OUR PROPOSALS TOWARDS A FEDERAL EUROPE


Europe is passing through a period of turbulence and uncertainty. The extended financial crisis has led to economic stagnation, unemployment and political fragmentation. The crisis has also exposed the flaws in the design of the Economic and Monetary Union, the weakness of the European Union’s institutions, a lack of commitment to European integration and a lack of solidarity between member states. As a result of these structural flaws and confusion, the proponents of further European integration have lost the trust of many citizens. If the European project is to survive and ensure our mutual prosperity and our global relevance, we must pursue the path of economic and political unity together. We fervently believe that a federal Europe, with strong democratic institutions, is the only way to meet this challenge.

FROM THE EUROZONE TO A FISCAL AND ECONOMIC UNION

We believe the process of building a European federal union begins with the Eurozone and those states genuinely committed to joining the euro. The Eurozone must have its own fiscal capacity, sustainably driven by its own resources. Suitable taxation mechanisms and new forms of debt instruments are required at European level. Resources should be used to assist states in difficulty, fund projects with pan-European benefits and promote macro-economic stabilisation and growth.

EUROPEAN DEMOCRACY

Deeper fiscal integration needs to be progressed to a political union. Progress can be made without change to the existing European treaties, but at a certain point a treaty revision will be required, to copper fasten the advancements. Any new treaty must further enhance the capacity of the Union to perform on an international stage. The residual executive powers held by the European Council should be transferred to the European Commission. Decision making by qualified majority vote in the Council and the European Council should become the norm.  The task of the European Council should be to steer and manage the Council of Ministers, which should become the second legislative chamber of the Union, consisting of permanent representatives. Flexibility is required for decisions affecting only the Euro-area.

EUROPEANS UNITED ON THE WORLD’S STAGE

As long as foreign, security and defense policy remains dependent on the political will, funds and availability of individual member states, divisions and inaction are an inevitable consequence. European policies, initiatives and actions should be democratically decided at European level, rely on enhanced European capabilities and interoperability and be funded through an adequate European budget. Those member States willing to move forward can begin by establishing a permanent structured cooperation. A structured entity should include at least a permanent operational headquarter and a sizable rapid reaction force. A European fund could pool resources of national defense budgets. An integrated approach to European defence should be promoted.

A WIDE UNION WITH A STRONG CORE

EU states cannot be forced to unite into a federal Europe against their will. At the same time, such states cannot be allowed to pick and choose what they want from the EU while preventing the other states progressing with integration. A new category of membership, with limited participation in the institutions, could be the alternative for those who choose not to join a federal Union. Flexible and democratic procedures are needed for future treaty amendments, which should enter into force once ratified by the European Parliament and a qualified majority of the states.

© 2015 Union of European Federalists
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