21 March, 2004
Contiuning the fight for a Federal European Consitution

The 20th Congress of the Union of European Federalists, meeting in Genoa on 19-21 March 2004,

I. Welcomes the draft Constitution proposed by the European Convention at the conclusion of its work in July 2003 where the representatives of the European and national legislative and executive bodies worked together transparently and consulting the European civil society, and in particular the fact that it :

1. uses the word “Constitution” as evidence of a growing awareness in Europe of a need of a European Federation and the existence of a European people;

2. strengthens the transparency of the European integration project, especially by integrating the political and legal foundations of the European Union in one single text, using a more understandable language, regrouping the competences of the European Union and eliminating the pillar structure of the current treaties;

3. incorporates the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, thus making it legally binding as an important step towards a Union of Citizens;

4. endows the European Parliament with stronger powers in both legislative and budgetary procedures;

5. allows that the Commission President will be elected by the European Parliament;

6. creates the possibility that the European elections could gain a dynamic in a federal and more democratic direction, particularly if the trans-European parties designate their candidates for the presidency of the Commission before each election;

7. strengthens the legitimacy of the Commission which will consequently be much more able to act as an government;

8. introduces the post of a European Minister of Foreign affairs;

9. creates the means of a Citizens’ initiative to initiate legislation by at least 1 million citizens coming from different member states;

10. permits structured cooperation in the field of defence;

II. Regrets that the draft constitution fails to meet the needs of European citizens in that it :

1. does not give the Commission the totality of executive powers and does not transform it into a supranational Government under the democratic control of the EP and the Council acting as a Chamber of States;

2. despite the introduction of the post of a European Minister for European Affairs, it does not transfer executive powers in the field of Foreign, Security and Defence Policy to the Commission, along with the necessary diplomatic and military instruments, but retains them largely in the hands of the Member States in the Council voting by unanimity; leaves the CFSP still too indecisive and weak for tackling major crises;

3. does not improve significantly the economic governance of the EU and, more seriously, of the Economic and Monetary Union;

4. preserves unanimity in the field of the EU’s own resources and in European citizenship;

5. retains the rule of unanimity concerning the decision and ratification of constitutional revision;

III. Warns that these failings need to be corrected if the European Union is to have a longterm future in securing the peace, justice, sustainability, democracy and liberty by effective action both in Europe and around the world in particular by paying special attention to the culture of people;

IV. Condemns the summit held in Brussels in December 2003 for its failure to endorse the text proposed by the Convention; Stresses the importance of maintaining the current momentum in the European integration process given to it by the Convention;

V. Believes that any renegotiation by the IGC of the contents of the draft constitution proposed by the Convention :

1. will lack effectiveness because the intergovernmental method of decision-making is ill-suited to taking detailed decisions;

2. will lack popular legitimacy because the intergovernmental method is fundamentally unaccountable;

3. will not improve the content of the text because of the reservations already expressed by some member states that have vetoes over any decisions;

4. should therefore not be attempted;

A. Therefore, the Union of European Federalists calls upon the heads of state and government of the member states to :

1. recognise the superior democratic legitimacy of the Convention text and adopt it as the European Constitution before the European elections in June 2004;

2. consider the decision of the Thessaloniki European Council to welcome the Convention draft;

3. campaign for its immediate ratification in their respective member states according to their own constitutional procedures;

4. commit to convening another Convention no later than 2008 to revise the Constitution and rectify its failings;

5. Agree that future amendments of the Constitution should take place on the basis of the majority principle rather than unanimity;

B. If any member states are unwilling or unable to agree or to ratify the text, the other member states should proceed nevertheless with the adoption of the Constitution. No member state should be permitted to cast a veto over the further development of the European Union towards the federal system of democracy that the citizens of Europe so urgently need;

C. The Union of European Federalists also calls upon the European Parliament and all parliaments of the 25 member states to pass political resolutions before the European elections in June 2004 in favour of the European constitution and its revision by a new Convention no later than 2008;

D. This 20th Congress of the Union of European Federalists invites the next Federal Committee, the next Bureau and all constituent organisations of UEF :

1. to organise and lead a campaign in pursuit of these objectives;

2. to engage firmly in the election campaign of the European Parliament by supporting the candidates who are in favour of the text of the Convention;

3. to open a campaign in support of ratification of the Constitution in every member state that has signed it;

4. to start a debate about the future strategy to be followed in the case that the Convention text is not agreed as the Constitution by the end of 2004;

E. The future development of the European integration depends on the actions of the citizens, politicians and other European players to fight for what Europe needs so urgently : The European Federation!


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