The Federal Committee of the Union of European Federalists (UEF) chaired by Jo LEINEN, MEP, met last weekend in the European Academy Otzenhausen (Saarland). After a exchange of views with the alternate Representative of the Luxembourg government to the Convention, Ambassador Nicolas Schmit, and a political debate involving federalist delegates from 15 European countries, the UEF Federal Committee adopted a resolution which among other points (full resolution in annex) :
- regrets that the Convention has failed so far to draft a fully-fledged federal Constitution to make the Union more democratic and capable of effective action, able to face the challenges of enlargement and of the new world disorder;
- regrets that different mechanisms and procedures are maintained for some policy areas leaving key fields of Union activity largely intergovernmental; - welcomes the proposal to let the European Parliament elect the Commission president by simple majority, but insists that the political process of selecting a candidate to this post should go through the European Parliament creating an explicit linkage between the results of the European elections and the choice of Commission president and thus providing the Commission with the democratic legitimacy necessary to make it the government of the Union in all areas;
- condemns the creation of the post of permanent chair of the European Council and, in the name of democracy, simplicity, efficiency and transparency, rejects the proposals to create such a post which would mean trusting the “governance” of the Union in most crucial areas to the European Council and its Chair, which are unable to represent the European interest as a whole and have no European democratic accountability to the European Parliament and so the European citizens;
- insists that the European Parliament should have full powers of co-decision with the Council on all legislation and on all parts of the budget;
- demands that for all non-military aspects of Foreign and Security policy the executive power should lie with the Commission, decisions should by taken by qualified majority in the Council and an effective democratic control by the European Parliament must be guaranteed;
- demands that the EU should acquire – like every other level of public power – a taxation power to become independent from the blackmail by individual member states that has often been witnessed during talks on the long-term financial perspective of the EU; - demands that the veto of a single member state or a small group of member states for future amendments to the constitution must be abolished.
In a second resolution entitled “Reconnecting Europe with its citizens”, the UEF declares that if the Convention drafts a true European Constitution, it should be submitted to a Europe-wide vote simultaneously with the elections to the European Parliament on 10-13 June 2004. “Such a vote would allow a true European debate on the merits of the Constitution” declared Jo LEINEN.
Contact: Bruno BOISSIERE, UEF European Secretary-General, Tel.: +32-2.508 30 32
The Union of European Federalists (UEF) is an independent, non-governmental, and supranational organisation dedicated to the promotion of a federal Europe. President : Jo LEINEN, MEP