The Union of European Federalists welcomes the approval by the European Parliament Committee on Constitutional Affairs of two important reports that together show the way to reform and relaunch the European Union towards closer integration, within the boundaries of the current treaties and beyond: the own-initiative report on “improving the functioning of the EU building on the potential of the Lisbon Treaty”, drafted by Mercedes BRESSO (S&D, Italy) and Elmar BROK (EPP, Germany) and the report on the “possible evolutions and adjustments of the current institutional set up of the EU”, drafted by Guy VERHOFSTADT (ALDE, Belgium).
The report drafted by Mr Brok and Mrs. Bresso, who are current and former President of the Union of European Federalists, show that the Lisbon Treaty already offers instruments that can be used with no delay to deepen the Economic and Monetary Union, increase the effectiveness of the Common Foreign and Security Policy and make the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice more fit for today’s challenges.
The report drafted by Mr. Verhofstadt calls for a reform of the EU treaties towards a simpler and more effective European Union, without multiple opt-outs and derogations, with a deeply integrated Eurozone at its core. The report indicates that the Eurozone should have a fiscal capacity, a system of genuine own resources, a European treasury, and a federal and non-intergovernmental decision-making where the European Commission becomes a genuine European Government.
Mr Brok stated: “Today the Parliament shows that it has a clear vision on how to move Europe forward. In the short-term there is much that can be done, already within the current treaties, to make the Eurozone more robust, give better responses to internal and external security threats, and improve the way the EU takes its decision. At the same time, we should start a discussion, involving all European and national stakeholders, on what type of Union we want for the future, a Union that can combine successfully the need of many countries and citizens for closer political and economic integration, with the will of others who are satisfied with a lesser degree of integration. Our reports show how this can be done
Mrs Bresso added: “Europe needs a political relaunch. These reports together show the way. They are the proposals of the European Parliament for the European Council in Rome in March 2017. The summit in March on the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome is the right occasion to formally start a process, involving also national parliaments and civil society, to discuss such proposals and how to implement them. Offering the citizens a clear and comprehensive project for a Europe that is united and can deliver on important policies, is the real alternative to nationalists and populists. This is why I believe in the prospect of the United States of Europe, not as a dream but as a project to inspire our citizens”.
The Union of European Federalists encourages the European Parliament to adopt the two reports in plenary as soon as possible and then engage national parliaments, national governments and civil society in follow-up activities in order to ensure that the proposals set out in the two reports are pursued as soon as possible. The 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome in March 2017 is the appropriate moment to start such a process.