The Federal Committee of the Union of European Federalists, chaired by Mr Elmar Brok (MEP, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the European Parliament) met in Brussels on 17-18 April 2015.
Regarding the future of the European Monetary Union and the prospect of an economic and fiscal union, the UEF welcomes the initiative of the Presidents of the European Commission, the European Central Bank, the European Council and the Eurogroup to prepare a report for the European Council meeting in June. The UEF calls for the report to include clear proposals and a timetable towards an economic and fiscal union to strengthen and deepen the monetary union, including a Eurozone budget and debt and tax instruments to fund investments and stabilise the Eurozone economy. In the next months, the UEF will be collecting endorsements by members of the European Parliament and national parliaments on these requests.
On the prospect of an EU army, the UEF calls on the High Representative and EU Institutions to exploit the possibilities for a more integrated defence cooperation within the existing treaties. It urges Member States to establish a Permanent Structured Cooperation as the first nucleus of a European Defence Union. On the long term, the UEF stresses that a credible and efficient defence policy, acting as European pillar of NATO, can be achieved only by transferring national defence sovereignty to a federal EU, including the pooling of at least part of national defence budgets into a common European ad hoc budget and establishing a European Command accountable to a European authority subject to parliamentary control.
On the topic of EU immigration policy, particularly in light of recent tragedies in the Mediterranean, the UEF urges the European Commission to present a reform of the Common European Asylum System which can: ensure that people fleeing armed conflict or persecution and who are in need of international protection have effective access to legal asylum procedures (including in their country of origin). Furthermore, the UEF calls for the establishment of solidarity mechanisms between Member States, including resettlement programmes, allocating migrants to Member States according to their GDP or population, and ensuring that sufficient EU solidarity funds and operational capabilities are made available for that purpose.
On the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), the UEF considers it to be an opportunity for a renewed transatlantic relationship and that it would serve as the basis for economic and political development in the whole transatlantic region. Nevertheless, certain conditions should be met in order to ensure that both sides will benefit equally from the TTIP through the harmonisation and improvement of common standards. The UEF also insists that the European Parliament must be closely involved at all stages of the negotiations.