The political mainstream in Europe is fragmenting. Recent elections – from Spain and Slovakia to Portugal and Ireland – have produced stalemates, volatile coalitions, and weak governments. Anti-austerity, anti-EU, and anti-immigration parties are growing, reducing the share of the vote for mainstream parties on both the centre-left and the centre-right. Politics is growing more volatile, and the rhetoric becoming ever shriller.

60% of Europeans polled say they don’t trust their national government or parliament. Can democracy function correctly with high levels of mistrust in political institutions? Or is it normal (and maybe even healthy) for voters to hold a certain amount of scepticism of political elites?

What do our readers think? We had a comment sent in from Alex, arguing that citizens are losing trust because politicians don’t take decisions in their interests: “We are losing trust because you end up making political decisions over decisions in favour of citizens.”

How would YOU restore public trust in politics? We asked Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) from all sides of the political spectrum to stake out their positions on this question, and it’s up to YOU to vote for the policies you favour. See what the different MEPs have to say, then vote at the bottom of this debate for the one you most agree with! Take part in the vote below and tell us who you support in the European Parliament!

Radical Left
Gabi Zimmer (GUE-NGL), Chair of the GUE-NGL, Member of the European Parliament (NOTE: We contacted GUE-NGL MEPs for comment but they did not reply in time for publication. The below is from a statement made by Gabi Zimmer MEP):

zimmerThe EU destroys the trust of its citizens by ignoring their concerns and expectations and representing mainly the interests of banks and corporations. Only a democratic EU dedicated to growth, employment and fair living standards can counter the appeal of these racist parties masquerading as defenders of the rights of ordinary citizens…

Greens
Judith Sargentini (Group of the Greens), Member of the European Parliament:

sargentiniIf I knew how to restore public trust in politics, I would definitely immediately use that recipe. I think the only thing I can do is do my job as well as I can, be transparent in what I do, and show citizens that it’s a difficult decision-making proces.

It’s not “black and white”, it’s not “right or wrong”, there is a lot of grey, and there are a lot of ethical decisions you have to think through and then try to make the right decision. And I think it’s important for us to show how decisions are made, and show were we’ve been struggling.

Liberal Democrats
Hilde Vautmans (ALDE), Member of the European Parliament:

Centre Right
Danuta Hübner (EPP), Member of the European Parliament, Chair of the European People’s Party Group (NOTE: We contacted EPP MEPs for comment but they did not reply in time for publication. The below is from a speech made by Danuta Hübner MEP):

hubnerWe see – at national level – an increasing number of governments that are unable to think in a pro-European way or act in a pro-European way… Even some mainstream parties have elements of populism and some relation to extremists parties. [Political radicalisation] is generating fear and people feel threatened. And lack of trust in leaders is fueled by radicalisation. This is a big threat to European liberal democracy…

Conservatives
Anna Fotyga (ECR), Member of the European Parliament:

Eurosceptics

Nigel Farage (EFDD), Member of the European Parliament (NOTE: We contacted EFDD MEPs for comment but they did not reply in time for publication. The below is from a speech made by Nigel Farage MEP)::

farage-speaksThis EU faces an existential crisis, indeed there is an outbreak of a contagious disease. It is not a new one. The Greeks first came across it a couple of thousand years ago, the virus in its new form began in Denmark in the early 90’s but was put down with a heavy German hand. There have been a couple of outbreaks in Ireland but substantial European money again cured the outbreak. But the red alert in 2005 when the contagion swept the Netherlands and France frankly has never gone away and I think now we have simultaneous outbreaks of the disease and in Denmark it now looks to be wholly irreversible. In my own country, despite decades of our political establishment denying its existence, a recent opinion poll showed that sufferers may now be actually in a majority… [T]he disease is called democracy and people want to have a say on their future.

Curious to know more about trust in politics in the European Union? We’ve put together some facts and figures in the infographic below (click for a bigger version).

IMAGE CREDIT: CC / Flickr – Manuel Gordiani
With the support of:

 



Who do YOU agree with on this issue?

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217 comments Post a commentcomment

What do YOU think?

  1. avatar
    Bart Van Damme

    You can’t. In a democracy, the people should be in power (that’s what the word “democracy” means). Politicians have their own agenda and are not even interested in what the people think. The way forward is to finally give power to the people and take it away from politicians.

  2. avatar
    Delyan Nestorov

    Trust in politics is no different than other trust. It takes time and actions of trust with no space for screw ups

  3. avatar
    Tony Goulart

    Introduce a law that says if politicians accept gifts, donations, moneys in values over 500€ and exceeding 2,000.00€ annually, combined or otherwise, this politician will spend 5 years in the EU prison without bail.

  4. avatar
    Olivier Dutreil

    If they start doing the job for what they are paid instead of thinking to themselves if they care about the people good: Safety employment,less taxation…then i ll start to reconsider my vote to National Front the so called extreme right…

  5. avatar
    Vlasta Peric

    I AGREE WITH BART.ALL VARIETIES OF CORRUPTION ARE VERY DEEPLY ROOTED IN ALL LEVELS OF POLITICS-FROM THE LOCAL TO THE NATIONAL..POWER TO THE PEOPLE!!!

  6. avatar
    Harris Manteniotes

    Political Parties (is a mean for power and money / well paid jobs. for specific people/families ONLY, not a real Democracy), in Greece at least PP have ruined the Country..we need a Democracy without parties at all, with independent Parliamentary Members, which will be frequently being searched for corruption , etc…also politician salaries must be reduced to a minimum, that way we will see which person will really want to SERVE PEOPLE & COUNTRY…

  7. avatar
    Nando Aidos

    There are many ways to discourage (if not stop) this charade.
    – Make political posts “civil service” posts with responsibility and none of the perks.
    – Prohibit people who hold political jobs from being hired by firms with government contracts for 4 (four) years.
    It is not difficult to come up with “social responsibility” points that would restore confidence. There are countries that have done it and are doing it. Let us just copy them.
    Why does it seem to be so complicated? Because there is no political will to make changes!

  8. avatar
    nando

    There are many ways to discourage (if not stop) this charade.
    – Make political posts “civil service” posts with responsibility and none of the perks.
    – Prohibit people who hold political jobs from being hired by firms with government contracts for 4 (four) years.
    It is not difficult to come up with “social responsibility” points that would restore confidence. There are countries that have done it and are doing it. Let us just copy them.
    Why does it seem to be so complicated? Because there is no political will to make changes!

    • avatar
      Paul X

      Go one better, make being a MEP a voluntary job, that would soon sort out those that actually care from those who just want a fat pension

    • avatar
      Duncan

      I think you’re both way off base here. If you offer little/no money then the ONLY people who would take the job would be people who are willing to use corruption in the job to make money. It’d be better to force people to do the job, like conscription or jury duty. In fact, I’m in favour of mandatory civil service for a set period (2-5 years, probably 5 years would be best, because it would then apply equally to immigrants and national born alike) with anyone refusing doing a term in prison of equal duration followed by losing civil rights/privileges (such as the vote, state pension, state healthcare). This would boost the number of soldiers, firemen, police, care in the community volunteers and so on and so forth. It should also hopefully remove this idea of a free ride from the mindsets of certain individuals, having had to directly work for their community may just make them care about it a little more too.

  9. avatar
    Tobias Jetter

    Solve the current crisis, stop the war for resources, introduce direct democracy beggining in Small communities, fix the unfair taxation (aka introduce more taxes for the super-rich and enforce them internationally), end corruption by making government work more transparent, etc.
    So much to Do!

  10. avatar
    Margaret Barahmandpour

    Don’t ask stupid questions and you won’t be told any lies. No European who knows his/her worth would enter politics….especially within the EU….since to enter such a nasty smelling fish bowl means that you lost everone’s trust for good. The era of statesmen is long over…now we have corrupt politicians, incompetent technocrats & double faced diplomats. Who in his/her right frame of mind would be ready to trust such species. Once a politician….always a politician. Never to be trusted!

  11. avatar
    Toni Muñiz

    Get rid of worthless politicians who have other interests than those of the people.

  12. avatar
    Jude De Froissard

    We can’t….they created through their constitutions and laws states and governments that suit them.. …and to make matters worse…they made a satanic bureaucracy. ..politicians in greece, for example,are the worst enemies of the people..

  13. avatar
    Miro

    By doing something for most of population, in form of significant life improvement?
    I heard Thursday is generally non working for populace of France?? Like that for example?

  14. avatar
    klassen

    Why do you ask when you know the answer?

  15. avatar
    Julia Hadjikyriacou

    There will never be trust in politicians or governments from this age onwards. It has become obvious that all government institutions are at the mercy of individual politicians/leaders/decision makers moral code. It cannot go on like this. It is total chaos. Create a charter outlining moral code for political decision-making and if any one politician violates it they get fired. This will take care of lobbyists, unethical trades and influential groups/corporations with unethical motives and countries agendas.

    • avatar
      Duncan

      Only if they get caught.

  16. avatar
    Vinko Rajic

    EU should have media house similar to BBC . EU should have police to fight crime and corruption . EU should destroy tax heavens . EU should stop all financing religious organisations and similar spiders because they are the biggest problem for democracy . They are some strange groups they have big money , they work together , they have to do with church but when you go to elections you don’t know where they are , you don’t know how to vote . When you vote it can happen that you voted for some of those spiders . That happened in Croatia , they could win elections using proxy group , they created new political party – MOST that was actually HDZ after elections but before elections they played game against each others . I believe AfD in Germany is the same group like CDU/CSU . They should teach young people like this
    Religion Harms Society | Oxford Union :
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JoUAGYXjVc

  17. avatar
    Luke Stenner

    Restore Ghengis khans descendant and the Mongolian empire as the divine power on the planet

  18. avatar
    Marco Peel

    Austerity is unconstitutional, as it goes against the EU founding principle of Cohesion, since rather than decrease economic and social inequalities it increases them…
    The same goes for bailing out banks by converting private debt into public debt, making taxpayers pay for the losses of speculative investors…
    The last Greek bailout basically handed Greek sovereignty to Germany and the European Central Bank, and auctioned Greek assets to the highest bidder…
    An open market that favours multinationals over small businesses with tailored legislation, tax benefits and evasion schemes, is neither free nor fair…
    The new refugee deal with Turkey, basically paying them to keep the violation of human rights outside our borders, is ineffective, immoral and illegal…
    Major political parties and businesses mired in corruption schemes and outright lying continue their business as usual with impunity…
    And you ask why we don’t trust people who do this? Perhaps they could start by respecting the principles of democracy and the rule of law – starting with the European Commission.
    Democracy and Hypocrisy don’t mix well. We should be sceptical and critical, but most of all intolerant of such behaviour.

  19. avatar
    Adrian Limbidis

    Just like the US congress, the EU leadership is NO LONGER representing the people but the RICH BANKS and their CORPORATE friends.

    That is problem 1.
    Remove this and all the other problems will go away.

    Migrant problems?
    Corporation WANT cheap labor so they PUSH THIS influx of islamic migrants.
    Remove their influence and things will be solved.

    Financial crisis?
    Again, the BANKS and their rich friends.

    Russia acting like nazi Germany?
    We can’t enforce serious sanctions because RICH CORPORATIONS want the money and business of Russia so geopolitics and security must take a 2nd place.

    Remove them and we can crush Russia as the fascist dictatorship that it is without firing a shot.

    EVERYTHING is caused by Brussels NOT – LISTENING – TO THE PEOPLE

  20. avatar
    Tarquin Farquhar

    @Adrian Limbidis
    Corporations and thus politicians want cheap labour and that should be denied them.

    No more EU beggar nation citizens and indeed citizens from anywhere outside the UK to come to the UK unless they have been subject to an Aussie-style points system.

    BTW, in response to the forum question, politicians should have all their bank accounts and indeed those of their friends and family openly available to the public 24/7/365.

  21. avatar
    Paul X

    Words fail me after reading Danuta Hübner’s “speech” above

    She displays the typical Euro-elitist arrogance which is why people have so little belief in the EU and its politics

    She dares to blame national governments for not being “European” enough and then says this is a threat to democracy??

    Well Danuta Hübner national governments are closer to the people they serve (note the word is serve, not rule) and are much more aware of public opinion and if this so happens to be at total odds with the direction of the EU then it is the EU that should adapt not the national governments….that is how democracy works,…. it should go up from the people not come down from a self important elite

  22. avatar
    Alexander Simon

    Question & introdcution are not precisely because EU level and national levels are mixed. I mean why ask Members of the European Parliament how to restore trust in national parliaments? – I’ll try a general answer that works for both:
    Trust is the result of acting trustworthy. Let’s start with a simple approach on individual level: People ask themselves whether their opposite is skillful and whether it acts in favor or against them. Trust is attributed especially if the “other person” appears skillful and acts in favour of someone (“is a friend”). The perspective is of course relative. Well, politicians nowadays do not appear to be very skilled: Average managers often show a higher education than average politicians nowadays (for instance take Martin Schulz’ resume). Days, when the “best heads” made politics appear to be gone. So the skills-dimension can be rated average to low. The other factor is whether the opposite “is a friend” (i.e. acts in one’s favor). This of course needs differentiation – but of course “major issues” get lots of attention, i.e. the crisis that the EU undergoes. As there are often the calls from politicians to make sacrifices for the Europen Project, an estimation for this factor also falls below average. There are two ways out: a) Nominate more skilled people that broaden their view, for instance also take into account euro-skeptic voices. b) Grow direct democracy.
    Another metric on group level (assuming that politicians are perceived to be an out-group …. “the guys in Brussels”) would take into account influence and empathy. Perceived influence can be rated high for politicians that decide about citizens’ bulbs, vacuum cleaners, i.e. impact their daily lives, while empathy can be expected to be low, as citizens are continuously blamed for being “not European” (not to say “Nazis”), are held responsible for crisis all across Europe (inclduing terrorism – or why else would one aim to take registered guns from law-abiding citizens?) and are referred to as being “too dumb to understand the importance of the Europen Project” (as they “dare” to vote for Euro-Skeptic parties). High influence mixed with low empathy makes-up rather and enemy than a trustworthy group. A possible way out is (again) to grow direct democracy and broaden politicians’ views (including Europskeptic agendas).
    Direct democracy would also help to overcome the lacking representational system of the EU as the initiative power remains at the European Commission with it’s not-directly-elected (from the citizen’s persepctive) members. The EU council comprises of the heads of the national governments (citizens just vote for one out of 28) while the Europen Parliament can be watched on Youtube humilitating Euro-Sceptics that represent a growing number of citizens.
    Taking that together I came asking myself why politicians especially on EU level could ever expect to appear trustworthy…

  23. avatar
    EU reform- proactive

    The majority of EU MEP’s are sold & co opted to an EU supranational agenda and unable to think differently- immune to considerations of different options (“to populist”) as suggested on this forum from time to time.

    A foremost important act would be to formulate an acceptable EU Constitution which should reflect and incorporate ALL participating Members existing National Constitutions- not the present patchwork of treaties written by lawyers on behalf of the EC and other invisible’s (“elitists”)! Thereafter paraded as an “EU Constitution in perpetual progress”- being falsely presented as the democratic wish of an uninformed “populace”. What a shame & political fraud!

    MEP’s ignore- anyways- everything else which deviates from the rigid EU NORM! So, why keep asking again & again and waste everyone time? A demand for- and granting of- IN- OUT referendums for all would be a good start.

  24. avatar
    Alexandre Braghetta

    This is not a privilege of European politicians… one only has only to look at the US primaries to see the failure of the “professional politics”. The issue is simpler than all these politicians portrait, one thing that all votes respond is wellbeing.

    Larger and Larger governments are chocking the economy. Fiscal balances are challenging and solutions keep being pushed out — this is not an environment conducive of investments, which is the only way to deal with de demographic headwind.

    To me politicians are not delivering on what they were hired for: Solutions…. and the one of the first in the list is providing hope that the economies will recoup. Deregulation / reforms / downsizing. In the priced sector they would be fired (perhaps in Brazil as well….)

  25. avatar
    Antonio Jose Pecurto Pecurto

    I Vote ALDE Party Europe has the touch of imperfection that calls for skepticism of reason without anesthesia will lead the initiative I agree European Union in the States United

  26. avatar
    corrado prizio-biroli

    Corrado Pirzio-Biroli
    Althoug I hate UKIP and think Farage is an irresponsible populist, I have to admit that he is right when he says “The disease is called democracy and people want to have a say on their future.” What are the causes of this state of affairs and how can democracy be made to work better again?
    What is needed to reestablish the credibility of politics in Europe? Notably:
    1. MEPs must be paid well so they can wholly devote themselves to their job without any other professional side activity, provide full transparency of their personal and family accounts, pay penalties for not attending parliamentary work and be as accountable as normal citizens;
    2. Terms of office should be long (7-10 yrs) or renewable only once;
    3. European parties should be strongly connected to the relevant national parties through strong European secretaries;
    4. On the other hand, all EP voting should be secret, free from party discipline as well as national discipline;
    5. MP and MEPs should rein in their vanity, speak out clearly about how things stand, even about things some constituencies do no approve, and be in a truly listening mode:
    6. The European Commission should be reduced to 20 members, without any nation having the right to a Commissioner, but country rotation would be more frequent for small countries and constant country presence to be ensured via inter-country arrangements and cabinet composition (e.g. Nordics, Visegrad etc)
    7. The European Council should be less than an undemocratic loose cannon and all it work should be wholly inserted in EU procedures based on Commission initiative; its members should learn to seek the common interest first (like the COREPER used to do up to the early ’80s;
    8. People’s views about priorities (e.g. external and or internal security, environment, trade, agriculture, Shengen or other) should be regularly assessed and taken into account (for years a majority wanted a common foreign and defence policy, but vanity and sovereignty considerations made them a non-starter;
    8. When both IMF and OECD warn against austerity at this stage, the EU cannot continue to mostly listen to one key member opposing it, because it thinks its own economic policy is perfect (It would be ironic that after a paranoic caused WWII, the “perfect” pupil adopted as rigid an approach – mutatis mutandis – aggravating the EU backlash until it leads to the collapse of the whole construction; PM Renzi deserves a hearing;
    9. in this regard, the completion of EMU is of the essence. It requires all countries, as Keynes warned, those with current account deficits as well as those with current account surpluses to cooperate with measures to reduce the imbalance;
    10. If EMU goes, the Single market and the EU itself will go; if instead EMU is strengthened it will be the base of a new integration step with fewer members – hopefully free of reluctant partners such as the UK.
    Last but not least, if people do not become more involved in politics and institutions do not show less bureaucracy and more passion democracy will continue to malfunction and the extremes will win, divide society and cause social strife and growing uncertainty.

  27. avatar
    Vinko Rajic

    There is no trust in EU politics because of corruption and religious spiders. When you go to elections you vote for some person based on what he/she told before elections . Problem is that many of those people told something before elections just to win , after elections they don’t care for it , they receive money from some strange organisation and they are even members of some spider network something you don’t know about . Bad problem ! When elected politicians should’t receive any money from other organisations . Croatia is excellent example , Christians could’t win elections but they created one other group under different name , a new political party called MOST . After elections they created “coalition” , they are the same church gang . Before elections a new gang(MOST) was against Christian “HDZ” but after elections they are the same gangs . MOST had support from about 19% Croats before elections , after elections also 4 Months later only 7% Croats support MOST , also now big percentage Croats could understand that elections was scam . I believe CDU/CSU and AfD are the same church group.

  28. avatar
    Julia Hadjikyriacou

    Firstly, those who choose not to vote must be considered as opposed to the options of political parties available because of previous evidence that who ever is elected does not serve the peoples needs. And this article quote highlights the reason why: “Trust in institutions is typically low among low-and middle-income groups and high among the elites.” Obviously the elites needs are met and the people’s needs are not met. The elites are prioritised over and at the expense of the many. What would increase trust is the creation of a people first ethical and social code of conduct that no EU member state can violate nor the EU may violate it. It means more regulations and cutting down to size for the elites and guaranteed physical security and prosperity for the many, first within the EU then for the rest of the world. Governing bodies need to understand that the majority of people have higher ethics than the elites have and they expect them to be the values of those who have been allowed the privilege to govern on their behalf-not on the behalf of the elites which is current;y the case.

  29. avatar
    Enric Mestres Girbal

    Trust in politics ? hahahaha. it’s that a joke?.corrupts, idiots, living off our money, unable to design a policy of prosperity for the citizens, culpits of the actual kaos in Europe, etc..etc… EUROPE DO NOT NEED POLITICS.

  30. avatar
    Chris Brown

    No-one who wants to be a politician should be allowed to be one.
    Make it like jury service: people could be called up for, say, a three year stint.

    Can’t do worse with a random sample than with those around now, so sure (while holding opposing positions) that they know they are doing exactly the right thing.) At the worst we’ll get ordinary liars, not the current trained and experienced ones.

  31. avatar
    Ivan Burrows

    .

    What politics ?, the EU is ruled over by an unelected commission that answers to no one & as its dictates are rubber-stamped by a pretend European parliament to give it a veneer of legitimacy.

    Defend democracy, VOTE Leave.EU

    .

    https://youtu.be/Dz4NQFaPSGc

  32. avatar
    Vinko Rajic

    1. Stop financing religious organisations and remove religion from all schools 2. destroy tax heavens 3. make lobbying illegal , politicians are payed for their work and they should not have other income 4. EU should have police on over 100 000 officers and fight crime and corruption

  33. avatar
    Guida Almeida

    Just a note on that part that says most portuguese aren´t interested in EU politics: not everyone here has enough foreign language skills and citizenship skills to follow EU politics in greater detail; the media coverage of these matters in Portuguese media is very poor and lacks in content/detail/continuity. A thing that tends to raise standards practically is the independant monitoring of public institutions, something which will hold responsible those who fail to meet the rules established.(Portugal has a lot of corruption). If that were the case in Portugal, things would certainly improve. You can blame ppl´s disinterest, but i´m interested and the news´coverage leaves a lot to be desired…so i don´t blame people entirely. I have noticed in the past that when i point out other (more trustwothy, not in Portuguese) sources, they(other portuguese readers) usually tend to be more reasonable. There´s is nothing more pernicious than a story poorly told. Add to that the fact that those who do follow matters more closely are appalled by the lack of accountability in higher offices- Merkel´s “performance” has been an unfortunate example- and a certain censorship in the media concerning these blunders- and you lose the support of the moderate/reasonable citizens. Good luck with that.

  34. avatar
    Rácz Tivadar

    To much effort for those spoiled bunch of monkies.
    I’d rather believe in the devotion of a prostitute, than trust in politics, as the most of them are only representing the interests their payroll filler.

  35. avatar
    Valentin Rotaru

    why would I do that, YOU SHALL NEVER thrust your politician, ALWAYS imply they are corrupt…if they’re not, thats a great thing!!

  36. avatar
    Julia Hadjikyriacou

    Always put the wellbeing of all people first when making a decision. Do not make decisions that harm people or cause suffering. Start taking actions that benefit all people. Abolish poverty and human suffering. Guarantee that you enable the safety, wellbeing and human rights of people globally by not supporting or taking actions that maintain or cause harm, suffering, poverty or exploitation.

  37. avatar
    David Briggs

    The general calibre of those whom we elect has much to do with this issue. What other job (and being an MP is a job, not a ‘profession’ as some of them would prefer it to be known) requires no particular experience, experise or qualifications, pays you the top rate from Day One, and where you highly unlikely to get the sack for 5 years irrespective of your performance? Add to that the option to sit quietly and agree with those who got there before you. Essentially the quality of our MPs is so poor, yet they assume to be experts on everything. The solution starts with reducing their pay from the £74K or thereabouts basic salary to combat the ‘career politician’. Then they should be subject to performance reviews and ‘call back’ by those who elected them if they fail to come up with the goods. The electoral system doesn’t help either. The UK can end up with a Government that the vast majority of its citizen’s didn’t vote for. Mix into this the typical, ignorant and dis-interested Brit who would rather watch TV soaps than walk down the street to cast a vote in an election and you end up with what we have today.

  38. avatar
    Gordon

    As long as politicians are not truthful and continue to mislead with unexplained statistics then they will never be trusted. I suspect that the most untrusted MP in the UK is David “U turn” Cameron. Just compare what he said a few months back compared to his current rhetoric.

  39. avatar
    Ivan Burrows

    .

    Its just the natural response to the theft of the peoples democracy by Brussels which is now an unstoppable process that will lead to the total collapse of the EU.

  40. avatar
    Dimitris Orfanoudis

    ΕU must maintain an economic stability and social reform for its citizens first .. However idivintual politians in various EU countries they prooved to be liars and hypocrites (Greek PM) and Brussels keep treating them nicely..Why?? The trust in politics it depends from the politicians who are honest and sincere to their citizens those are working hard for the prosperity of his/her country and not taken away by ideological populism and phanatism thats devides societies…

  41. avatar
    Michael Chambers

    Modern life is very complex because of technology and we are all so interconnected. We expect high living standards. Politics therefore has to be a very complex business if we expect our politicians to be competent and maintain our high living standards.

    Politicians have a responsibility to explain the complexity of the law-making and governance processes. The people have a responsibility to take an interest and try to understand it more.

  42. avatar
    Tamás Kovács

    with starting to listen to people`s concerns.. what people see at the moment, politicians do not care what people want. Pushing through decision`s above member states`s head, there is communication crises between Brussels Bureaucrats and nations.. flexibility and understanding, see how to prove things.. I do understand in this situation after aftermath of World Economic Crises we need austerity but the way we do is matter.. how strong you hit poor people and destroying middle class while super rich are still super rich.. ect..

  43. avatar
    Gordon

    We have a Conservative government elected and mandated by only 24% of the electorate. Compare the general election turnout with that of the referendum where 52% majority mandate was given. The difference was that in the referendum people felt that their vote mattered and would actually count. To restore faith in our democracy and government we need to change the voting system to proportional representation. People will then feel that their vote matters and that they will get the representation they voted for.

  44. avatar
    Tony Muñiz

    Less government, less politicians and less corrupt politicians elected by more democratic system.

  45. avatar
    Julia Hadjikyriacou

    Basically apply all of Yanis Varoufakis Diem25 movement’s solutions for the EU. He has all the points we want covered.

  46. avatar
    Mark Stradamus

    we should from a “all transparency none legal bounding whatsoever” paradigm to a “less observer but with more law abiding” paradigm. corruption will happen not matter what. denouncing and shaming is just communication scams that fade away after some times. if a corrupt guy cannot be reelected and lose crédibility in the private sector as well, they think twice about frauding for 500.000e.

  47. avatar
    Bella Ourique

    One great advance could be done with more explanations! From my own experience: as more my studies forced me to examine how ECB and parliaments work as more my trust towards the european politics grew!!! People dont see what is happening, the only thing that my acquaintances know about European politics is that they decide about sizes of cucumbers and TTIP! The see the ECB as the incorporation of the evil capitalism which does not honor at all their savings but they forget that the economic miracle is history since decades. Many people are not aware of the tasks of the ECB or Parliaments and also not about the tradevolume within the EU. They do neither see the great advantages of EU neither they see the really critical challenges (as greece, or harmonization of the laws etc). I can say from my own: Travelling, learning 5 european languages and studying Paul Krugmanns basic macroeconomic theories made me forget my german roots and I became a European and I no Brexit and no crises will change that!

  48. avatar
    Antonio Pinto Caldeira

    Making politics a non remunerated exercice and forbiding all secret donations and corporate support to politics and political parties.

  49. avatar
    Dagmar Ueberfeld-Lang

    Restore the credibility of politics and politicians, which appears to be the squaring of a circle. The EU needs to review and reajust its objectives and come to terms with the fact that it has not become a cultural, sociatal and economic union, much as that truth hurts and regardless the pleas for greater union. The EU will need to come up with a strategy how manage those differences and EU members who insist on there otherness need to accept that there is price to pay that. If we do not accomplish that, EU will not survive.

  50. avatar
    Amanda M Waine Anderson

    unethical practices and behavior should be treated as a crime and politicians who facilitate the crimes should hold public trial and face fines and time in prison any and all offenders would in commiting these crimes not be allowed to hold public office as a result of their criminal and unethical behaviors

  51. avatar
    Fabio Ferrari

    Enforcing full transparency in political institution, also encouraging politicians to explain politics would help common people understand political mechanisms

  52. avatar
    Belamie Versco

    why can a citizen not enter parliament without appointment and scanning….i thought it was the voice of the people. if politicians need all that security there is obviously little trust in them.

  53. avatar
    Eugenia Serban

    When I see in real life that people ‘s voice is heard.
    Stop the arogance and unpopular measures like the invasion from Middle East and heavy taxation on work.
    Tax the profit of big companies not the working people.

  54. avatar
    Jude De Froissard

    Simple….let them be honest and trustworthy. …..but is it something compatible with politicians nowadays?

  55. avatar
    René Aga

    It’s not only a illness of politics because people elect them. It’s also a illness of society. People see only rights not duties.

  56. avatar
    Bódis Kata

    Create a clear division between politics and oligarchs: politics is supposed to be pursued to the benefit of the electorate and not just big capital. Yet whenever such policy is created anywhere that’s good for the ppl and bad for oligarchs, then it gets called “populist” and referred to as something bad…
    The transnational oligarchs have too much influence and this hurts low- and middle-income ppl.

  57. avatar
    Sebastien Chopin

    Well we all know how politicians could completely lose credibility…. you just have to nominate Boris minister of foreign affairs and that’ll be it for everyone… we can start looking for a new system of governance :-P

  58. avatar
    Peter Nicko'lay Canseeheart

    I would make politics more adaptable to the more harmonious people and not only to the unpredictable ones with shown problems. I would put objectives as what real humane and safe daily job and progress are and would give a chance for people to grow by changing the number of positions and in the same time and even before that would make the security system better. Whoever shows good quality in the meanwhile I would givehim a better chance.

  59. avatar
    Sento Pop

    Europe MUST do more for simple citizens, state the minimum wage for every country, NOT like you do in Eastern Europe and then the West, blame the East ( like hypocrites) for migration! Of course we migrate, if EU cares only about politicians and Corporations!

  60. avatar
    Ivan Burrows

    .

    People do trust ‘some’ politicians,mostly the ones who do not support the antidemocratic EU.

    A trend that cannot be stopped.

  61. avatar
    Sebastien Chopin

    Make politics an unpaid job on the side and not listen to Ivan….
    That being said…. I feel great now that all the pressure is on his side and now that I’m on the losing side… and can’t wait to see how he and the clowns ‘thrive’ lol

  62. avatar
    David Alan Roden

    what is the point of asking the very people we do not trust for solutions? Especially not the type of 3rd rate national rejects that infest the european parliament.

  63. avatar
    A.c. Spyred

    I think the first thing Europe must do is more communications and more transparancy. People want to know easily what is happening in european commission and parlement.
    If people don’t have answers to their questions, they will imagine them and stop trusting politics.

  64. avatar
    Yanni Sfyrides

    It is not the different answers but the article’s common question that unites us all over EU.

  65. avatar
    Pedro Cav Cav

    They make the laws, the payment roles, the benefits’ rules for themselves and stay stick to the system! Meanwhile they don’t allow no competent statesmen promesses to reach the top, because it could.menace the “system” and it worths millions!

  66. avatar
    Jason Picci

    Instate the Nürnberg 2.0 trials for all our recent war criminals such as Blair, Sarkozy. Cameron and their paymasters: Soros, Lévy, Monti and above. Then perhaps one may move on. Tabula rasa.

  67. avatar
    Vinko Rajic

    REMOVE RELIGION FROM ALL SCHOOLS AND STOP ALL FINANCING TO RELIGIOUS ORGANISATIONS !!! 1. Make lobbying illegal 2. have EU police force to fight crime and corruption 3. EU media house similar to BBC to help to develop our democracy 4. EU search engine similar to Google 5. Energy security , STOP all oil and gas imports from Arab nations and STOP all migration from there : 100% wind , solar and hydro is very simple and cheap to achieve.
    NOTHING is more simple and cheaper for the EU than to create energy security but the EU is barrier to it. I could do it , I could solve energy supply for the EU for the next 50 Years for less money then the EU spend under 5 Years for import of dirty energy . HOW ? The tariffs on Chinese made solar panels range from 100% to 110% , we should have it 0% and 0% on electric cars . Remove all tariffs on Chinese made solar panels and help EU manufacturing with example 0,2 Euro/Watt . 100% solar, wind and hydro is very cheap and clean option for the EU. Price for solar panels is under 0,5 Euro/Watt . EU could simple order 2000 gigawatt solar panels for 1000 billion Euro . EU should give for free 10 to 50 kW of solar panels to all EU citizens ( 10 – 500 kW to farmers) willing to install it by themselves . They should pay off those panels with electricity they don’t use also with electricity they send back to the grid. To install it like this is simple and cheap , it is like IKEA furniture : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z04p6-zK5-o
    When we have energy we don’t need we should produce hydrogen and store it : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mNHwi6IryNI

  68. avatar
    José Bessa da Silva

    Make them accountable for their actions a destroy the EU at once. That would end the incompetence we have been vited to under the EU and end the corrupted Lobby center that is Brussels. Politics would me more responsible and transparent.

  69. avatar
    Nando Aidos

    There are examples the EU can simply follow, like Iceland, just to name one. It is not rocket science! And let us all tell Brussels they are in abject denial.

  70. avatar
    nando

    There are examples the EU can simply follow, like Iceland, just to name one. It is not rocket science!
    And let us all tell Brussels they are in abject denial.

  71. avatar
    Tony Muñiz

    Accountability. Removal of privileges. Voted in by ALL EU citizens and with a political program they must present before elections and then follow completely. Whats the point of voting for a party that states that migration must be controlled then when in power they do opposite? Eliminate lobbyists. And when a politician doesn’t do what is in best interests of Europeans they should easily be removed. Like for example commissioner Morgherini stating polir Islam(sharia) has it’s place in Europe. Perfect example of a politician that was not up for elections and is governing us and dictacting what we do or is wrong or right. Or commissioners trying to ban legal gun ownership on the excuse of terrorists who use illegal guns, or trucks. And lastly, laws such as the gun laws, migration etc etc should go via referendums. All EU must choose their path, not be forced into one by unelected idiots forcing their own ideology and agendas on us.

  72. avatar
    Julia Hadjikyriacou

    There is no trust because the vulnerable in society are kept poor in order to be exploited by richer people in society in many different ways, all for profit or usury, by debt, , their limited food choices due to budget and lack of info, their resultant deteriorating health physically and mentally from stress and anxiety, their basic needs are not met, there are not enough jobs for everyone. And government and the EU is doing nothing about it. A desperate workforce is pro-business profits, debt is pro-banking profits, bad health is pro-pharmaceuticals profits and paid for by the tax-payer, desperate choices eg drugs are pro profits, and the sex-trade is pro usury by others with more money, or the army for definite work at the cost of their lives.

  73. avatar
    Mille Radosi

    By eliminating corruption within the legal system. Look at Croatia, where corrupt politicians goes hand in hand with corrupt judges.

  74. avatar
    Robert Mason

    Use IBM Watson with appropriate API’s for general decision making across many levels of Government and legal services.
    No corruption, no bias.
    A level playing field.

  75. avatar
    Stefano Zuzzi

    I have not to vote until the next referendum it will be in October over here.
    Sometimes is better to talk with the mosquitos rather than the politicians.

  76. avatar
    Belamie Versco

    Let the nations keep their individuality (this is the motto of the EU anyway) and show the nationalists in clear facts how their country actually benefits (economically) from a united Europe more than from a separated one. After all the separatist movement is the expression of the wish for individual identity and prosperity…. which they do not currently recognize in the EU, although it is all there.

  77. avatar
    Belamie Versco

    And perhaps be more present locally in each country. People think the EU is a far away superforce they cannot influence, but again this is not true, as there are actually many EU offices in each country. Perhaps they are not visible enough to the public.

  78. avatar
    Evangelos Koumentakos

    Take a look at the propaganda that you spread you smug about meat and climate change, while you keep silent about the car scandal….is your question about credibility of European politicians. ….legitimate. YOU SMUG!

  79. avatar
    Stella Kontogianni

    I will never trust polititians. Politics have rules, polititians use rules as far as they can take advantage of them. Polititians use us to make profit. I don’t trust anyone

  80. avatar
    Helena Hörster

    Put an end to offshore bank accounts and slowly eliminate ecomony distortion by finances and stock exange (and derivatives) and restore the power to real economy

  81. avatar
    Manuel Alegria

    restore the power to real economy…
    stop financial criminals IMF, ECB, Wall Street, Goldman Sachs to dictate EU rules

  82. avatar
    nolwenn

    In France – where I live, come from and vote – it seems too obvious to be true how legislation is shaped by the private interests of political figures and parties. Take fiscal measures aimed at adressing the rise of wealth concentration despite the long-lasting effects of the economic crisis (rich getting richer while poor remain poor): such measures are simply impossible to implement when parties can be financed by wealthy donators who strongly tend to be against wealth taxation (how come!?). I believe that the success of far-right movements is linked to this tendency of the political elite to collude with economic elite, completely forgetting that the common interest is also the interest of the poorest, who have no other weapon but the ballot to say “enough” to this governing elite.

  83. avatar
    Oli Lau

    with less politics and more freedom.

    Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely

  84. avatar
    Richard Osborne

    Abolish the idea of politics as a career. Create a two term maximum for any ministerial position. Politicans should get paid exactly what they got paid before they began their term. Moving into politics should be seen as a ‘calling’ like nursing, but removing the ‘career’ option would, to some degree, also remove the power corrupts syndrome.

    • avatar
      EU nationals for Europa Britain

      I like the idea but how do you deal with conflict of interests? If you come from one industry, there will be personal or corporate interests and relationships. Just looking at the Trump administration makes people wonder whether it’s a good idea now

  85. avatar
    Sherrie Heckendorn

    Get people involved in the process and fill government positions with people who actually want to work for people for the good of all

  86. avatar
    Andrew Potts

    Your info graphic shows exactly what people think, Brexit underlines it, did Juniker resign because of his failure, did he listen, no his leadership just carried on in the same direction.
    There is a establishment of leftist ideology in courts, education, government and politics. They are the policy makers and pretend they are in opposition in reality they are looking after the interests of corporations and their ideology of the latest victim knows best.
    They no longer seek to represent the modest aspirations of most Europeans to live, work and have a family in the safe communities they grew up in.
    To many Europeans the established parties have stopped listening or representing them, then start talking down to their voters like its a people problem rather then a political direction problem.

  87. avatar
    Bódis Kata

    Tar-and-feather treatment for those politicians who have destroyed our way of life.

  88. avatar
    Jean-Jacques Eiza Lauture

    Brexit is not the main issue. Democracy basis and media platform have to be fully redefined and Europe can do it if this is really expected. Some principles, should lead to such new basis: 1) independence 2) competence 3) respect of other views 4) representativeness 5) weighted and measured decisions and actions 6) benefits to the maximum citizens (not only the 0.01, 1 or 3%) 7) European Union and its member states independence and preference, by together not being vassal of US or the main Banking networks 8) Sanction against corruption, media and politics corrupted business and manipulations 9) Use of online democracy, but sanction against trolls 9) thresholds for capitals 10) fight against fiscal paradise leading to a better share of public goods with citizens 11) reward for workers and private initiatives benefiting the whole society 12) scrutiny of any advantages and initiatives or ethics penalizing or damaging the society

  89. avatar
    Ntinos Gotzis

    Just a small review of EU presidents
    The present is the master of taxes avoidance in EU!
    The ex president is working for Goldman Sachs

  90. avatar
    nando

    Government / politics has lost its bearing. It is about power and not about the quality of life of the people who live under their jurisdiction. This has to change. It is a mentality and conceptual change. But a very important one.
    Set a vision for what government is or should be. There isn’t one.
    Set a vision for what that particular jurisdiction wants to achieve inn 5, 10, 20 years. Not by next election.
    Make politicians responsible for their decisions and actions.
    Make public life attractive to the common citizen. Either as a public employee, a volunteer or an activist.
    These are a few ideas that have to come first before thinking about participative budgeting and other superficial initiatives.

  91. avatar
    Nando Aidos

    Governments / politicians has lost their bearing. It is all about power and not about the quality of life of the people who live under their jurisdiction. This has to change. It is a mentality and conceptual change. But a very important one.
    Set a vision for what government is or should be. There isn’t one.
    Set a vision for what that particular jurisdiction wants to achieve in 5, 10, 20 years. Not by next election day.
    Make politicians responsible for their decisions and actions.
    Make public life attractive to the common citizen. Either as a public employee, a volunteer or an activist.
    These are a few ideas that have to come first before thinking about participative budgeting and other more immediate initiatives.

  92. avatar
    Silvio Bosco

    Raising to all the international forums the need for a human right to the knowledge

  93. avatar
    Julia Hadjikyriacou

    People contribute their taxes for the collective good. And instead the majority of people are not taken care of, bare the brunt of cuts to their healthcare, schools, infrastructure, benefits and pensions. All because the politicians have switched allegiance from the people to the mega-rich and increasing their wealth and profits at the expense of the people and with the people’s money. People did not intend and not want their society run this way. The debt system creates, maintains and increases suffering. We need a new system. Start with a debt jubilee for countries, people and corporations. Look at how the Island of Jersey originally printed their own money and used it internally to flourish. Look at the Islamic interest-free banking model who still make a profit. Abolish poverty with a guaranteed minimum income for all. And make pro-people and ethical decisions.

  94. avatar
    Dave Garrett

    It cannot be restored. The head long rush to federalism and the faceless bureaucracy have killed it. The EEC was fine after that a step too far. When you made us in Ireland vote twice for treaty’s we did not agree with and then the billions wasted in a bank bailout that was nothing to do with the people of Ireland that was the last straw. Good luck getting any more treaties approved.

  95. avatar
    Bobi Dochev

    By changing the politics and the whole EU policy system… maybe! But basically all the politics are same so probably even the nasty EU propaganda wont work this time :)

  96. avatar
    Manuel Alegria

    vai ser dificil…
    lembram-se quando os governos quiseram financiar algumas empresas estatais e a Europa proibiu e, obrigou a privatização…
    Logo depois apareceram os bancos falidos, (com administrações criminosas) e é a estupida Europa que os vai querer salvar…

  97. avatar
    Παυλος Χαραλαμπους

    Old politicians can’t they broke their relationship with their socialites. .we need new ones who are going to tell their supporters the hard truth regardless the political cost. Such leaders could make the real change we need

  98. avatar
    Mika Ainasoja

    By getting into politics. There is only mainstream politics, alt-politics is fake politics. Get real!

  99. avatar
    Polykarpos Freskos

    Only if we put the person infront of all the political decisions. Politic has two legs. The economic and the social. For so many years we decide only for one leg.
    It s time to change .

    • avatar
      Andrius Adomaitis

      oh really? are you trolling? we must be living in different EU.

    • avatar
      Wendy Harris

      Agree, Marko, plus news blackouts, biased media, and most of all the political correctness that has brainwashed so many people into trying to silence others from expressing their fears and objections.

  100. avatar
    Bódis Kata

    Get rid of the international oligarchs’ influences from politics, regulate intelligence agencies to prevent them from interfering in other countries’ elections (this should be a category of crimes against humanity), and restore real democracy with transparent processes.

    Get rid of the proprietary concentration in the media, break up the media empires into smaller sections and put them on the stock exchange with no investor having more than 5% of any media outlet.

  101. avatar
    Τζινα Πολεμαρχακη

    By involving more every day real people ..people with achievements,people who looses everything and had to gain their life back, homeless who these guys are? Volunteers ,give them voice..,artist to make cities more beautiful!
    We don’t need politicians ..we need more common Spirit ,more equality ,more teamwork with no leaders and followers..!

  102. avatar
    nando

    How would the politicians restore trust in politics?
    Stop lying, listen to people, pay attention to people’s needs, put country and community above party interests, eliminate diplomatic immunity, make politicians accountable for their mistakes.
    That is all it takes.

  103. avatar
    Nando Aidos

    Not me, the politicians are the ones who have to do it! They are the ones who screwed it up!
    And so, how should the politicians restore trust in politics?
    Stop lying, listen to people, pay attention to people’s needs, put country and community above party interests, eliminate diplomatic immunity, make politicians accountable for their mistakes.
    That is all it takes!

  104. avatar
    Ivan Burrows

    .

    Le Pen V’s Melenchon in the second round.

    Get ready for a referendum to leave the EU :)

  105. avatar
    Stefania Portici

    principi sanciti nella Costituzione . Ripristinare ,ritornare, mettere al centro le Costituzioni . principles enshrined in the Constitution. Restore, return, put the center of the Constitutions

    • avatar
      Stefania Portici

      ovviamente non mi riferisco al Trattato di Lisbona, quello non ci rappresenta, nessuno di noi ha scelto quella costituzione. Parlo della Costituzione italiana, spagnola, portoghese, olandese ecc…. COSTITUZIONE . Obviously I am not referring to the Lisbon Treaty, that does not represent us, none of us chose that constitution. I speak of the Italian Constitution, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch etc …. CONSTITUTION

  106. avatar
    Paweł Kunio

    Medium to long term starting to listening to average people and act according to it and if cant explain clearly why. In short term force member states to accept uber, airbnb and alikes to help people earn more. Ps. f* the taxi drivers licenses lobby.

  107. avatar
    eusebiomanuelvestiaspecurto

    I vote ALDE European

  108. avatar
    Catalin-Alexandru Olaru

    A app that will take in account the input of the people. By now I think we can afford as a community one device to vote and be informed on governance. The world right now is of the technological literate.

  109. avatar
    Wolfgang Mizelli

    tell the truth! I say I do! keep my promises. if I preach values, I live according to them.build relations with citizens, be honest! take all citizens and their values.seriously. talk! talk! talk! involve all citizens!

  110. avatar
    Michele Homewood

    Simple – more politicians who genuinely believe in what they say and act accordingly, and no politicians who simply say whatever they think will get them votes or party career progress.

  111. avatar
    Anton Georgiev

    I hace to agree with central right… Liberal democrats statement was too general, practically ofc she is right, but generally right, meaning she didnt say anythibg specific or focused on a topic…

  112. avatar
    Tarja Benaouda

    Politicians must listen to and make their decisions after what non-covernmental organizations are asking them, not what money makers want, people are shocked about the cruelty in the world and its politicians who are responsible for that, change the world NOW: https://stopabattoirs.org/

  113. avatar
    Donnie MacLean

    Given that since they even existed politicians have always lied and cheated, then we should have free and open access to information and this should be a right that is safe-guarded….which it will not be, I’ve no illusions, as transparency is a politician’s worst enemy. ;)

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