“We have taken the first step in the creation of the federalist caucus of national and European parliamentarians who share the view that the Conference on the Future of Europe is an opportunity to transform the EU”, said MEP Brando BENIFEI, President of the Spinelli Group, summing up the more than two hours of open and fruitful debate that took place last Friday with colleagues from Member States. "This was a successful kick-off. I am delighted by the great interest from national parliaments".
"We have fought hard to get the Conference. Now we have to make the most of it. This means also no taboos on its outcome. That is also why we need to mobilise federalist and pro-European forces across Europe," said MEP Sandro GOZI, President of the UEF and Board Member of the Spinelli Group. In this perspective, he also stressed "the dialogue between the European Parliament and the national parliaments is crucial, both to exert political pressure on governments and to bring the debate to the local and regional level”.
The meeting was organized by the Spinelli Group, in cooperation with the Union of European Federalists (UEF), who invited the federalist and pro-European members of the parliaments of the Member States to its Plenary Session on 16 April 2021. The meeting was attended by a large group of national MPs from many EU countries, as for instance from Austria, Bulgaria, Germany, Italy, Romania and Spain. The Plenary Session was also attended by the Presidents and Secretary Generals of the UEF Member Sections.
MEP Guy VERHOFSTADT, Co-Chair of the Executive Board from the European Parliament's side, also attended the meeting, stressing the need for the EU to grow stronger – not only to cope with the pandemic or the economic crisis, but because otherwise we could not do it in front of today’s superpower. He also called on all federalist and pro-European forces and activists to engage actively in the newly launched online platform, which he presented yesterday, 19 April 2021 in a live press conference, encouraging them to submit their events, their positions and comments, thus feeding into the discussion process, up to the Conference Plenary Assembly.
The many interventions in the debate confirmed the common will to work in order to make the process of the Conference a political game changer for Europe. As MEP Domènec RUIZ DEVESA, Vice-President of UEF and Board Member of the Spinelli Group, summarised it “Our goal is to build the federal economic and political Union that will make the current fiscal union established with the decision on the Next Generation EU permanent and fully democratic”.
The next meeting of this newly launched network will be organised soon and will be focused on identifying the political priorities to be put at the forefront of its battle.