09 July, 2019
Federalists: Parliament should make its support to von der Leyen conditional to a programme of EU radical reforms

Dear Members of the European Parliament,

I am writing to you on behalf of the Union of European Federalists, a pan-European non-governmental non-partisan civil society organisation, active in 25 countries and promoting a united, democratic and federal Europe since its foundation by Altiero Spinelli in 1946. 

In the coming days, you will be called to one of the most important decisions of your mandate, the election of the President of the European Commission.

The process leading to the nomination of Ms Ursula von der Leyen by the European Council is a clear reminder to all European citizens that the European Union is not yet a fully functional democracy where elections determine the government and the policies of the Union. It is a Union in transition, in strong need for reforms that better balance the interests of Member States and the need for a Union that is transparent, democratic, able to act effectively, powerful and relevant in the world.

It is now up to the European Parliament to play its role and use its right to elect the President of the European Commission to set the tone in the relationship between the Parliament and the Commission for the next 5 years. We encourage the political groups in the European Parliament to request Ms von der Leyen ahead of the vote a clear commitment (in a formal “government agreement”) to political priorities for a radical renewal of the European Union: 

  • strengthening the promotion and protection of rule of law and fundamental rights, notably within the Union, through a new and effective cooperation between the Council, the Commission and the Parliament.
  • completing the Economic and Monetary Union, giving it adequate fiscal and economic powers, including an own sizeable budget financed by own resources, fully and democratically controlled by the European Parliament; 
  • an increased European budget based on own resources, which should come from European taxes, e.g. on cross-border financial transactions and digital transactions, carbon emissions or plastic use;
  • progress towards a single European foreign, security and defence policy, making the EU more able to act autonomously, to protect and promote common European interests and values in today’s unpredictable and threatening global order;
  • European policies to manage migration flows, including the management of external EU borders through European  forces and the development of European legal migration channels;
  • make Europe a global leader in combating climate change and promoting the transition to a fully environment-friendly economy through European measures aimed at phasing out fossil fuels, promoting investment in renewable energy, imposing binding emission reduction targets and minimising plastic waste;
  • a European electoral law for the election of Members of the European Parliament, including pan-European transnational lists by European political parties, and clearer rules on the power of the European Parliament to elect the President of the European Commission after the next European election.
  • engage the European Parliament in a comprehensive reform of the EU treaties, to make the European Union more politically united, democratic and effective. The first step of this process should be a European Conference, a constituent assembly to prepare proposals of reforms, after a broad and deep mobilisation and involvement of citizens and civil and political forces at national and European level.

We would be glad to further discuss these proposals with you and we count on your support.

Kind regards

Sandro Gozi,

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