Why 5 + 1 Challenges?

  • The 5 Challenges are basically the same for every country, but their implementation can be adapted on the national level to take into account local realities.
  • The +1 Challenge – our proposal to reform and strengthen the EU – is identical across all our national programmes.

1. Smart State

Education & Digitalisation are key elements of the 21st century

Governments should provide state-of -the-art public services for the benefit of their citizens and residents. This includes:

  • Digitalising public services to reduce waste and to improve efficiency and service quality,
  • Modernising education systems,
  • Making high-quality healthcare available to everyone,
  • Providing a fair and transparent legal system, effective law enforcement, and fighting corruption and tax evasion,
  • Guaranteeing digital rights and freedom,
  • Strongly supporting research.

2. Economic Renaissance

An innovative economy must be the engine of society’s progress

European economies must be the engine of society’s progress and allow for a decent living standard for everyone. With this in mind we want to:

  • Aim for leadership in innovation,
  • Tackle unemployment by innovative working schemes, a European labour platform, and by easing the setting-up of small businesses,
  • Rebuild economically challenged areas
  • Push for a circular economy,
  • Foster a European Artificial Intelligence Initiative,
  • Introduce a Europe-wide corporate tax,
  • create a unified European social and fiscal system.

3. Social Equality

No-one should be left behind – no matter their gender, income, religion. or origin

Every person in Europe must be guaranteed equal rights and opportunities. To achieve this we want to introduce policies that

  • Stop inequalities and discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion, national origin, descent, or skin colour,
  • Alleviate poverty and homelessness, e.g. by social housing, accessibility to social benefits, and free healthcare for everybody,
  • Guarantee free education to all, from pre-primary to higher and vocational education, emphasize a person’s right to their own body by Europe-wide harmonized rules concerning reproductive rights, sex-work, and ending life with dignity.

4. Global Balance

Europe needs to assume responsibility for its role in global challenges

We want to establish policies in line with the Sustainable Development Goals in areas such as

  • climate change,
  • international fair trade,
  • sustainable farming,
  • food security,
  • biodiversity,
  • international development cooperation.

In the area of migration we advocate

  • a new “burden-sharing” refugee system,
  • removing existing legal barriers for labour migration,
  • setting-up an international system to prevent and address refugee crises,
  • putting an end to statelessness in Europe.

5. Citizen Empowerment

People must be empowered to influence politics beyond elections alone

Europeans should be empowered to

  • take informed political decisions,
  • be able to influence politics beyond elections alone,
  • exercise their democratic rights within vibrant, resilient and highly deliberative democracies.
  • Our policies are based on best practices regarding the fostering of a pluralistic information and media landscape, tools & technologies for political engagement and empowerment, and ways in which democracies can be made to thrive.

+1. EU Reform

We love the EU – this doesn’t mean there is no room for improvement

  • The European Union is our common project: we have managed to come together and build a Union that has ensured peace and prosperity for over sixty years.
  • Yet, it has its shortcomings, which is why we want to reform and strengthen EU governance and institutions for
    • a more democratic, more transparent and stronger Europe,
    • a federal Europe.
  • We propose concrete policies for more efficient EU action to promote and protect the interests of all European citizens.

Our Political Priorities

At Volt, we are building a future with the highest human rights as well as environmental, social, and technological standards, where everyone has the same opportunity to succeed, under one great democracy across Europe. Only by acting together can Europe’s unlock its full potential and meet its shared challenges.

One Europe

Only by coming together and acting as one can Europeans defend their traditional values of freedom, dignity, solidarity, civil engagement, free economy, democracy and the rule of law.

To achieve this strong union, we must take the next step in European integration to create a Federal Union, with a President elected by the European citizens and a Federal Ministry of Economics and Finance implementing one budget.

We must also reform the parliamentary system and remove the need for unanimous decisions that presently often blocks the Union’s actions.

Economic Innovation

Decisive action is required to ensure Europe’s economic and technological advantage in the digital age.

We want to double R&D investment throughout the Union, with a particular emphasis on Artificial Intelligence, of which we will lead both the development and oversight.

Throughout Europe, ideal conditions for entrepreneurship must be established, with a Digital One-Stop-Shop to set up a business within 3 working days, and the necessary financial support for training and re-skilling of citizens must be provided, in consonance with an overhaul of EURES, the European Employment Service.

So that no-one is left behind, growth will be kickstarted in the most challenged regions through the development of energy and mobility infrastructure.

Education overhaul

Governments are failing to prepare Europeans for the world ahead.

We want to overhaul European education systems, building digital skills and code literacy from primary school and extending opportunities for lifelong learning to the population at large. 

Under the Volta Programme, we will increase funding for teachers at all school levels and introduce new methods to the classroom, bolstering the dignity of the teaching profession and making it more attractive to the brightest.

Europe needs engaged and responsible citizens, and schools will be a pillar of the healthy public sphere we must build.

Another major goal is to expand Erasmus+, encompassing ever more universities as well as high school and vocational students.

Green emergency

The climate crisis is one of the most serious challenges we face in the 21st century.

Drastic action and enormous investment will be required merely to mitigate its full impact.

We must steer our industries towards sustainable and renewable production.

We will implement taxes on carbon as well as plastics and penalise single-use products and non-recyclables.

We will also end fossil fuel subsidies. These revenues will fund smart energy grids and mobility systems throughout the EU.

Because sustainability begins at home, we will foster proximity farming, achieving the double benefit of bolstering both local economies and biodiversity.

Fairness and equality

To remain strong, Europe must give all of its citizens the chance to contribute meaningfully, leaving no-one behind.

We want to move toward a Guaranteed Minimum Income, take decisive steps to reduce child poverty, and institute affordable housing.

The ravages of economic crises and technical revolutions, such as the emergence of Artificial Intelligence, require particular attention.

We will double the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund, supporting the transition towards new jobs when old industries fail.

More broadly, we will enforce equal rights for all and move to break the “glass ceiling”. 

For decades, tax avoidance by multinationals has undermined the financing of public services. They must pay their fair share, with a Europe-wide minimum corporate tax of 15%

Labour and inclusion

In order to excel in the future world, Europe must develop Europeans’ potential to the fullest.

This means ensuring that professional training is aligned with long-term workplace demands, a task for the European Sector Skills Councils.

We will regulate the rights of workers in the “gig economy” of part-time, freelance and platform work, and create flexible working arrangements.

With simplified mechanisms to obtain expert work visas and temporary visas that are beneficial both for the EU and the original country, Europe must become a unique destination for talent.

We must also create the conditions for refugees and asylum-seekers to enter the workforce from day one, improving the skills recognition system and providing them with language training

Own your body

We advocate legalising sex work and ensuring that safe working places exist. Sex workers must get insurance, healthcare and other standard protections.

Every person must have the right to determine how to end their life with dignity, as long as no other person’s life is harmed. For this, in addition to medical attention, a wide range of support must be made available. In particularly grave situations, persons should be able to seek assistance to terminate their life.

Women must have easy access to contraceptive means, including no barriers to the morning-after pill, as well as to abortive measures until the second trimester

We aim to legalise altruistic surrogacy agreements, while ensuring that it does not increase the power of black markets.

We aim to strengthen transgender rights and support transgender people seeking medical assistance and legal recognition.

Justice and legal

Our’s is a zero-tolerance policy towards corruption, private interests dictating state policy, white-collar crime, and corporate tax avoidance.

With this in mind we aim to overhaul and improve the judicial system, act against white-collar (corporate and financial) crime; and regulate, protect, and incentivise whistleblowing

In order to combat tax evasion we support initiatives aimed at ensuring that profits are taxed in the region where they are generated.

Furthermore, multinational online companies must be taxed for their “digital presence” and the value they generate in a country.

We support initiatives to expand corporate social responsibility, ensuring compliance and ethical standards.

External relations

Foreign policy should become an exclusive EU competence. The European External Action Service (EEAS) must be strengthened and EU representations around the world be transformed into EU embassies

unified EU Refugee Policy is needed to manage refugee flows from outside the EU. The Dublin system needs to be reformed, and a settlement system must be defined (e.g. based on population, population density, wealth, age, and growth).

The new system should provide for penalties for those countries who do not abide by it.

Legal pathways into Europe must be increased and improved in order to effectively manage flows of refugees and asylum seekers. 

A strong Europe must stand up for its citizens. The protection of our citizens, territory, and values is one of the core tasks of the EU. For this purpose, the EU needs a common defence system and a fully integrated defence force under the control of the European Parliament.

Read our complete policy documents on the Policy Portfolio page