Monday 14 November 2011

EU: Federal Union Now – or never?

First reaction: Wow!

The Federal Committee of the Union of European Federalists (UEF) has called for a Convention to ponder changes to the EU Treaties. The resolution sees the need for a further large reform.

Read on and see that the 13 November 2011 resolution supports the conclusions of the European Council and the six-pack legislation adopted to improve economic governance in the eurozone. The UEF also asks for an EU-wide plan for growth and development (along the lines of the European Council conclusions 23 October 2011) and welcomes the ongoing programme to improve the functioning of the internal market (Single Market Act) and the recent upgrading of Olli Rehn within the European Commission, while hoping for future steps in the same direction.

There are sections on financial reform, economic government and treaty change. Naturally the questions are treated in a more positive and forward-looking manner than what we hear from the governments of the member states.

But 'a sense of popular legitimacy' is hardly the Song of Songs of popular sovereignty and the establishment of democratic and federal government at European level. Where is the forceful reminder that EU citizens are sovereign, not the states?

Only democracy is the legitimate base for the powers Europe needs, if we citizens want security and prosperity in our rapidly changing world.

Instead the demands read like Moses collecting a manual for spending the next forty years in the wilderness, possibly approaching a Promised Land he will never live in.

Despite the merits of individual proposals, wishing for a little bit more than the proponents of failed and discredited intergovernmentalism can hardly be described as either daring or effective enough, just a more pleasing order of deck chairs.

It is hard to see Europe as having chosen anything but irrelevance, if even the eurofederalist movement is just a shade more forward-looking than the representatives of the status quo.

Ralf Grahn

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