Volt Europe

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Volt Europe
Logo Volt Europa.svg
Party leader Valerie Sternberg

Reinier van Lanschot

Treasurer Mihaela Sirițanu
founding 29th March 2017
Alignment European federalism
social liberalism
Colours) violet
Number of members approx. 25,000 (July 2020) , of which
1,700 in Germany (August 13, 2020)
EP Group Greens / EFA
Website volteuropa.org (English)

Volt Europa (usually abbreviated Volt ) is a pro-European citizens' movement with party character , which is also registered as a national party in several countries across Europe due to corresponding legal provisions . It was founded in 2017 by Andrea Venzon, Colombe Cahen-Salvador and Damian Boeselager . The organization pursues an EU-European approach in many policy areas such as climate change , migration , economic inequality, international conflicts, terrorism and the influence of the technological revolution on the labor market. The funds for the party's actions were raised through crowdfunding . According to the official final result, the party received a mandate in the 2019 European elections in Germany with 0.67 percent of the vote. This means that the German top candidate Damian Boeselager has moved into the European Parliament.

The party name is based on the international electrical unit of measurement, volt , in order to be able to use a uniform term that is understandable throughout Europe and which is supposed to symbolize “new energy” for Europe as well as the speed and efficiency of the team.


Volt Europa was founded on March 29, 2017 by the Italian Andrea Venzon, the French Colombe Cahen-Salvador and the German Damian Boeselager in response to growing populism worldwide and the Brexit and registered as a non-profit association in Luxembourg under the name Vox Europe ASBL .

In March 2018, the Volt Germany party was launched as the first national association . Soon after, Volt had the most members in Italy. The movement's first congress took place on May 27, 2018 in Paris . On June 19, 2018, the association changed its founding name to Volt Europa ASBL. This should symbolize the "new energy" Volt wants to unleash in Europe.

In July 2018, the organization said it had around 10,000 members and supporters in more than 30 European countries. By July 2020, and thus within two years, the number grew to over 25,000. 70% of the members had joined the movement with no previous party political experience. In the meantime, Volt is also active with national associations in all EU countries. There are currently 15 national parties and teams in 31 countries.

Political agenda

General classification

Volt Europe was with Emmanuel macrons movement en La République Marche , Jeremy Corbyns Momentum Group and pro-European movements such Ciudadanos in Spain and the NEOS compared in Austria. According to various media, the aim of the movement is to promote democracy in the EU. Volt emphasizes the importance of a united European voice in world politics. Volt also supports the idea of ​​a federally organized Europe with a strong parliament, in which the citizens become the center of European politics. This is to be achieved through the right of initiative for the European Parliament .

The movement does not want to categorize itself in the classical political spectrum such as left, right, conservative or liberal. At the same time, the movement sees itself as a pan-European party and appears in all countries under a uniform logo. Its aim is not to act as a representative of national interests in the political institutions in Brussels, but to keep an eye on the European Union as a whole.

Volt differs from other pro-European movements such as Pulse of Europe or the Union of European Federalists in that the organization wants to participate in European, local and national elections through its individual sections in all EU states. In this sense, Volt Europa sees itself as the first transnational party in Europe, although transnational European parties were founded before it (e.g. the European Federalist Party ). As the umbrella organization, Volt Europa is responsible for the national associations in the individual EU countries.

Political program for the European elections: Amsterdam Declaration

For the European elections in May 2019, Volt has decided and published a pan-European program, the “Amsterdam Declaration”. This has been translated into several languages ​​and consists of three main points: a reform of the European Union, a strengthening of the European economy and the development of a sustainable and just European society. The FAZ editor Timo Steppat sees the content as close to Varoufakis' DiEM25 .

Political activities

Flyer of the German group

The movement is registered as a party in seventeen European countries , in German-speaking countries in Germany and Austria. The movement's goal was to want to move into the European Parliament with members of the European Parliament in the 2019 European elections , if possible with at least 25 from different EU member states, in order to be able to found a parliamentary group there. With only one German MP, however, this goal was clearly missed.

Damian Boeselager announced that he would negotiate with groups in the EU Parliament . He left open which faction he wanted to join. In an interview with the Handelsblatt, Boeselager only excluded groups that were “right-wing populist and very far left”.

The movement shares many goals with the citizens' initiative Pulse of Europe , which is why members of Volt tried to make their party better known at the Pulse of Europe demonstrations and to encourage people to vote in the European elections.

Party researchers assume that there is a potential voter whose pro-European stance is not adequately represented by the previous party system.

European elections 2019

For the 2019 European elections , the party ran in seven countries, including six with party lists. In the United Kingdom, the electoral commission rejected the application as incomplete. In Germany, the party was able to get a mandate due to the lack of a blocking clause , Damian Boeselager moved into parliament as the top candidate.

country (Top) candidates Result Mandates
BelgiumBelgium Belgium Kim Leonard Smouter 0.48% + -
BulgariaBulgaria Bulgaria Nastimir Ananiev 0.18% -
GermanyGermany Germany Damian Boeselager , Marie-Isabelle Heiss 0.67% 1
LuxembourgLuxembourg Luxembourg Rolf Tarrach 2.11% -
NetherlandsNetherlands Netherlands Reinier Van Lanschot 1.9%0 -
SpainSpain Spain Bruno Sánchez-Andrade Nuño 0.14% -
United KingdomUnited Kingdom United Kingdom Andrea Venzon 0.0% * -
* Venzon result as an independent candidate in London
+ in the Dutch-speaking electoral body

In France , Italy , Austria and Portugal the party was not allowed to vote. In France, the 800,000 euros necessary for printing the ballot papers could not be raised. In Italy, the party failed because of the 150,000 notarized supporter signatures required. The 7,500 and 2,600 required supporter signatures were also not achieved in Portugal and Austria.

National sections

Even if the party explicitly sees itself as a transnational party, due to the European electoral system it has to run its own national section in each EU country.

Volt Germany

Volt Germany
Volt Germany logo (15 January 2019)
CEO Paul Loeper, Friederike Schier
vice-chairman Paulo Alexandre, Konstantin Feist, Caroline Flohr, Sophie Griesbacher
Treasurer Leo Lüddecke
founding March 3, 2018
Alignment European federalism
social liberalism
Colours) violet
EP Group Greens / EFA
Website voltdeutschland.org

With “Volt Deutschland”, founded in March 2018, the party is represented in Germany and is running for elections with this section within the Federal Republic of Germany.

According to the company, Volt Deutschland's basic program is based on a Policies Proposal , which is also authoritative for Volt Europe as a whole. The focus will initially be on five “challenges” that Volt Germany would like to address at local, regional or national level. These are “an intelligent state, social equality, economic renaissance, politically active citizenship” and “global balance”. In addition to these priorities, a transnational EU reform in accordance with the Volt Deutschland and Volt Europa programs is to be sought. Volt Germany's program for the 2019 European elections is identical to that of all other European sections. It was adopted as the "Amsterdam Declaration" by all Volt sections in October 2018.

In May 2019, Volt Germany successfully sued the Wahl-O-Mat of the Federal Agency for Civic Education because the maximum possible pre-selection of 8 parties and the fact that established parties are displayed higher up put small parties at a disadvantage. The administrative court in Cologne granted the urgent application and decided that the Wahl-O-Mat could no longer be operated in its current form. The area for the European elections was therefore not available for two days. After an out-of-court settlement, the Wahl-O-Mat went online again on May 23, 2019, after the Federal Agency for Civic Education had promised to enable all parties to be compared from the state elections in September 2019.

In the 2019 European elections, Volt Germany received 249,098 votes according to the official final result of the Federal Returning Officer. That corresponds to a share of 0.7 percent of the voting shares and thus one of the 96 seats from Germany in the European Parliament. This is the first time the party has passed the 0.5% hurdle for party funding that applies to European elections in Germany . Damian Boeselager was in first place on the party's electoral list and has thus entered the European Parliament for the party .

Volt Germany was able to achieve the highest percentage of votes in cities. The front runner was the urban district of Heidelberg with a share of the vote of 2.9 percent. But also in cities like Munich and Karlsruhe (2.2 percent), Mainz (1.9 percent), Bonn (1.8 percent), Cologne (1.6 percent) or Frankfurt am Main (1.5 percent) Party do significantly better than the national German average. In the two largest cities in Germany, Berlin and Hamburg , the party made it to 1.2 percent of the vote. In the local elections held at the same time in Mainz, Volt received 1.2% of the votes for the election to the city council, has one seat there and forms a parliamentary group with the deputy of the Pirate Party .

In the local elections in Bavaria 2020 , Volt ran in Munich and Bamberg and won a city council mandate with 1.8 and 2.1 percent of the vote. In Munich city councilor Felix Sproll joined the SPD parliamentary group and thus the city government.

Volt Germany regional associations

Volt Germany is organized nationwide in numerous local and city teams, which, with the exception of a few district associations, do not form legally independent organizational units. The city teams are assigned to the next higher organizational unit, which is usually either the Federal Association of Volt Germany or one of the six currently existing state associations.


The state association in Baden-Württemberg was founded in summer 2020.


Regional association in Berlin .


The Hamburg regional association was founded at the end of 2019. Chair: Kilian Muth and Janne Silden


Volt Hessen is the state association in Hessen . The board consists of the two co-chairs Teresa Kraft and Nico Richter, the deputy chairmen Nicolas Kämmerer and Ana Lena Herrling, and the state treasurer Patrick Zasada.


Regional association in Rhineland-Palatinate .


Regional association in Thuringia .

Volt Netherlands

Volt Netherlands, in Dutch Volt Nederland, was founded on June 23, 2018 in Utrecht and ran in the European elections in May 2019 . According to the preliminary official final result, she received 1.9% of the vote and thus did not receive any of the 26 seats that the Netherlands has in the European Parliament.

Volt Austria

Volt Austria
Volt Austria logo (15 January 2019)
Party leader Marlies Steinhauser
Deputy Chairman Alexander Harrer
Treasurer Ina Dimitrieva
founding October 12, 2018
Alignment European federalism
social liberalism
Colours) violet
Website voltoesterreich.org

The political movement has also been registered as a party in Austria since October 2018 as "Volt Austria" , had around 100 active members in April 2019 and was planning to run for the 2019 European elections. The 2600 declarations of support required for this were not achieved, so Volt Europe was not eligible in Austria. In addition to the federal organization, there are also local Volt Austria groups in Vienna, Salzburg, Innsbruck, Graz and Linz. Volt Austria has had focus groups (Young Volt Austria, Queer Volt Austria, Women of Volt Austria) since 2020, which campaign for the target groups youth, LGBTIQ + and women. Young Volt is also specified as a youth chapter. Volt Austria will also take part in the state and municipal council elections in Vienna in 2020.


Volt has committed itself to publish all donors whose donations exceed 3,000 euros in a calendar year with the name and total amount of the donation within 15 working days on its website. Volt Europa lists the Open Society Initiative for Europe of US billionaire George Soros as the two largest donors with 19,191 euros and entrepreneur Christian Oldendorff, son of shipowner Klaus E. Oldendorff and founder and CEO of ParkU, with 25,000 euros (booth 27 May 2019).

The website of the German section lists several major donors, including Christian Oldendorff with 95,000 euros, Claus von Loeper, until 2015 managing director of Hannover Finanz , with 20,000 euros and several donors with amounts of 10,000 euros and 5,000 euros (as of May 27, 2019).

Web links

Individual evidence

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