Now to the solution. The problems are well known to everyone who is somewhat involved in the topic and looks beyond his own nose. They result from globalization and can only be solved globally. In this sense, however, I do not want to call myself an “opponent of globalization“, because that is utopian. Globalization can no longer be reversed. I would like to see myself as a “citizen of the world“ and I together with billions of other citizens of the world must have powerful representation so that our common interests – “Save the world” – can be effectively dealt with.
The Democratic World Parliament
Now the book demands and conceives a Democratic World Parliament, located at the UNO and organized similar to the EU Parliament. It’s sole purpose should be to solve the problems that cannot be solved by individual states,i.e. the global problems. Of course, this Parliament must not interfere with the internal affairs of states, affairs that have no influence on other states. That’s the only way this will work. The EU is leading the way. There, too, EU-wide issues are tackled. The European states are right to defend themselves when interference takes place without it being a supranational matter. It already works in the same way at the municipal and state level in Germany. The municipalities regulate municipal matters. If they are overriding matters, it is the counties that regulate them, then the Länder, then the Federal Republic, then the EU. Now only the World Parliament would be added in the order of precedence.
A well thought-out concept already appears in the book. One of the two authors, Jo Leinen, was a Member of the European Parliament from 1999 to 2019 and gained his experience there. He is now President of the “European Movement International“.
The present UNO is a paper tiger. It does not have a “parliament“, but only a general assembly. This does not consist of world parliamentarians elected by the “world citizens“, but the governments send envoys. There are no majority decisions, but only decisions that are more “recommendations“, no “world laws“. With the right of veto by some large countries, decisions are usually softened down to the ”lowest common denominator“, i. e. no significant influence on global problems is to be expected. The working groups recognize this, but there are no effective remedies. The only executive power consists of the well-known blue helmet soldiers, who are however only observers. Nor can world laws be decided and certainly not enforced.
However, there is an Article 22 in the UN Charter which would make it possible to install and elect a parliament immediately, the so-called UNPA, the UN Parliament. This would at least allow the UN to start working slowly, as in the EU, on the installation of a world parliament. This could be developed step by step and the legislative and executive branches could be gradually expanded. A world central bank, world tax office, global anti-cartel office, world criminal police and an intervention force could then be set up at some point.
There is also a sophisticated approach to the allocation of seats similar to the EU. A „degressive proportionality“ is realized there. For example, Malta has one representative per 70000 inhabitants, Germany has one representative per 833000 inhabitants. Something similar would also have to be worked out in the World Parliament and there are good thoughts and ideas about it. Otherwise, with a proportional distribution of votes, China would always have 17% of the deputies because of the 1.3 billion inhabitants there and the USA only 3% and Germany only 1%.
And the number of democratic countries is constantly increasing. More and more the experience prevails: Despite many disadvantages of a democratic form of government (multi-party system, coalition compromises and so forth) there is nothing better. Citizens simply are better off in a democracy.
There have been several “waves of democracy“ so far: The first wave is dated 1828 – 1926, triggered by the French Revolution and American independence movement. According to the study, 21 countries or 17% of the world population turned into democracies.
The second wave started in 1943-1962, after which 35 countries turned democratic making up 36% of the world population.
The third wave is counted from 1974 – 1989, after which 49 countries were democratic with 50% of the world population.
The fourth wave, particularly the Arab Spring, brought a total of 95 states to democracy by 2006 and thus democratised 58% of the world’s population.
We are all now waiting for the democratisation of China. Experience has shown that with rising average incomes – as is currently happening in China – democratisation cannot be halted, also thanks to the information available to the ordinary population via the Internet.
Counterarguments and Counterforces
Why doesn’t the world parliament already exist? For 40 years people have been thinking about it and many have been demanding it ever since. The typical argument I hear again and again is: That’s all very well, but: Trump, Putin, Xi Jinping and other „dictators“ will know how to prevent that.
Clearly, the global financial powers will do everything they can to prevent this, as all dictatorships, criminal organisations and, of course, the super-rich will do. Even nationalist sentiments will not want to become friendly with this idea and of course support egoistic aspirations that serve the self-good, but not the common good.
Another counterargument, especially in the Western world: We will have to give up and do without for the good of our planet. It will cost us something. Not only: “No more plastic straws“ and “petrol will be 3 cents more expensive“. That will not be enough. We will have to give up some of our wealth to save our Planet. Not everyone will really want that, according to the motto: “Let us live well and enjoy life to the full, who cares when we are gone?“.
And of course the fear is stirred up with the thought that a world power with its mechanisms and power structures could easily be taken over by dictators through abuse. Much too dangerous!
The constitution of this world state must be so sophisticated and secure that it cannot be abused. It must not become a bureaucratic monster trampling on our rights, it must not become a global Leviathan (as described in the Book of Job).
In political science this idea is therefore dismissed as unworldly and crazy. There has always been reactionary criticism, the powerful won’t allow it – will they?
Hope for Realization?
So this is all futile, isn’t it? Yet: The waves of democratization speak against it! If Kaiser Wilhelm had been asked how he liked democratization, he would have dismissed it as crazy and unworldly. If he had the say, there would still be ruling kings and emperors in Europe today!
I have the hope that the reason of the citizens of the world will prevail, that we won’t have to wait until some super-hard world catastrophe will automatically make it clear to all citizens.
As we see, the individual citizen can do amazing things with social media networking. I am encouraged by the “Fridays for Future“ movement, because it mobilizes young citizens and takes them out onto the streets.
Today one can mobilize an enormous number of citizens with masses of “shares“, as the example of Rezo shows, whose message on YouTube against the government (“allegedly“) caused landslides in the election results.
If this topic is shared worldwide, if a lot of people become members of the Jo-Leinen and Andreas-Brummer-Organisation and a huge pressure arises on all parties, then something can move forward.
And this is what I want to contribute to with these pages. Share this message, become a member of:
Pass on this message. There is a huge list of supporters, there should be a few billion sometime, because it concerns us all. For example, the EU has taken such a decision in support of the UNPA and supports these aspirations.
Pay attention to party programs of the current parties whether they have this item on the agenda.
We also want to persuade the Protestant Regional Churches to make a positive statement about this. As far as I know, the Pope has already supported the UNPA.
We Christians can modify a phrase from Luther as an example as follows: Even if Jesus returns tomorrow, we still want to support the UNPA today.
There are over 500 so-called NGOs or “Non-governmental Organizations“ worldwide, many of which have similar objectives to combat these global problems. You know Attac, Greenpeace, Brot für die Welt etc. (see list on the internet). The activities of the UNPA and NGOs could be brought together and thus synergetically strengthened. There are many NGOs that support the creation of a UNPA.
Signed: Prof. Dr. Jörg Bayerlein
Translated by Hartmut and Paula Schäffer