The unity of Europe is in danger. Nationalist and populist forces are growing in too many of our countries. They are going to use the next European elections to ask European citizens a mandate to weaken European institutions, renationalise European policies, attack European solidarity and rules. Their growth is a threat to the survival of the European Union and to any project of a closer European unity, the only guarantee of peace and prosperity for all Europeans.
Political parties who believe in Europe must raise up and oppose the nationalist project. Defending the Europe we have is not enough. To regain citizens’ hearts and minds to the European project, pro-European political parties should unite around a project of a Europe that is more united, more democratic, more social and more effective in the world.
Pro-European parties should agree on a set of principles for the future of the European Union and against the European project of the nationalists and include it in their political programmes. They should promote and rally around such principles before the European elections and then work together in the next European Parliament for:
- stronger European Economic and Monetary Union with adequate fiscal and economic powers, including its own budget with own resources democratically controlled by the European Parliament;
- European social policies to balance national responsibility with European solidarity and strengthen the feeling of European citizens to belong to a single community;
- a single European foreign, security and defence policy to promote European interests in today’s unpredictable international framework;
- European policies to manage migration flows, including managing European borders through European forces and addressing together the challenge of welcoming and integrating migrants in the European Union;
- defending Schengen and opposing any restrictions to free movement of people within the European Union;
- finance European policies with an increased European budget based on true European resources, which could come from European taxes on financial transactions, digital transactions, carbon emissions or plastic waste;
- a stronger Single Market, by completing the capital markets union, the digital union, the energy union and the single market of services;
- a reform of the treaties of the European Union to reform its institutions, including making the European Commission, with reduced members, the only executive body of the Union; giving the European Council only a role of political leadership and ending its executive role in policy making; abolishing the veto right in the Council and the European Council on all matters; giving the European Parliament the right to co-decide in all EU competences;
- should this prove impossible because not all Member State agrees, preparing a project of a new Treaty for the Member States willing to go ahead.