registered association Volt Česká republika, z.s. [48] Karolina Machová and Adam Hanka are the chairs of the association and Jan Klátil is the treasurer. [49]

Denmark

Volt Danmark
Co-PresidentAlexander Nielsen
Co-PresidentKathrine Richter
TreasurerMathieu Pouletty
Founded21 July 2018 (2018-07-21).
Headquarters Copenhagen, Denmark
Locally elected officials0
Website
https://www.voltdenmark.org

The Danish chapter of Volt, Volt Danmark, was founded on 21 July 2018. [50] The party contested an election for the first time in November 2021 with the municipal election in Frederiksberg. [51] [52] To be eligible for national elections, to be held in 2023 at the latest, the party needs 21,000 digital signatures. To run in the European Elections in 2024, the party needs 71,000 digital signatures.[ citation needed ]

France

Volt France
PresidentsCharles Evain
Vice-PresidentsAnne Chamayou
TreasurerEmilien Oumehdi
Founded16 August 2018 (2018-08-16).
HeadquartersParis, France
Website
https://www.voltfrance.org/

Volt France was founded as the ninth national branch of Volt Europa, and has nine active branches, with "city teams" in Grenoble, Lille, Lyon, Nantes, Nice, Paris, Rennes, and two cross-border branches in Ain-Geneva and Strasbourg-Kehl.

The party was unable to participate in the European Elections 2019 due to a lack of funding. In 2020, Volt France participated in municipal elections. The party ran in coalition with the Greens in Lille, where they received 24.5% in the first round, and lost in the second round with 39.4%; [53] as a coalition with "100% citoyens" in Lyon, receiving 3.4% [54] and 1.6% [55] in two districts; and alone in Paris' 9th district, receiving 0.5% in the first round. [56]

Germany

Volt Deutschland became a registered political party in Germany in 2018, allowing it to compete in German elections. [57] Volt Deutschland's basic programme is based upon a policies proposal, which is also fundamental for Volt Europa. [58] The German branch's initial focus was the five "challenges" of "an intelligent state, social equality, economic renaissance, politically active citizenship" and "global balance". It also seeks to implement an overarching policy of transnational EU reform in accordance with the programmes of both Volt Deutschland and Volt Europa. [58] Volt Deutschland's programme for the 2019 European elections 2019 was identical to that of all other European sections. It was adopted as the "Amsterdam Declaration" by all Volt sections in October 2018. [58]

In the 2019 European Election "Volt Deutschland" received 248,824 votes, 0.7% of the total votes in Germany. As a result, Volt Deutschland's leading candidate Damian Boeselager won one of Germany's 96 seats in the European Parliament. [59] [60]

Volt Deutschland has won individual seats on a number of city councils. In local elections occurring the same day as the European Elections in 2019, Volt received 1.2% of the votes for the election to the City Council in Mainz, winning 1 seat. [61] [62] In Bavaria's 2020 local elections, the party won one seat each in Bamberg and Munich. [63] [64] In Munich, Volt subsequently became part of the governing coalition with the Social Democrats. [65] [66] Later that year, the party won seats on the city councils of Cologne, Bonn, Aachen, Siegen, Münster, Düsseldorf, and Paderborn. Volt was particularly strong in Cologne and Bonn, where it received around 5% of the votes, resulting in four and three seats, respectively. [67] [68] In March 2021, the party also won seats in Darmstadt, Frankfurt, Wiesbaden, Fulda and Heusenstamm in the 2021 Hessian local elections. [69] The 6.5% vote share in Darmstadt, to win five of the 71 seats, was the party's best ever result in a German council. [70]

Ireland

Volt Ireland (Volt Éire in Irish) formed in the run-up to the 2019 European elections, but did not initially register as a party, holding meetings in various cities. In October 2021, the group launched an attempt to register as a party. [71] To do so, 300 signatures are required from Irish citizens and EU citizens living in Ireland. [72]

Italy

Volt Italy (Italian Volt Italia) was founded on 18 July 2018. Gianluca Guerra and Eliana Canavesio are party leaders and Paolo Manetta is treasurer. [73]

The party was unable to take part in the 2019 European elections, failing to obtain the required 150,000 notarised supporter signatures. [74] Since then, the party has taken part in a number of regional and local elections, winning mandates in Mantua and Isernia, among other cities, where Federica Vinci, then chair of Volt Italia, was elected deputy mayor. [75]

Luxembourg

Volt Luxembourg was founded in 2019 and received around 2% of the vote in the 2019 European Parliamentary Elections. [76]

Malta

Volt Malta was officially registered as a political party in Malta in May 2021 and is contesting the 2022 elections for the national parliament.

Netherlands

Volt Netherland is Volt's registered political party in the Netherlands and was founded on 23 June 2018 in Utrecht. [77] The party received 2.42% of the vote in the 2021 general election, taking three seats in the Dutch House of Representatives.

Portugal

Volt Portugal
PresidentsTiago Matos Gomes
Vice-PresidentsMateus Carvalho
TreasurerTânia Girão
Founded25 June 2020 (2020-06-25).
Headquarters Lisbon, Portugal
locally elected officials1
Website
https://www.voltportugal.org/

In October 2019, Volt Portugal submitted more than the 9,000 signatures needed to register as a political party. [78] After multiple delays, the Constitutional Court approved Volt Portugal as the country's 25th party in June 2020. [79] Volt Portugal initially planned to contest regional elections on the Azores in Autumn 2020, but was unable to do so due to a slow registration process, which did not allow enough time to recruit candidates. [80] [81]

Romania

Volt România is Volt's registered political party in Romania. It was registered in February 2021, the 15th registered national party of Volt Europa. [82] The group has been active in the country since 2017, participating in initiatives against attacks on the rule of law and mobilising the diaspora to participate in the elections. [83]

Sweden

Volt Sverige
Co-PresidentMichael Holz
Co-PresidentAlexander Löf
TreasurerJoel Boehme
Website
https://www.voltsverige.org/

Volt Sverige is Volt's registered political party in Sweden. Michael Holz and Alexander Löf are party leaders and Joel Boehme is treasurer. The party campaigned for the 2019 European Parliament elections, but as a write-in party without its own ballot papers, relying on voters to write the party's name on blank ballot papers. Volt Sverige received 146 votes in this way. [84]

In early November 2021, the Liberalerna (The Liberals) branch in Ljusnarsberg announced its intention to initially transform itself into an association and run for Volt in the local elections. [85] [86]

Switzerland

Since 2021, Volt Switzerland as a Swiss party is an official associate member of Volt Europe. Volt Europa holds regular meetings in the Swiss cities of Geneva and Zürich, [87] [ non-primary source needed ] and is a registered party. [88] In February 2020, Volt participated in the Unity Committee for the Free Movement of Persons. It is intended to address concerns of foreigners and Swiss with a migration background to achieve greater participation in Swiss public life and was also directed against the citizens' initiative "For moderate immigration (limitation initiative)". [89]

It is participating in its first elections on 13 February 2022, in the Zürich local elections and has candidates in 3 out of 9 constituencies. [90] [91]

United Kingdom

Volt UK was registered with the British Electoral Commission in January 2020, [92] and campaigns for the UK to rejoin the European Union. [93]

Spain

Volt España
PresidentsRachele Arciulo, Cristian Camilo Castrillón Urrea
TreasurerDaniel Medina Stacey
CouncillorChiara Cimino, Pilar Miñana Moliner, Javier de los Santos Meneses, Pablo Méndez, Javier Cañas
Founded15 June 2018 (2018-06-15).
Headquarters Madrid, Spain
0
Website
https://www.volteuropa.es/

Volt España is Volt's registered political party in Spain. The party won 32,291 votes in the 2019 European Parliament election. [94]

European Parliament elections

2019 European Parliament election

Member state Leading candidate Votes % of valid v.SeatsNote
Flag of Germany.svg Germany Damian Boeselager, Marie-Isabelle Heiß [95] [ non-primary source needed ]249,0980.67% [96] 1
Flag of the Netherlands.svg Netherlands Reinier van Lanschot [97] [98] 106,0041.93% [99] 0
Flag of Belgium (civil).svg Belgium Christophe Calis, Marcela Válková [100] 20,3850.48% [101] 0Only in Dutch-speaking electoral college
Flag of Bulgaria.svg Bulgaria Nastimir Ananiev [102] [ non-primary source needed ]3,5000.17% [103] 0
Flag of Luxembourg.svg Luxembourg Rolf Tarrach Siegel [104] [105] 4,6062.11% [106] 0average is 5,76 votes per ballot
Flag of Sweden.svg Sweden Michael Holz [107] 1460.0035% [108] 0
Flag of Spain.svg Spain Bruno Sánchez-Andrade Nuño [109] [110] [111] 32,4320.15% [112] 0
Flag of Europe.svg European Union 416,1710.22%1

In France (unable to raise €800,000 in funding to meet legal requirement to print its own ballot papers [113] [ non-primary source needed ]), Italy (failed to collect 150,000 signatures [114] ), Austria (failed to collect 2,600 signatures [115] ), Portugal (failed to collect 7,500 signatures [116] ), and Denmark (failed to collect a number of voter declarations corresponding to at least 2% of all valid votes at the last general election), Volt had intended to participate in the European Parliament elections but was unable to meet local requirements in time. [117]

National Parliament elections

Bulgaria

ElectionPolitical party/CoalitionLeaderVotes %Seats+/–Government
2021 (April) Volt Bulgaria as part of ISMV Nastimir Ananiev 150,940 (ISMV)4.65 (#6 ISMV)
0 / 240
NewSnap election
2021 (July) Volt Bulgaria as part of ISMV Nastimir Ananiev 136,885 (ISMV)4.95 (#6 ISMV)
0 / 240
-Snap election
2021 (November) Volt Bulgaria as part of PP Nastimir Ananiev 610,273 (PP)25.46 (#1 PP)
2 / 240
[118]
Increase2.svg 2Coalition

Germany

ElectionPolitical partyLeader(s)ConstituencyParty listSeats+/–Government
Votes %Votes %
2021 Volt Germany Rebekka Müller, Hans-Günter Brünker78,2110.2 (#13)165,1530.4 (#14)
0 / 735
NewN/A

Netherlands

ElectionPolitical party Lijsttrekker Votes %Seats+/–Government
2021 Volt Netherlands Laurens Dassen 252,4802.42 (#11)
3 / 150
NewTBA

Funding

According to the party's financial accounts, it generates most of its income through donations & crowdfunding. It states that it publishes every donation exceeding 3,000 Euro per donation or donor per year within 15 days from its receipt on the party's website. [119] On 9 May 2021, Volt announced that they had raised 40,000 Euros in three weeks in a fundraising drive to professionalize Volt in preparation for the 2024 European Parliament election. [120]

Every Volt Chapter commits to the same donation rule of publishing every donation exceeding 3,000 Euros, which can also be observed on the websites of Volt Germany [121] and Netherlands. [122]

Awards

YearAwardSectionIssuer
2018EuroNederlander of 2018 [123] Volt NederlandThe European Movement Netherlands (EBN)
2019Political Representative of the Year (2nd Place) [124] [125] Volt EuropaThe Good Lobby

International cooperation

From 14-19 July 2021, Volt Europa delegates travelled to Yerevan, Armenia, to meet with representatives of the European Party of Armenia. [126]

Notes

1. ^ ISMV coalition won 13 seats in parliament in the July 2021 Bulgarian parliamentary election, none of which were allocated to members of Volt. [127]
2. ^ ISMV coalition won 14 seats in parliament in the April 2021 Bulgarian parliamentary election, none of which were allocated to members of Volt. [25]
3. ^ Renew Scotland contested in five regions and no constituencies in the 2021 Scottish Parliament election.

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