OUR PROPOSALS TOWARDS A FEDERAL EUROPE
Europe has been living a long period of uncertainty. The concomitance of economic, financial, migratory and geopolitical crises led to unprecedented political fragmentation in the European Union (EU). The inability of the EU to deliver adequate responses to economic shocks and long-term economic development, solutions to high unemployment and rising social tensions and a credible protection of its citizens from new external and internal threats is largely due to the current flaws in the EU’s nature, structure and decision-making processes. We believe that a federal Europe is the only way to address the challenges Europe faces. EU member States cannot be forced to unite into a federal Europe against their will. However, they cannot prevent those who want to integrate further to do so.
The Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) has a single currency without a central economic and fiscal authority and with substantially independent national fiscal and economic policies. The Eurozone needs its own budget managed by an EU finance minister under the control of the European Parliament to be able to deliver for its citizens. Suitable taxation mechanisms and new forms of debt instruments for the Eurozone are therefore required. Resources should be used to assist states in difficulty, fund projects of strategic European importance and allow for automatic macro-economic stabilisers. Once completed, the Eurozone will be the federal core of the European Union open to all those who want to join.
Fragmentation in foreign affairs and security is an immense waste of time, energy and money for all member States. A federal foreign and security policy would bring security for European citizens, more stability at the EU borders, more efficient military spending, and would enable the EU to exercise a strong transformative power in view of a cooperative multilateral global order. The role of the High Representative should be developed and a permanent structured cooperation among willing member States in the field of defence should kick off. Priority should be to create European capabilities through European R&D programmes and the development of a Europe-wide integrated defence market. Moving towards EU strategic autonomy and a European Army in the long term would require an equivalent progress in political union.
In recent years migratory phenomena into the EU exposed all the contradictions and inefficiencies of EU’s existing policies. The EU needs a federal comprehensive strategy on migration, covering asylum-seekers, legal and illegal migration and providing a framework of partnerships with countries of origin as well as transit. The first priority of any EU action must be the imperative of saving lives and ensuring the dignity of all persons. Secondly, no migration should be used as an excuse to hijack the free movement within the Schengen area. Both require that EU external borders are managed by a federal European Border Service integrating border management forces from member States. An EU-wide mandatory relocation system should be set up and managed by a European Asylum Agency.
Europeans cannot be held hostage of the inconclusiveness of the intergovernmental method any longer. Europe needs a federal Government, with the competences, powers and resources to exercise its mandate. The European Parliament and the Council should contribute to the legislative procedure on an equal footing, while both the Council and the European Council should completely abandon unanimity in favour of qualified majority voting. In order to ensure direct representation of European citizens by the European Parliament, some of its members should be elected in pan-European lists according to a single European electoral law.