The European Federalists welcome the resolution approved today by the European Parliament with a set of proposals for the European Union to address with united and determined actions the COVID-19 crisis and its immense economic and social impact. The European Parliament’s proposals significantly raise the level of ambition of the deal proposed by the Eurogroup last week, in particular with respect to the creation of a new Recovery Fund funded by European Recovery Bonds issued by the European Union and guaranteed by the EU budget to support the European economy and cohesion among member states and citizens. The European Parliament is showing leadership in supporting an ambitious deal by the European Council next week. We now expect the same leadership from President von der Leyen - who yesterday said that in this time of important choices she takes inspiration from Altiero Spinelli, one of the founders of the federalist movement - and from the leaders in the European Council. At the same time, the European Parliament should open a reflection on how to move from addressing the emergency to reshaping the European Union in a way that it has the means and powers to stand future crisis.
Sandro Gozi, President of the Union of European Federalists, stated: “The Recovery Fund is a new crucial tool to enable the European Union to help re-building our economies devastated by the crisis. The European Recovery Bonds, issued by the European Union, as proposed by the European Parliament today, are the only way to make available fresh resources of the size that the US and China are deploying for their economies. We trust that the European Council next week will adopt these proposals and make the Fund and the Recovery Bonds operational as soon as possible. At the same time, we need to reflect seriously on the European Union itself. President Macron is right: the European Union can’t keep moving from crisis to crisis, every time inventing new European instruments, often after bitter divisions among national governments that reverberate through our societies. We need structural solutions that make the European Union able to act fast, to mobilise its own resources rapidly when they are needed for European actions, and without burdening member states, as in every federal structure: European funds, for European common goods, managed by the European level. His call in the interview on the Financial Times yesterday must be taken up by the EU member states and all EU institutions, starting from the European Parliament: we really must address the future of the European project “thinking the unthinkable”.
It is time to address the knot of the European Union as a true political union, breaking taboos that have blocked further European integration in the past decade. The European Parliament should take the lead proposing to revitalise the project of a Conference on the Future of Europe and fast track its outcome to produce a new constitutional pact for a federal Europe with its own financial autonomy.
Brussels, Friday 17th April 2020
The Union of European Federalists (UEF) is a pan-European, non-governmental political organisation dedicated to the promotion of European political unity. For more than 70 years UEF has been a leading voice in the promotion of European unity and an early campaigner for key milestones in the development of the European Communities and then the European Union. With 25 national sections and over 400 local groups across Europe, UEF promotes a federal Europe among citizens and political representatives at all levels of government. More on: www.federalists.eu