27 March, 2011
12 Theses for a Federal and Democratic Europe

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1. The justification for a federal Europe – that only a strong and effective Union can protect its people and their interests – is stronger than ever in this complex, fast-moving world.

2. The political climate is moving in the same direction, with the pressure for budgetary supervision and tighter economic governance, unthinkable without political union.

3. But the emotional and psychological resistance remains overwhelming -- the people of Europe are used to democracy and will not give more power to a Union whose workings they do not understand and whose leaders they do not know and have not chosen.

4. It follows that the federal agenda, as it stands today, cannot be achieved.

5. It is therefore essential to convince people that a federal Union is the only way to establish a truly democratic Europe.

6. That implies (a) a short, clear Constitution that everybody can read and understand, and that places political power firmly in the hands of the European voter.

7. It implies (b) that when people vote for a Parliament they are effectively choosing a Prime Minister and a real European Government, equipped with sovereign powers.

8. And it implies (c) that for issues of European importance it is the majority of European voters who carry the day.

9. But issues of national or local importance, especially issues close to the individual (including health, education and welfare services) remain the responsibility of national and local authorities.

10. The challenge to the federalist movement is to establish firmly in the minds of the public this indissoluble link between federalism and democracy.

11. Our goal is a democratic and federal Union. The time is ripe. The challenges of the modern world cannot be met in any other way. Details are for debate, and some countries may not be ready, in which case the Eurozone would seem the right place to start.

12. If a majority of people in a majority of euro-states are ready to bind themselves more closely together, to pursue their common interests, then a democratic Union could be established within five years, and federalists should organise themselves to that end.

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