For the sake of comparison, an election manifesto can be fairly short and still manage to set a future course for the European Union:
Stronger Together in a Federal Europe: UEF Manifesto for the European Parliament 2009-14
Europe must be more united if it is to face up to its current economic and constitutional crises. This is the message of European federalists on the eve of the European Parliamentary elections.
1. The Treaty of Lisbon must be ratified and implemented efficiently as soon as possible. Once the new treaty is in force the Union will have acquired a unique capacity to act on the world stage. It will be a much more powerful, open and democratic Union. If the Lisbon treaty does not enter into force, the European Parliament should push immediately for a new constitutional Convention.
2. The EU must move quickly to establish strict, transparent supervision of the banking, securities and insurance sectors, leading to the creation of an EU financial services authority. The current weak coordination of national policies should be replaced by a common macro-economic policy. EU bonds should be launched to bolster the economic recovery plan.
3. The weak economy is no excuse to return to national protectionism. The EU should dedicate itself to the completion of the single market in finance, services, energy and intellectual property. Structural reforms of the labour market which build Europe's social dimension are badly needed to create the right conditions for renewed long-term investment. The WTO negotiations must be re-started.
4. The EU needs a radical review of its financial system. Relevant spending should be shifted from the national to the European level to get real added value out of the Union. More spent jointly at the European level means less wasted by disjointed national efforts. The EU budget should have adequate resources, financed by fiscal federalism, to fund common policies which enhance competitiveness and create green jobs across Europe. EU spending should be made fully accountable.
5. The eurozone states must assert their autonomy from those who cannot or choose not to join the single currency. The eurogroup must act as one in world monetary matters and take the lead over the reform of the international monetary system. The EU should advocate the establishment of a global network of prudential supervision across currency zones, with the longer term intention to create a world currency unit.
6. The EU must be the driving force at the UN sponsored talks on climate change. The goal is to leave Copenhagen in December 2009 with an internationally agreed package based on the EU model of cutting carbon emissions, conserving energy and increasing the use of renewables.
7. The single market must be extended to energy supply so that consumers benefit from a more competitive and better interconnected industry. The EU should invest directly in diversified sources of energy. It must help energy companies to build the European super-grid as well as the infrastructure necessary to import supplies from Asia and Africa.
8. Whatever the fate of Lisbon, the EU needs to strengthen its contribution to world peace and disarmament. This means a dedicated effort to reform the United Nations as well as building up Europe’s own civilian and military capability to be a credible peace-maker wherever it is needed.
9. Those EU states with the political will and the military means to do so must form a core group in security and defence. This will help NATO modernise and put transatlantic relations on a sound footing. If the Irish again reject Lisbon, the next urgent step must be to agree a separate EU treaty in security and defence between some but not all EU members.
10. The Union should confirm its existing commitments to enlargement, projecting its values, stability and relative prosperity throughout its own neighbourhood. As a top priority reconciliation must be achieved between the two communities in Cyprus, united in a new federal republic.
11. The task of building Europe’s common area of freedom, security and justice has only just begun. The EU urgently needs to sort out its visa policy, and fashion common policies for asylum and for legal and illegal immigration. European states must act together to combat international crime and to ensure that there is decent justice and civil liberty for all. More integration in civil law will help families and consumers.
12. The European Parliament must exercise its new democratic powers and responsibilities with energy and skill, in particular by shaping the programme of the new Commission. MEPs should reform their own electoral procedure so that, in 2014, a number of deputies are elected from a single, transnational constituency. This reform is key to making European political parties fit for purpose, connecting them directly with the citizen and giving citizens a strong voice in how Europe is run.
The Union of European Federalists is a supranational political movement committed to uniting Europe along federal lines. It addresses this manifesto to the parties and candidates campaigning for election to the European Parliament in June 2009. www.federalists.eu
Security, prosperity and democratic governance. Why settle for less?