This mission statement describes our identity, the vision of our work that we share and communicate, and how we work. It also describes special areas of concern in the way in which the Hamburg DSC (a DiEM25 Spontaneous Collective) perceives the world.
Who are we?
We are a DSC, a free and independent group of people who are passionate about the project of the pan-European movement DiEM25. “Hamburg DSC 1” met for the first time in April 2016, and is an open and heterogeneous group of people of various ages, backgrounds and situations in life.
We share a common and fundamental democratic standpoint, and stand together for a self-determining and solidaristic way of acting together. We understand and support the latter point in the sense of the DiEM25 Manifesto, at local, regional and global levels.
We’re motivated by a shared wish for a transparent, democratic and solidaristic Europe. We support DiEM25’s aim of developing and putting into force a European constitution, written in a democratic way. We view overcoming national statehood as a civilizational project and are convinced that this is the only way in which the crises inside the EU can be overcome.
What are our aims?
We view the public and constructive engagement with political contents as being a foundation stone of democracy and of democratic culture. At present, we are lacking the democratic structure needed to transfer the democratic formation of political opinion into concrete, pan-European politics and policy. We regard this as one of the main trigger of the EU’s current crises. We perceive DiEM25 as a realistic possibility of realizing this democratic structure in Europe.
That is why our DSC supports democratic discourse about a European identity and a European mission. It’s particularly with regard to this mission and this identity that we want to expand the public’s perception of DiEM25. In doing this, we focus on engaging with European themes, and working on local political issues in a pan-European context. This is how we make our contribution to developing DiEM25’s Progressive Agenda, while aiming to integrate so many local people as possible into this process.
To achieve this, we make and maintain contacts with local networks, organize events and actions, or take part in external events in the name of DiEM25. While we carry out our events and activities, we attach value to new social forms, which function in a less hierarchical and less centralistic way. As we see it, a big problem of current political formats is that they are strongly weighted towards expert opinion. This often leads to the aforementioned experts and their opinions being granted the highest possible status – and to a disenfranchisement of everyone else. The consequence of this is that many political contents are simply consumed. By developing new political formats and putting them into practice, we aim to invite people to join in with how politics are constituted, and to actively contribute to discussions themselves.
Moreover, we have set ourselves the goal of building structures, which make it possible for people in Hamburg and Europe to participate in political processes in a self-empowering way. Expressed in other terms, we want to make it possible for people to apply democracy locally. To achieve this, we support a maximum amount of subsidiarity, which we want to support through a Europe-wide network.
What about Hamburg?
While we are primarily active in Hamburg and its environs, we also take part in campaigns and events affecting a number of regions, and at a pan-European level.
As a city-state inside Germany’s federal system, as a port city, and as a metropolitan region, we maintain that Hamburg has a particular responsibility in the development of a new Europe. Due to its historical development, Hamburg has a large influence, in political and societal terms, and one that stretches beyond Germany. Its port represents an interface to global trade. Additionally, Hamburg has one of the highest incomes per capita in Europe, and yet still must struggle with growing social exclusion, e.g. exclusion from the housing market, a problem that affects many other metropolitan regions.
That’s why we want to make the links between European themes, the DiEM25 agenda, and local themes, in our work as a DSC. To pursue this goal, we wish to continue to network with groups and initiatives from other countries and regions, who are confronting similar problems. Further, we want to use our events to spotlight pre-existing regional solutions to problems, that may have a pan-European relevance.
How do we work?
In order to put into practice a way of working together which is non-violent and non-hierarchical, but is also solidaristic and respectful, we want to stick to the written guide worked out by our DSC, and to apply these guidelines in our work. The written guide covers the agenda and structure of our meetings, and also defines concrete tasks and functions inside the group, to facilitate a productive and transparent working process – and to name the contact person for each specific function.