13 November, 2011
Resolution "Federal Union Now"

Adopted by the UEF Federal Committee on 13 November 2011 (Read the resolution in German)


Whereas:


A. The cohesion and stability of the eurozone is the indispensable precondition for the economic recovery of Europe,
B. The limitations of the current system of European economic and monetary union are now self-evident, as is the weakness of the popular legitimacy of the EU institutions,
C. The efforts of the European Council to coordinate national economic policies, always acting by unanimity, have been insufficient to restore market or democratic confidence,
D. The Union still waits to assert itself on the world stage,
E. Ten years after the Laeken Declaration, a further large reform of the EU Treaties is now inevitable if the governance of the Union is to be adjusted to meet current and future demands,

Therefore:

1. Notes the outcome of the European Council and Euro Summit meetings of 26 October; welcomes the substantial efforts made to shore up Greece within the eurozone and to oblige the Italian government to tackle seriously the structural reform of its own economy; stresses that swift implementation of the decisions reached at such summit meetings is vital to avoid the further escalation of the sovereign debt crisis;
2. Welcomes the 'six pack' on economic governance which introduces the European semester and strengthens the Stability and Growth Pact; looks forward to the Commission's further programme of legislative initiatives which will reinforce the surveillance and discipline of national economic and fiscal policies, as well as consolidating the international representation of the eurozone;
3. Insists that, in addition to national debt reduction, a robust EU-wide plan for growth and development is needed for the recovery of the European economy; welcomes as a first step an early launch of project bonds aimed at EU investment in innovation, notably in the field of energy;
4. Stresses the importance of completing the single market in all respects by the end of 2012, and affirms the importance of combining the increased integration of the eurozone with the maintenance of a coherent single market across the whole of the Union; would resist, therefore, attempts by the UK to 'repatriate' elements of EU labour law;
5. Welcomes the up-grading of the post of Commissioner responsible for economic and monetary affairs to a new Vice-Presidency of the Commission with a direct role in managing the political economy of the euro;

Financial reform

6. Notes the decision to multiply the size of the European Financial Stability Fund (EFSF) ; urges that the creation of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) is brought forward to 2012 and that it is transformed into a genuine treaty-based facility, with weighted votes to reflect economic strength, to pre-figure the creation of a permanent European Monetary Fund;
7. Urges increased efforts to reduce public deficits in order to pave the way towards the progressive mutualisation of sovereign debt in the eurozone up to the level of 60 per cent of GDP, as foreseen in the Maastricht treaty; looks forward to the Commission’s proposals on 'stability' eurobonds;
8. Insists on the introduction on an EU wide basis of tougher measures to combat tax evasion;
9. Would welcome also progress towards the introduction of common consolidated corporate tax base;
10. Demands a thorough reform of the EU’s financial system to allow for a reshaping and enlargement of the budget to produce European public goods paid for by the creation of genuinely autonomous sources of revenue which link EU spending more directly with the citizen tax-payer;
11. Supports the proposal of the European Commission to introduce new European taxes as components of a reformed system of own resources, including a financial transaction tax;
12. Insists that, at the end of a transitional period, such a reformed financial system will replace national contributions based on GNI while bringing about large economies of scale and cost efficiencies at the EU level, as well as reducing counterproductive political division between net contributors and net recipients;
13. In this regard, urges a switch away from unanimity in the Council on the decisions to revise the multi-annual financial framework and on all taxation matters, including the reform of own resources;

Economic government

14. Calls for the Commission to initiate a thorough debate on what can be done within the existing treaties to stabilize the eurozone by exploiting to the full the provisions on enhanced cooperation by which a group of states could establish a financial solidarity mechanism;
15. Recognises that solidarity among tax-payers across the eurozone requires the EU to make rapid progress towards a fiscal union under the direction of an efficient federal economic government with clear decision-making structures and mechanisms to impose binding measures on member states which do not implement EU economic and fiscal policies;
16. Recognises that this fiscal union and federal economic government will need to earn a greater sense of popular legitimacy than the EU institutions enjoy at present; that an increased role for the European Parliament is essential, and that in certain specified circumstances those MEPs elected in states which have adopted the euro should have enhanced powers to legislate on matters specific to the eurozone;

Treaty change

17. Notes with regret that the President of the European Council, in cooperation with the Presidents of the Commission and the Eurogroup, will present proposals only for 'limited treaty change' to the December meeting of the European Council, to be finalised in March;
18. Urges the broadest possible prior consultation on the goals, scope and timetable of treaty amendments; calls on the European Parliament to insist on the calling of a new constitutional Convention, during the first half of 2012, in which the economic governance agenda is widened to address larger issues of political legitimacy
19. Welcomes Parliament's efforts to create a pan-European constituency for the election of certain MEPs from transnational lists selected and supported by European political parties; urges that this matter be included on the agenda of the Convention;
20. Recognises that any treaty change will have to be agreed unanimously by all members states of the Union; insists, however, that the Convention should agree to modify the treaty ratification provisions so that the new treaty can enter into force once four fifths of the states have ratified it according to their own constitutional requirements;
21. Demands that the Convention engages in a deep debate about the constitutional future of Europe which must elaborate in full the structure of a fiscal union and federal economic government, while addressing ways and means to cater for various forms of differentiated integration, including the Union's role in its neighbourhood;
22. Proposes also that a new category of associate membership be created to cater for any existing member state which chooses not to take the federal step needed and required by its partners;
Federal moment
23. Warns, however, that if it does not prove possible to get agreement among all member states on changing the treaty in these directions, proposals should be made for a federal union to be established among a core group of states;
24. Calls for every effort to be made to mobilise public opinion in favour of a European 'New Deal', including the use of European Citizens' Initiatives in support of a real transfer of power from national to European levels in the fields of taxation, budget, economic policy and foreign and security policy;
25. Commits the Union of European Federalists to campaigning at all levels for ‘Federal Union Now’ in order to convince political and public opinion of the reforms necessary to reach the goal of a united democratic Europe.


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