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What is the right next step for DiEM25’s Electoral Wing in Germany?
In order to run in the European Parliament Elections, our Electoral Wing in German formed a special-purpose organisation (the German legal form is known as SPV) and invited the German party DiB to have representatives on the board and the electoral list of this organisation. The name on the ballot was Demokratie in Europa – DiEM25.
SPVs can only participate in European elections, nothing else. To participate in any other elections, DiEM25 will have to transform the SPV into a different legal entity.
It is worth noting that participating in elections does not imply that we believe we can conquer Germany‘s strict thresholds (usually 5% in order to elect anyone, or 0.5% in order to receive generous federal funding). It may be worth participating in an election merely in order to gain visibility for DiEM25‘s ideas, because parties are allowed to put up a ton of ads around the city for free, along with free radio and TV ads and speaking opportunities. During the European elections, our ads and media appearances helped make the Green New Deal a key topic of conversation in Germany, which has now been adopted (at least as a term) by almost all other parties. Going forward, the German Electoral Wing, working with the DiEMers in each city or state, shall evaluate each election and there will be an all-member vote before we engage anywhere.
Option 1) The SPV will be transformed into a German federal party. This will leave all options open for us; we could participate in any elections whenever and wherever our groups are strong enough and interested in doing so. Roadmap: there will be a big German assembly in February where all members of the Electoral Wing can plan the way forward. To speed things up, DiEM25 confers upon this assembly the right to elect an interim board whose only task will be, in collaboration with the CC, to shut down the SPV and take care of the organisational and legal requirements for transferring the SPV‘s assets into a federal political party. There will be an election, open to all DiEMers via our online platform, to elect our candidates for the party board before the new party's founding assembly. The party structures will be built in consolidation with the DiEM25 Electoral Wings across Europe. Thereafter, every participation in municipal, state and federal elections (whether alone, in an alliance or by endorsing another party) will be decided by a DiEM25 all-member vote, taking the political situation, goals, opportunities and the current resources into consideration.
Option 2) The SPV will be maintained with the objective to only participate in the next European Parliament elections in 2024. We will start all-member elections for a new board in January and this board will serve a full term of two years. Their task will be to start preparing the next European elections and consolidate with the DiEM25 Electoral Wings across Europe. If we decide later to participate in municipal, state or federal elections, the SPV will not be able to do it, so DiEM25 will have to form another party on short notice. Our 130,000 voters will be confused.
Option 3) The SPV will be dissolved and we don‘t envisage participating in elections in the near term. Once we decide on an election in which we want to participate, we will found a new entity (maybe a municipal list or state-level party). On the up side, some NGOs who didn‘t want to give the impression of being linked to our SPV may become friendlier again for as long as we don‘t have something new. On the down side, we won‘t be able to transfer members, followers and funds from the SPV to the new entity – we‘d have to start the effort from scratch again. Also, a lot of the larger donations for the German campaign were on the basis of tax deductibility (all donations to German parties and SPVs are automatically tax-deductible at very favourable rates). We probably won‘t get nearly as much funding for capacity-building in Germany for as long as we don‘t have a registered party, nor will we be able to plan our electoral participation in advance.
Please choose your preferred option for the way forward. German speakers may like to read this forum thread or this quick list of pros and cons. Note that the name of the party and its potential alliances will be voted at a later stage.