28 March, 2010
Making the European Union Capable for Action

The Union of European Federalists at its Federal Committee meeting in Brussels (27-28th March 2010),

convinced

that the world international order created after the Second World War can no longer provide adequate global governance and that important decisions affecting the daily life of European citizens are taken in the framework of the G20 without being subject to democratic scrutiny; that the European Union is still unable to face the new global challenges, like international terrorism, mass migration, world poverty, energy security or climate change;

recalling

the decisions of the UEF Congress in Paris in October 2008 and of the

Federal Committee meeting in Berlin in October 2009,

welcomes

the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon, which has provisionally concluded a long period of institutional uncertainty and commits itself to work in support of the Treaty’s full and rapid implementation, and in particular:

a) the setting up of the European External Action Service firmly anchored to the European Commission, as an efficient, coherent, transparent democratically accountable European diplomatic service, which is given the necessary means for conducting an active European foreign policy, in particular in the areas of conflict prevention, peace-building, civilian and military crisis management and disarmament and which has recourse to a Rapid Reaction Force, a European Police and Gendarmerie Force and a European Civil Peace Corps;

b) the citizens’ initiative and other aspects of participatory democracy and civil society consultation;

c) the provisions on structured cooperation by a group of Member States, in order to forge, inter alia, a common defence, including the pooling of military spending and the incremental integration of their defence capabilities, which should be put at the permanent disposal of the UN, and to bestow on them a permanent seat in the UN Security Council;

d) the radical reform of the European budget and finances, in order to replace the system of national contributions, which have been used as a pretence for recurring debates on justes retours by national governments by a new system of own resources, based on European taxes, as proposed by the European Parliament; the creation of a more transparent, progressive and buoyant system capable of sustaining economic recovery and tackling the great challenges like social cohesion of society, energy security and climate change; and the gradual transfer of spending from the national to the EU level where there is added value in terms of economies of scale, cost efficiency and the overcoming of market failure with the provision of European public goods, thus ensuring a better alignment of the financial resources and the political priorities established by the EU;

e) the establishment of a single representation of the Eurogroup in the international financial institutions, also to promote a stable international monetary system;

f) a reform of the European electoral system, in order to encourage the European political parties to present their positions and candidates for the European Commission to the European voters before the European election of 2014, thus establishing a direct link between the election results and the new EU executive and to allow a certain number of MEPs to be elected from transnational lists for an EU-wide constituency;

regrets however:

a) the fact that the European Monetary Union was put in jeopardy by the lack of European economic governance, which left it vulnerable to the assaults of global financial actors against its weakest members;

b) the failure of the international climate negotiations in Copenhagen, which was also due to the weak performance of the EU; the unwillingness of the EU Member States to entrust the EU with the powers it needs to face the new global economic, environmental and security challenges; therefore decides to launch a concrete political action and to strengthen the UEF organisation.

B) A PROPOSAL FOR A FRAMEWORK FOR ACTION

The Federal Committee asks to implement the following framework for action for a European Federal Union:

- in order to develop a European economic government, a single European foreign, security and defence policy, a European sustainable environmental policy;

- in order to achieve these goals the UEF should promote a debate with European political parties, decision makers and European civil society on the following proposals:1. the development of a federal European government, based on the

European Commission, being able to speak with one voice on behalf of the EU on all matters of EU competence including:

a) a European ministry for economic affairs responsible for a European economic policy;

b) a European ministry of finance responsible for the execution of a European federal budget;

c) a European ministry for foreign affairs and defence which would, inter alia, command the European armed forces and represent the EU in the UN Security Council;

2. relaunching the European constitutional process by the European Parliament, based on Art. 48 of the Treaty, with the aim of drafting a European federal constitution, approved by a majority of citizens and states of the Union;

3. starting the transition towards a European federation, beginning with an initiative involving a core group of states; moreover, the UEF also commits itself to:

4. reform the functioning of the organisation in order to strengthen its membership throughout the EU Member States and the candidate countries and its capacity to act on local, regional, national and European level as well as

5. promote the setting up a citizens’ network for a federal Europe – in close cooperation with other pro-European organisations, notably the International European Movement, the Young European Federalist (JEF), the Federalist Intergroup in the European Parliament, the Permanent Forum of Civil Society and European citizens’ conventions organised at local, national and European levels, in order to mobilise the forces of European civil and political society, as a broad and compact movement in favour of European constitutional reform;

6. actively use, together with other civil society organisations, the new instrument of the European Citizens Initiative to bring fresh ideas to European politics, to realise the European democratic process and to build a coalition of civil society organisation for future constitutional initiatives.


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