In the supranational democracy I imagine, every citizen is a global citizen. But not every citizen is an engaged global citizen and not every engaged one is committed to the same cause.
There are so many issues and so many front lines to engage on and we do not have all the same priorities, so it’s quite natural to me that everybody will (and already does) choose what is really dear to his/her heart, what really matters for her.
We are going to join our community, to commit to our cause with like-minded individuals. That’s the best way to make a difference.
I imagine supranational democracy as a galaxy of global institutions and fora, each having its own community of committed citizens to dialogue with, to draw legitimacy from, to hold them accountable. Overlapping global communities will push for the global public goods we all need.
We have in front of us a powerful example.
In COP21 we see a global community committed to stop climate change: national delegations, international organizations and a wide gathering of committed people – businessmen and investors, NGOs’ activists, scientists and experts, representatives of local communities and of indigenous peoples – all involved in one huge debate, at different levels.
The global demos in the making is something different from the nation we have experienced in the past 3 -4 centuries. What makes us stand together as humanity is an idea of common good which will involve us on a voluntary basis in different processes and priorities.
For this reason I think that it is unilkely that we are going to see a global parliament in the future and -even if I would be the first to support such an evolution of the General Assembly of the United Nations- it wouldn’t respond fully to our need of democracy because of the distance from the electoral body and the (inevitably) small number of representatives.
What would really make shorter the distance between real people and global institutions would be assemblies or gatherings committed to specific topics: humain rights, sustainable debelopment, equality, fair finance, health and so on. Each of them is already prefigured in a global debate among committed people and each debate is already going on somewhere, somehow.
Encouraging these debates and offering them an institutional space would make them visible and transparent, would enhance their effectiveness and fuel productive outcomes.
We hope to remember one day the COP21 as a turning point in stopping climate change. We could also remember it as a big experiment of global debate, at so many different levels, among members of a global community.