"Without deep-rooted moral values and obligations shared by all, neither the law, nor a democratic government, nor even a market economy will be able to function properly." Václav Havel

Our European democracy is losing momentum, our economic plan, described as liberal, is not clear to citizens, and the future vision for Europe is vague. Europe is barely viewed as an economic union any more. Many European citizens no longer understand how Europe works, its role, and the ambition that sustains it. It is high time to talk about values again, and to put them at the centre of the debate... and to propose a new Europe of Nations, effective, always united, and prepared for the world of the future.

START is a party based on values that will always determine our direction, and that will take precedence over the individuals who represent them. General Interest, Power to the people, Courage, Exemplarity, Authority, Competence, Diversity, Environment, Innovation, Solidarity economy...

START will fight corruption, cronyism, nepotism, the professionalisation of politics, multiple mandates, renouncement, mediocrity, incompetence, world privatisation, lobbies, and more. 

General interest, power to the people
  • It’s time to give the people back their voice. If more than 50% of Europeans no longer vote, it’s because they don’t see the point in expressing their opinion.
  • We advocate the concept of regular voting organised on a regional and local level on all key issues (as in the Swiss example), and national and European referendums. We must stop disregarding citizens and seek their opinion as much as possible. Digital technologies offer an opportunity for more direct democracy. In the future, when electors say NO (as in the European Constitution referendum in 2005), they will be listened to! This process will take time but it must be an aim. What is most essential to reinstate dialogue and trust between Europe’s representatives and their citizens.
  • Voting would become a duty and would be mandatory. All who vote, even blank votes, must be heard. The vote would be annulled if abstentions exceed 40% and blank votes 30%. It will be made easier to vote by proxy, on the Internet.
  • We want to review the structure and the roles of Parliament, the European Commission and the Constitutional Council. Eventually, we would like a certain number of European citizens to be picked at random from the European population (registered on electoral rolls and with clean legal records). Our goal is to simplify the European mechanism, making it more human and ensuring it serves Europe. Among other things, this will require laws that everyone can understand…
  • Authority today is frightening. However, having authority does not mean being authoritarian nor does it mean creating a police state. Individual freedoms and privacy, invaded by technology and threatened by terrorism, must be protected,  if we are all to live together in greater harmony, we must all be made to comply with social norms.
  • Authority starts with parental authority, within the family: we must be able to say no children when necessary, and to impose limits. It means authority in school too, and police and judicial authority. All these levels of Authority have been diminished, and they must be restored to rebuild a Republican moral order.
  • It is simply a case of rebuilding a Republican moral order at all levels of society. To maintain social cohesion and harmonious community life, simple rules must be imposed and obeyed. This will involve combating the antisocial behaviour and minor delinquency that is allowed to flourish today. In the UK’s cities, people are allowed to urinate and drop litter in public, while pickpockets and small-time crooks are allowed to rob or swindle French people and tourists… We will change this, without losing sight of the fight against major crime. Citizens do not have to choose between major and minor crime: we want to and we must fight them both
  • Lawless areas must also be addressed. Not with declarations or coats of paint, power-cleaning by “karcher”, or video surveillance… But through listening, attention, presence, commitment, and “empowerment”, against a background of respect for authority. Not against the inhabitants of these areas, but with them and for them. Putting local police back in these areas. Renovating apartment blocks and the urban environment, using companies that employ and train young people from these areas to do the work. Implementing a genuine broken window policy for and by the inhabitants. Detroit in the United States slowly emerging from its ruins to become an ultramodern city, creative, environmentally responsible, and transformed. If it can be done there, it can be done here too. Let’s follow the fine example of German reunification, by trusting Europe’s young people, leading them, and allowing them to take control of their own destiny.
  • Similarly, while we will empower the police with the authority to fight antisocial behaviour and the minor crimes that are no longer investigated, we will also monitor the police more closely to prevent abuses such as the use of violence, using technology: during interviews, all police officers will wear a video camera that will film the scene. To benefit all: if a police officer is insulted or assaulted, he or she will be able to use appropriate force in response, within the limits of the law. If the individual complains, the video will be used against them. However, if the police use disproportionate force, or in clear cases of racial profiling, the individual in question will be able to use the video in legal proceedings.
  • Time to end the personal enrichment of elected representatives, and to fight corruption, create an independent anti-corruption public prosecutor, modelled on the public prosecutor that the European Union set up in Romania to clean up its elected representatives. Cheats of all persuasions will be driven out: they will all be made ineligible and brought before the courts, answerable to the law just like anyone else.
  • Exemplarity... Where to start? Complying with restrictions on multiple mandates? Reforming special Parliamentary regimes? Transparency of assets? Ineligibility for elected representatives who are convicted? There is so much to be done. All the more reason to get on with it quickly. 
  • The principle of competence. We will stop, forever, placing incompetent people in key positions through “patronage” or "cronyism".
  • It is a democratic imperative that political life should not be professionalised. We will apply this without exception. In this context, we envisage that a member of Parliament will be entitled to be elected no more than twice nationally and in Europe. Politicians will be able to live on their elected representative salaries for no more than 15 years in Europe (and will not be able to combine this with national mandates). Once they have completed their period as elected representatives, all ministers will be subject to a five-year “no competition” period in relation to the sector they were working in, to avoid any future collusion or conflict of interest.
  •  We will track down and put an end to unearned political income.

When fathers become used to letting their children do as they wish, when sons stop heeding their words, when teachers tremble before their pupils and resort to flattering them, and when young people scorn the laws because they no longer recognise anything or anyone in authority over them, that is the perfect breeding ground for tyranny.

PLATO 429-347 BC (extract from The Republic)

  • Diversity is a blessing. The differences in and between our countries are a real asset. In a clear framework we show respect for each countries values, for moral order and for shared rights and duties.
  • Europe must commit to improving national representation (in the Member States) and implement a common Education policy and equivalent social policy in all Member States. The criteria must be adjusted according to each State’s degree of development. The only way to derive real benefit from Europe’s diversity is for its populations to truly know and understand each other.
  • Fighting intolerance, fear, racism, sexism, hatred of others and ignorance. Europe is made RICH by its diversity, by its immigrant populations who become integrated into the national fabric and adopt its values, and by its mixed marriages. We must celebrate this wealth. Instead of always talking about the 5% of problems, let’s talk about the 95% of successes.
Religious freedom and culture in Europe
  • The ability to practice one’s religion and beliefs is one of the fundamental freedoms enshrined in the European Union’s Charter of Fundamental Rights, in the article on freedom of thought, conscience and religion. Religion is a private, personal matter, which therefore means that the State should not impose a religion on its citizens. It must be presented as a universal freedom that must also respect the freedom of others and that has limits, like any freedom.
  • Europe was designed on economic foundations and not on cultural cooperation. Therefore the European Union has only very gradually adopted cultural politics. Culture is key to forming future European citizens: it provides a true window onto the world and others, it contributes to discussion (socially engaged art) and to progress.
  • Start would like to use civil society and other European experiences to make culture once again a right of citizens and a bond between nations. Europe may boil down to no more than economic treaties, but promoting European culture is a way of forging strong links between peoples. We would like to put culture back at the heart of the Europe of the future (particularly through Education).
Progress, social economy and entrepreneurship
  • We are optimists in START: we believe in progress, enterprise, growth, and entrepreneurship. We know the business world very well: we come from it. So we know that we must do all we can to help businesses to prosper, but that the State must also maintain a prominent role in monitoring and redistribution, since businesses have no other interest than their own. Each business is an individual interest, and their sum does not equate to the general interest.
  • Europe has long been at the forefront of social progress, and the concept of social justice is well-established in most European societies. But promoting social progress can only work if a favourable economic context is created. Some countries are worn down by unemployment and debt: this vicious circle must be brought to an end. Positive forces must be freed up, companies must be able to recruit again, banks must lend again, certain States must continue to modernise and to simplify the rules and constraints that weigh heavily on businesses. This is essential and it must happen now. There will be no more social progress without significant reforms and specific economic changes.
  • In a modern world where the Internet, robots and many other new ideas have turned our habits upside down, the jobs of the future will change, ways of working will be different, and the skills required will be new ones. This change will come about as businesses appropriate to this society are created. To achieve this, we must break down barriers to growth. And stimulate the industries of the future: new technologies, the environmental industry, personal services, health, etc. By championing these industries we will guarantee employment for future generations. Europe must of course contribute to this change: adapting the education system, supporting new sectors, supporting companies (through reduced charges, tax incentives, etc.). Positive steps have already been taken. We must go further, and faster.