Wohlt wants to work in Europe and gets bogged down in his own bureaucracy – Job


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Volt 2

© cc photo: Friends of Europe

It’s an exciting agenda, says Chairman Kim Smoter. It’s time for this weekend General meeting of Volt Europe . memberseuropean party organization TRUE Holland Volt It is part of. A great opportunity to consider the usefulness and necessity of such a European construction. The value immediately appears to be limited: Volt Europa has more than 12,000 members, but fewer than 200 of them have voted on who can chair this members meeting.

Volt Europa likes to stress that it is the first truly European organized party. It turns out that it is very difficult to seriously form such a party. It starts with geographical spread: Volt is mainly Dutch, because this is where the success is greatest and more than half of the members live here. Germany ranks second well. Volt tries to cover all this by emphasizing the existence of other countries. This is against better judgment: in most EU countries, the Volt is a political dwarf of a dozen people at most.

strategic priorities
The online meeting of members is very important, and we are still hearing, because it relates to the strategic priorities set by the European side. Board member Anouk Ohms – not coincidentally from the Netherlands – talks about it Bottom-up strategic process that are followed in order to reach these priorities. These are important in the run-up to the 2024 European elections, in which Volt Europe wants to participate in as many EU countries as possible. There seem to be three priorities.

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The first is called Build Electibility: Wohlt must be eligible to be elected in the European elections. It is very important if you only have dozens of members in many countries. A ‘road map’ has already been drawn up, candidates, sponsors and activities have to come in, and Volt has to be expanded as a brand. There is a big gap between plans and reality about this priority: the Volt currently has one MEP from Germany. In addition, the Volt also has a chance to win a seat in the Netherlands, but not really anywhere else.

The second priority is Speak with one political voice: There must be coordination of communication and policy. There should be more cooperation between countries, there will be workshops and attendance at party meetings should be increased. Strange priorities: within a European party, different nationalities must work together normally, otherwise the entire European structure will be useless. However, this rarely happens in volts. Perhaps because many national administrations are almost non-existent?

The last priority is professionalism† There should be member and volunteer management, as well as more focus on fundraising and organizational development. We hear that 7.5 million euros of funds are needed for the 2024 EU campaign. One member asks if there is a plan to bring in this money. Board member Ooms has no idea where that money will come from. The team is busy writing a strategy. This can only be intrusive because Volt only has mass in Holland and Germany.

Lots of detailed work
European governance has lost its way. We mainly work on internal rules and procedures. Volt members from Switzerland and the UK currently have fewer voting rights than members from EU countries and this goes against Volt’s values, we hear, so proposals are coming. This is especially funny because the number of members in these countries is probably a few dozen and they cannot contribute to the task of winning the European elections of 2024. However, the Board of Directors is investing time in it.

It continues like this endlessly. There will be penalties for departments that do not comply with the rules, board succession will be changed, a diversity board will be established and internal cooperation will be improved. There will be European sponsorship networks and talent programmes. Values ​​are revisited by value appraisal, as a complement to existing principles. The policy process is also flipped upside down so that dependency is guaranteed and Volt values ​​are included everywhere by default.

This is still about a party whose more than three-quarters of its members live in the Netherlands and Germany. In this hours-long meeting, Volt Europe gets lost in structures, processes of change, rules and bureaucracy. Party leader Rainier van Lanchot talks about the enormous workload. There is a lot of grumbling about this which is not surprising because ambitions are sky high. That’s why we sometimes have to slow down a bit, Van Lanchot suggests. It does not occur to him that the organization is so big and bureaucratic.

Unrelated organization
Volt Europe does exactly what the European Union does: set the rules because the cultures within Europe are very different. For the sake of alignment, many things must be explicitly laid out in order to avoid disagreements. But we constantly hear that old rules and roadmaps don’t work, that adjustments are necessary and sometimes everything has to be turned upside down. No one will step in the open door because all this increases the workload and no one can keep up with the flow of roadmaps, rules and plans.

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How relevant is this European organization to the Volt department in the Netherlands? When there were problems recently with Nilüfer Gündogan, Volt Nederland couldn’t handle the situation, we heard in the Dutch Congress† Meanwhile, the Yoruba Volt is working on a structure to settle disputes and impose sanctions, but this appears to apply only to national divisions and not to individual members. So countries have to set their own policies. For example, Dutch members meet at the European level over policy that they cannot use themselves.

You wonder: what will Volt Netherlands miss if it is no longer part of Volt Europe? The answer is that this will free party members from a lot of bureaucracy.

Megan Vasquez

"Creator. Coffee buff. Internet lover. Organizer. Pop culture geek. Tv fan. Proud foodaholic."

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