In 2015, Europe has moved relentlessly from one crisis to the other: the Eurozone crisis, the refugee crisis, the Schengen crisis. Each inflicted serious blows to European political and economic solidarity and to the European project as a whole. Each made fundamental weaknesses of the EU construction and the limits of conventional EU and national responses more evident than ever. Today the case for a federal Europe is just overwhelming.
The crisis troubling Europe have common roots and common solutions. Each is the consequences of an incomplete project: a monetary union without a fiscal and economic union, free movement without European management of external borders, elimination of internal border controls without European security and intelligence capabilities. Completing these projects requires touching key areas of national sovereignty. Each requires trade-offs between risk- and burden- sharing at European level and limits to national policy-making. Each requires addressing the need of a European federal government with democratic legitimacy, tools and resources to act effectively and expeditiously. All would be better addressed together within a single coherent plan of deeper political integration. The resistance of national governments and politicians, clinging to their fading power or stuck in the illusion of national responses, is fierce as it is shortsighted.
Will 2016 be different? The European Commission’s proposals on the Eurozone governance, management of common borders and refugees are steps in the right direction, but their pace and scale is far from what is needed. They will set the “policy agenda” of next year, offering ground for advocating federal solutions. The European Parliament will continue to work on proposal for improving the EU institutions within and beyond the current Treaties. This may pave the way for an “institutional agenda” of reforms offering again ground for advocating federal solutions. The British referendum raises the prospect of a two-circle EU (a deeper integrated Eurozone and a looser integrated outer circle) casting new light on both the policy and institutional agendas. All may come or break together. Whether right choices are made depends also on our work as European Federalists.
My best wishes for the New Year.
European Federalists at the EPP Congress
On 20-22 October, a delegation of UEF and JEF activists attended the European Congress of the European People’s Party (EPP) in Madrid, Spain. With an info stand they raised awareness of federalist ideas among the Congress delegates. Leading EPP politicians from various countries joined the stand.
Meeting with Italian MEPs
On 22 October, the UEF Secretary-General Paolo Vacca met with the Italian Socialists & Democrats Members of the European parliament (MEPs). The bilateral and group meetings gives an opportunity to present the key demands and initiatives of UEF and the Spinelli Group.
European Federalists at the Greens Congress
On 13-14 November, the European Federalists were present at the European Green Party Congress in Lyon, France. The info stand attracted many interested in European federalism and ideas promoted. Leading Greens' politicians - Ska Keller, Vice-Chair of the Greens/EFA in the EP, Monica Frassoni, Co-President of the European Green Party, Ulrike Lunacek, Vice President of the European Parliament - visited the stand.
UEF Presentation to Regional Representations
On 15 October, the UEF Secretary-General and Director met with a representation of the state of Hessen in Brussels and, on 4 November, with the head of the representation of Scotland in Brussels. The meetings are the first of an initiative to reach out to regional representations to present UEF and federalist ideas.
SPINELLI GROUP DEBATE | Cameron's demands: threat to unity or opportunity for flexibility? 25 November | STRASBOURG
UEF-JEF Joint PC Meeting on Migration and Mobility |
10-11 October, Maastricht
The UEF and JEF held a joint meeting to discuss two of the most challenging policy areas facing Europe at present: migration into and mobility within the Union. The two-day programme included input from expert speakers and featured policy development workshops to examine the issues at stake and to develop Federalist positions on building European solutions. More information about speakers' contributions and the content of the debate can be found on the event's webpage.
Debate: A Political Union for the Eurozone? | 16 October, Paris
UEF France organised a debate with high-level experts to discuss the current state of the Eurozone and future federalist steps to be taken. The debate was hosted and opened by Paul Dühr, Luxembourg Ambassador in France.
UEF Europe contributed to the debate with speakers and moderators to the panels.
XXIII JEF European Congress | 23 – 25 October, Zürich
UEF Secretary-General Paolo Vacca attended the JEF European Congress in Zürich, Switzerland to continue strengthen the ties with the young European federalists. The Congress gathered delegates from over 30 countries. Former Vice-President Christopher Glück (Germany) was elected as President for the mandate 2015-17.
UEF Federal Committee Meeting | 28-29 November, Venice
The Federal Committee meeting was held in Venice, Italy. Resolutions adopted at the meeting call for reforms to strengthen Schengen area and completion of the EMU. To read the meeting's minutes and the approved resolutions, check out the event's webpage.
The Federalist Networking meeting brought together federalist and pro-European organisations based in Brussels to network and brainstorm on possible common activities. The present ten organisations debated on political priorities, discussed participation to network's events and development of joint initiatives.
In 2015, a series of publications were launch to stimulate an exchange of federalist ideas and to disseminate and promote federalist thinking on key EU policy fields.
POLICY BRIEFS analyse specific policy issue and provide federalist recommendations for EU policy makers.
REFLECTION PAPERS encourage exchange of federalist ideas.
POLICY DIGESTS provide a concise insight in the latest policy work developed by the European federalists.
During autumn we ran a membership campaign to invite those interested in European federalism to join the UEF. You can become an individual member by simply filling out and online membership form. Here are the 10 posters we issues with the the top ten reasons why it’s a great idea to join the European Federalists. Please help us reach out to those interested and circulate the 10 Reasons to Join through your various social media channels.