21 May, 2003
European federalists and the current play in the Convention
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

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