29 March 2020
To my friends and comrades in DiEM25, to all those fighting for a democratic Europe.
I hope you are all doing ok in these troubled times.
I decided to step back from all my responsibilities in DiEM25, the pan-European movement launched by Yanis Varoufakis in 2016.
After fighting for 2 years to democratise Brexit as a national coordinator for the UK branch of the movement I came to the realisation that DiEM25 is not and will never become a vehicle for change in Europe.
A pan-European movement that has little to say and no actions to propose about a much needed pan-European response to the coronavirus emergency is not a movement worth much attention.
A pan-European movement that wasted precious weeks and days to run a campaign about events that took place 5 years ago, when Europeans, right now, are dying and getting sick on an unprecedented scale, is not a movement to be taken seriously.
A pan-European movement that doesn’t put all its energy behind the eurobond proposal that can and should change the way the EU works is a movement that is unable to catch the moment.
More importantly even, it is increasingly clear that it would take more effort to democratise DiEM25 than the EU itself. I experienced that first hand after seeing the backpedalling of the movement’s leadership from a political stance voted for by the members.
Despite this, I kept fighting within the movement as I believed we could play a positive role in the democratisation of Brexit and the EU. I don’t believe that any longer.
Too often, the official narrative of the movement appears to be profoundly euroskeptic, ending up giving arguments to those that want to demolish the EU rather than enthusing those that want to change it.
Too often, byzantine procedures, a confused strategy and a dysfunctional organisation left many of us with a sense of frustration, fatigue and bewilderment.
It doesn’t have to be that way. A movement lives out of enthusiasm, clarity of aims and a functional organisation to pursue them.
It’s important that we understand that DiEM25’s failure at the 2019 European elections was not a failure of pan-European activism. It was the failure of an ill-conceived and badly run political organisation.
Yet the experience of that failure will be an important lesson to all those willing to fight for EU reform and transnational politics. I still am.
We should all keep fighting to build a progressive response to the coronavirus crisis, both here in the UK and in the continent as a whole.
Pan-European activism will find new dawns. The battle for another Europe has only just begun.
I take this chance to express my sincere gratitude to the comrades who animated DiEM25 in the UK. We worked as a team through difficult times and we can be proud of what we did together to democratise this country.
Likewise, I have full respect towards all those that tried their best to change DiEM25 and to change the EU. We must keep fighting together.
To those who will read this letter with contempt or indifference — this is your time to show that DiEM25 exists and can act now. The battle to create eurobonds is the mother of all European battles. Fight it with all the energy you have and actually carpe DiEM.
One year after the Brexit deadline was extended for the first time, it is still the time to Take a break from Brexit and imagine a better EU.
That dream lives on.