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FC Prague - March 2003


The Federal Committee of the Young European Federalists (JEF) met in Prague (Czech Republic) on March 28-30, 2003 and adopted the following resolutions:

 

The Resolutions in Word document format can be downloaded below:


EP01Resolution_on_the_debate_on_the_borders_of__Europe.doc
EP02_Job_Descriptions.doc
EP03_winning_support_to_the_EU_Constitution.doc
EP04_God_in_Constitution.doc
EP05_on_the_Convention.doc
EP_06_Iraq_formatted_am.doc

EP 1 A resolution on the debate on the borders of Europe


The Young European Federalists see Europe, and the European Union, as a political community, based not primarily on a shared culture and religion but on the basis of shared values of democracy, respect for human rights and peaceful economic co-operation. The European Union should be open to countries whose citizens consider themselves European and share the political aims, goals and aspirations of the Union

 

The Federal Committee of the Young European Federalists, meeting in Prague 28-30 March 2003,

 

Rejecting

 

...The idea that there exists a single cultural, ethnic or religious basis for eligibility for membership of the European Union.

 

...The notion that membership of the European Union could be granted to any country for strategic reasons, and without the country submitting to the same tests under the same criteria as other applicants.

 

Regarding

 

...The European Union as a political community of citizens and states that have freely joined, and who share above all a set of values, foremost of which are democracy, rule of law, respect for human and minority rights and a belief in peaceful political cooperation

Appreciating

 

…The positive role the European Union has played and will continue to play in promoting the processes of democratic and economic reform in states bordering the European Union and acknowledging the role played by an aspiration to EU membership in this process.

 

…That states that are members of the Council of Europe have made a clear statement of their European identity and regarding these countries as possible future members of a truly pan-European federation.

 

Supporting

 

...The EU membership bid of any European country that shares the aspirations of the European Union and subscribes to its values as set out in the Copenhagen Criteria: democracy and the rule of law, respect for human and minority rights and a functioning market economy

 

Calls on

 

...The leadership of all European States that are not members of the European Union to continue political and economic reforms in order to fulfil the Copenhagen criteria and launch accession negotiations with a prospect of their membership in the EU

 

...The prime ministers and presidents of the European Union to make absolutely clear its commitment to the eventual EU membership of any European country respecting the Copenhagen criteria

 

…The EU to do everything in its power to speed up the process of opening accession negotiations with all European States that are not members of the European Union in view of their prospective EU membership when all necessary criteria are satisfied

 

…Politicians, the civil society and the media to contribute its share in rejecting the notion that being European and having the right to be part of the EU depends on subscribing to a particular culture or religion

 

… Politicians, the civil society and the media to launch a joint all-European campaign of combating harmful stereotypes and prejudice based on differences of culture and religion


EP 2 “Job Descriptions for a Federal European Union”


European Union

European Commission

 

President of the European Commission

 

Applications are invited from suitably qualified individuals for the post of President of the European Commission of the European Union.

 

The position:

 

-          leading the European Federal Government

-          representing the European Union at the international level

 

Responsibilities:

 

-          providing leadership and vision for the European federal government and setting overall political priorities for the Union with the members of the European federal government

-          overall responsibility for the executive functions of the Union

-          appointment of the members of the Commission; allocation of portfolios and responsibilities; ability to ask individual Commissioners to resign

-          organisation of Commission’s work; calling and chairing meetings of the Commission

-          representing the European Federal Government internationally and at meetings of the European Council

-          representing the European Federal Government in the European Parliament and Chamber of the States

-          continuing to raise the profile and authority of the Commission with the European public, Member States and other European Institutions

-          working with the two chambers of the legislature in order to facilitate an effective policy-making process

 

Qualifications:

 

The person required for this demanding role will have strong personal qualities of leadership, integrity and professionalism, and will ideally have previously held a strategic leadership position in a governmental or parliamentary capacity. S/he will combine exceptional and innovative managerial skills with an outstanding ability to communicate effectively to more than 450 million European citizens. The ability to present European policy-making in an accessible manner to European citizens is essential. The ideal candidate will have the imagination and resources necessary to pursue a policy agenda against determined and often irrational opposition, and to continue to raise the profile and authority of the Commission towards the citizens and other European institutions.

 

The appointee will need outstanding interpersonal and intercultural skills, and have a proven ability to work in a multilcultural and transnational context with a sensitivity to the demands of preserving and maintaining Europe’s cultural diversity. The successful candidate would be expected to be committed to upholding the federal and democratic character of the Union.

 

Fluency, both written and spoken, in at least two EU languages is a prerequisite; other languages would be considered a major asset. European citizenship is a requirement.

 

Notes:

 

-          the European Commission is the Government of the European Union

-          the Commission has responsibility for initiating legislation, decision, directives, and so on

-          the President of the Commission is elected by the European Parliament by a simple majority and approved by the Chamber of the States

-          the President of the Commission chooses the members of the Commission on the basis of merit, respecting gender, age, and geographical balance

-          Commissioners are approved by the European Parliament

-          the European Commission implements European legislation in cooperation with national governments

-          the European Commission is accountable to the European Parliament

 

Terms and conditions

 

The successful candidate will be expected to assume duties on 1 September 2004. The initial appointment will be for a mandate of five years with the possibility of renewal in the case of outstanding performance.

 

The European Commission offers an internationally competitive salary and benefits package, commensurate with experience and qualifications, and assistance with relocation expenses. This post offers the opportunity for extensive international travel.

 

Interested candidates should send a letter of application, full curriculum vitae highlighting their qualifications and experience, three letters of reference, and nomination papers from a European Political Party, to the Secretary General of the European Commission: secretary.general(at)europarl.eu.int, for distribution to Members of the European Parliament, to the European Political Parties, and to the Member States. Please quote source of advertisement.

 

 


European Union

European Parliament

 

President of the European Parliament

 

Applications are invited from suitably qualified individuals for the post of President of the European Parliament of the European Union.

 

The position:

 

-          the lead player in a dynamic and evolving transnational institution

-          expressing the interests of the citizens of the European Union

-          leading the European Parliament

-          being the public face of the European Parliament

 

Responsibilities:

 

-          chairing the plenary sittings of the European Parliament, the conference of the President of the Political Parties and the Bureau of the Parliaments (in cooperation with his/her Vice-Presidents)

-          representing the positions of the European Parliament in and outside of the European Union

-          ensuring the application of the rules of procedure of Parliament and overseeing all the activities of the European Parliament and its bodies

-          overseeing legislation in co-decision with the Chamber of States

-          representing the Parliament in all legal matters

-          overseeing the relations of the European Parliament with other institutions

 

Qualifications and experience:

 

The ideal candidate will be a person of undisputed integrity, standing and authority, and have proven first class leadership skills and the capacity to provide leadership and vision to the Parliament and to the European citizens. Excellent communication and negotiation skills and administrative experience are vital for this role. S/he should be able to represent the European Parliament independent of his/her personal party affiliations and be capable of identifying and promoting the common European interest. The successful candidate would be expected to be committed to upholding the federal and democratic character of the Union.

 

Fluency, both written and spoken, in at least two EU languages is a prerequisite; other languages would be considered a major asset. European citizenship is a requirement.

 

Notes:

 

-          the European Parliament is the Chamber of Citizens

-          the members of the European Parliament are elected in general, direct and universal elections

-          ten percent of the members will be elected through a European wide list

-          the European Parliament codecides together with the Chamber of the States on all legislation and the budget

-          all decisions are taken by simple majority of the voting members

-          the President of the Euroepan Parliament, the Vice Presidents, and the President of the European Commission are elected by a majority of the members of the Parliament

 

Terms and conditions

 

The successful candidate will be expected to assume duties on 1 September 2004. The initial appointment will be for a mandate of two and a half years, with the possibility of renewal in the case of particularly outstanding achievement.

 

The European Parliament offers an internationally competitive salary and benefits package, commensurate with experience and qualifications, and assistance with relocation expenses. Along with the attractive compensation, we offer action and achievement in a historic enterprise.

 

Interested candidates should send a letter of application, full curriculum vitae highlighting their qualifications, experience and significant achievements, and three letters of reference to the Secretary General of the European Parliament: secretary.general(at)europarl.eu.int, for distribution to Members of the European Parliament and to the European Political Parties. Please quote source of advertisement.

 


European Union

Chamber of the States

 

President of the Chamber of the States

 

Applications are invited from suitably qualified individuals for the post of President of the Chamber of the States of the European Union.

 

The position:

 

-          expressing the interests of the EU Member States

-          leading the Chamber of States

-          being the public face of the Chamber of States

 

Responsibilities:

 

-          convoking and chairing meetings of the Chamber of States

-          preparing meetings and discussions of the Chamber of States

-          leading the Chamber of States to common legislation, as prepared by the sectorial committees

-          responsible for overseeing codecision with the European Parliament

 

Qualifications and experience:

 

The ideal candidate would be a representative of a government or national or regional parliament of a Member State of the European Union, with a minimum of 15 years of governmental or parliamentary experience at the highest levels. S/he should have a distinguished record of achievement and be able to command respect from his/her peers. As the representative of the Member States of the Union, the successful candidate will have excellent communication skills and the ability to maintain and develop effective relationships with the Member States and other European Institutions. S/he will have first class negotiating skills and the ability to think imaginatively and produce innovative solutions to complex problems. Successful administrative experience would be a considerable asset.

 

The successful candidate would be expected to be committed to upholding the federal and democratic character of the Union.

 

Fluency, both written and spoken, in at least two EU languages is a prerequisite; other languages would be considered a major asset. European citizenship is a requirement.

 

 

Notes:

 

-          the Chamber of the States decides on the basis of a double majority: a majority of citizens and a majority of states; there is no exception to this rule

-          the positions of the Chamber of States are prepared by the Chamber's Committees (CSFP Committee, ESDP Committee, Economic Committee, Trade Committee, Environment Committee, and so on)

-          the members of the Chamber of States represent the Member States of the Union according to their national constitutional arrangements

-          the President of the Chamber of States is elected by the members of the Chamber for a one-year period, not immediately renewable

-          the President of the Chamber of the States must be nominated by a Member State of the European Union

 

Terms and conditions

 

The successful candidate will be expected to assume duties on 1 September 2004. The appointment will be for a period of one year, not immediately renewable.

 

Remuneration will be subject to negotiation on the basis of qualifications and experience. The Chamber of States offers generous travel and relocation allowances.

 

Interested candidates should send a letter of application, full curriculum vitae highlighting their qualifications, experience and why they feel they fulfil the requirements, three letters of reference, and signed nomination papers from an EU Member State, to the Secretary General of the Chamber of the States: secretary.general(at)chamberofstates.eu.int, for distribution to Member States of the European Union. Please quote source of advertisement.

 

 

 

 

Presidents of the Committees of the Chamber of States

 

 

Applications are invited from suitably qualified individuals for the post of the President of the Committees of the Chamber of States (Committee for a Single Security and Defence Policy, Committee for Defence Policy, Committee for Economic Policy, Committee for Social Policy …).

 

The position:

- leading and representing the Committees of the Chamber of States (Committee for Security and Defence Policy, Committee for a Single Defence Policy, Committee for Economic Policy, Committee for Social Policy …)

 

Responsibilities:

- calling and chairing meetings of the Committee

- preparing EU legislation of the Chamber of States by promoting positions acceptable to a broad majority of members

- representing the agreed position of the Committee  to the member state governments and parliaments

- the President of the Committee for Security and Foreign Policy and the President of the Committee for a Single Defence Policy has the responsibility to cooperate with the European Commission Vice-President for foreign affairs

- the Committee for Economic Policy and the Committee for Social Policy will cooperate closely together to find common positions on questions which cover both economic and social questions, in order to prepare policy for decision making in the European Chamber of States

 

Qualifications:

- considerable experience in foreign policy and security issues

- experience in diplomatic work

- leading and chairing qualities

- able to communicate solutions to the outside world

- fluency in at least two EU languages, needed for negotiations

- member of a national or regional government or member of a national parliament

 

Notes:

- the European Commission has the right of initiative in all EU legislation

- all EU legislation is legislated in codecission procedure, by the European Parliament and the Chamber of States

- the Committees do not pass legislation, but prepares legislation  in the different political fields

- the Committees act with double majority of citizens and states

- executive functions at the Union level in Security, Defence and Foreign Policy issues will be shared in a transition period between the European Council and the Commission, the ultimate goal being that the Commission will be in charge of all executive functions

- the president of the Committees  have to be members of the Chamber of States

- the president of the  Committee for Security and Defence Policy cannot simultaneously hold the position of Foreign minster of the European Union

 


 

President of the European Council

 

Applications are invited from suitably qualified individuals for the post of the President of the European Council.

 

The position:

- leader of the European Council

 

 

Responsibilities:

- calling and chairing the meetings of the European Council

- giving political advice on the political development of the European Union

 

Qualifications:

- head of state of a EU member state

- excellent ability to chair meetings

- experienced negotiator with at least 10 years of diplomatic experience in international relations

- consensual approach and ability to find compromise

- advanced team management skills and decisive decision making abilities

 

Notes:

- the European Council does not have executive functions and responsibilities, but is restricted to giving political impetus for the development of the European Union

- therefore the President of the European Council cannot be in any competition to the President of the European Commission

- the European Council is consulted on the annual political programm and on the five-year political program

- in a transition period, the European Council has - together with the European Commission - joined executive powers in European defence issues

- in order to express the Unions diversity, the president of the European Council is elected for a term of six months, from within its members

 

 


 

 

President of the European Court of Justice

 

Applications are invited from suitably qualified individuals for the post of the President of the European Court of Justice.

 

The position:

- leader of the European judiciary

-  acting as the public face of the European judiciary

 

Responsibilities:

- leading the European Court of Justice

- calling and chairing meetings of the highest judges of the European Court of Justice

- building a common position if possible between judges, before the vote is eventually made

- representing decisions of the court to the European public

 

Qualifications:

 

Notes:

- the European Court of Justice is the supreme court of the European Union

- the European Court of Justice is responsible for the concrete control of the constitutionality of the acts of EU institutions. The European Court of Justice makes sure that in the framework of the constitution and European norms the law is observed. It does not act on its own motion

- the European Court of Justice gives legal opinion on proposed initatives for EU legislation by the European Commission, before the start of the codecision procedure

- in the cases brought before it, the European Court of Justice monitors the respect and the implementation of the principle of subsidiarity and proportionality

 EU institutions and member states, citizens, national parliaments, regional and local authorities and all other persons whoce enforceable Union rights they believe have been affected by an EU or national action may refer their claim to the ECJ

      


EP 03 Winning Support to the EU Constitution Through the European Wide Information Campaign


JEF-Europe’s Federal Committee, meeting in Prague, March 2003

 

1.      Hopes that the European Convention will propose a Federal Constitution for Europe, and that this will then be agreed by the Inter-Governmental Conference in December 2003.

 

2.      Believes that it is important that the new arrangements for governing the European Union have the support of its citizens.

 

3.      It is essential that the citizens of the European Union have enough knowledge of what the new Constitution includes, no matter how the Constitution will eventually be ratified.

 

4.      Proposal is that every citizen of the European Union should be provided the new Constitution which would be:

 

a)     distributed to every single home in the territory of the European Union

 

b)     written in the way that every citizen willing to understand what the new Constitution means, is capable of doing so

 

 

5.      The demand is that the European Union and the national governments should to take the necessary actions for providing every citizen of the European Union the new Constitution before the Intergovernmental Conference 2004.

 

6.      JEF-Europe and every national JEF section will promote and lobby on their own levels to make the distribution of the Constitution to come true.

 

7. JEF Europa and every national JEF section will promote and lobby on their own levels to make the knowledge, debate and distribution of the Constitution to come true.

 

7.      Further benefits:

 

a)     this would legitimate the ratification of the new Constitution.

b)     adequate knowledge of the governance is a basic right of every citizen of the European Union

c)     these actions would effectively promote the common knowledge and interest for the European Union among the citizens.


EP 04 on God in the Constitution


JEF declares its opposition to any form of mentioning religion, the role of the church or a „spiritual” heritage in the evolving Constitution. The European Union is a political organisation with a strict separation of its “statehood” and church(es). Nevertheless, it is up to the member states to define their relations to the church in a different way if they wish to do so.

Given the variety of experience with the role of church in the EU member states it would be wrong to find a reference in the Constitution. In addition, the pluralistic character of the European citizens with regards to (non-)belief, ethnicity or culture is one of the strenghts of the Union. To give preference to one group only (in case of a regligious reference) might not be helpful in this regard.

Since the Union has no and shall have no competences with regards to the organisation of churches it would be wrong to include reference to it in the Constitution.


EP05 On the Convention


The Convention has entered its decisive period. The next few months will show whether the Convention is able to produce a coherent draft for a federal European Constitution or if it will fail. Now that the Presidium has published the first drafts for the articles, it is time to set out some criteria to judge it by. The various and numerous amendments put forward show that the Presidium’s draft has not entirely achieved a consensus among the Convention members.

JEF should encourage all those who are willing to support the aim of a more democratic and efficient Europe on a federal basis.

 

1. JEF acknowledges the efforts of the Presidium in drafting the first articles.

 

2. In order to arrive to a real federal and democratic Union, JEF asks for some considerable improvements as much as possible.

 

3. JEF demands that the Convention be more courageous in seeking deeper integration.

 

4. JEF stresses that the Convention should try to stick to its timetable as much as possible. Nevertheless the Convention members should not be forced to adopt an insufficient proposal by the presidium, which is not in line with the majority opinion of the Convention members.

 

5. JEF points out that slogans are not enough to bring the Union closer to its people and that more concrete actions are needed.

 

On the details:

 

6. JEF disapproves of the reference to the “Union of peoples and states” in article 1. It should refer instead to the character of “a Union of citizens and states”. The future EU should be built primarily on its citizens.

 

7. JEF welcomes the explicit reference to giving the Union a federal basis, in article 1 of the draft. JEF insists that the Convention withstand any attempts to delete this formula, but instead ensures that the constitution provides for a true federal Union.

 

8. The preservation of national identity should include a reference on the local and regional dimension of Europe. The reference in Art. 9 §6 is not sufficient.

 

9. JEF is very concerned about the attempt of the Presidium to place the Charter of Fundamental rights in the second part of the Constitution. The citizens need to have a clear und understandable text which defines their rights in a clear manner. The Charter must therefore be in the first part of the constitution, after art. 5 of the Presidium’s draft.

 

10. JEF demands that individual citizens have the right to bring an action before the ECJ, in cases of violation of a fundamental right.

 

11. JEF criticizes the Presidium’s draft of the legal instruments for refering to the possibility of exclusion of the European Parliament from decision-making (art. 25§ 2). The Parliament and the Council must act on an equal basis in every area.

 

12. JEF regrets the failure to establish a strong Single Foreign and Security Policy in the proposals of the Presidium. The draft is a step backwards. What we need is a will and a real competence for a Single Foreign and Security Policy as well as a common defence system.

 

13. JEF rejects the Presidium’s proposal to exclude the areas of Single Foreign and Security Policy and Justice and Home Affairs from the institutional framework of the Union, which is based on codecision procedure and qualified majority voting. Both must figure in the framework of other competences.

 

14. JEF disapproves of the draft protocol on the application of the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality, as long as it does not guarantee the right of national parliaments (both chambers) and legislative regions to take ex-post legal action if these principles are violated. JEF demands that a revised version of the protocol includes those rights.

 

15. JEF is disappointed that the Convention has not yet taken the opportunity to present a transparent and comprehensible division of competencies. The distribution of distribution of power and definition of competences competencies has to be understandable to clarify where democratic responsibility lies.

 


EP 06 JEF-Europe resolution on the present conflictial geopolitical situation and the role of the EU in World peace


JEF-Europe strongly regrets:

the outbreak of war in Iraq and a lack of a diplomatic solution to the crisis that a small number of countries have engaged in and supported military action without a specific UN mandate

 

1. the profound damage that has been inflicted on the relevance of international law as a result of deep political divisions within the UN and the European Union

 

2. that the common EU position on the Iraq crisis has been weak, did not deal with the main issues at stake and has been widely disregarded, and that the EU has failed to speak with one voice in the United Nations

 

3. that leaders of certain EU member states have claimed to be “speaking for Europe” during this crisis while their reasons for their statements have been ones of national, not European, interest

 

4. the disregard of the opinion of the European citizens expressed by the European Parliament

 

JEF-Europe hopes:

1. that the conflict in Iraq is solved swiftly and with as little loss of life and suffering inflicted on the local civil population as possible

 

2. that the Iraq crisis will act as a new impetus for the creation of an EU single foreign and security policy (SFSP)

 

JEF-Europe affirms:

1. its commitment to the value of peace

 

2. its condemnation of any regime that is not based on the principles of democracy, the rule of law, and respect for human rights.

 

3. that war must only be a very last option when all multi-lateral and diplomatic means have been pursued as far as possible

 

4. its opposition to unilateral military action and actions that contravene international law

 

5. its commitment to reform the UN in order to improve the democratic legitimacy and effectiveness of this institution

 

6. that the EU should play a positive role in the UN reform process while at the same time developing its own SFSP structures

 

7. that after the conclusion of the present conflict, Iraq should be placed under a UN protectorate until democratic elections can be held, and that the EU supports Iraqs democratization process

 

8. that it is the responsibility of the international community to grant human rights, asylum, and shelter to the refugees, as well as protection to innocent civilians.

 

9. that the EU should play an active role in the rebuilding of Iraq to avoid a humanitarian crisis and improve the standard of living, yet apply diplomatic pressure to those countries who have been involved in military action to ensure they contribute fully to the reconstruction process,

 

10. its support for a strong and active role for the EU in international affairs thanks to a far reaching SFSP in the future EU, welcoming the Belgian initiative to look for solutions to the crisis in a European framework

 

11. that the European Convention must propose bold, visionary and accountable SFSP proposals and incorporate these in the future European Constitution

 

12. the need for further development in European Union defence capabilities which should be promoted as an alternative to the present state of affairs which is inefficient due to the presence of 15 national armies

 

 


For those interested in the Internal Policy documents, these can be downloaded below:


IP01_Model_Referenda.doc

IP 01 On the organisation of model street referendums on the 9th of May


THE FEDERAL COMMITTEE OF THE YOUNG EUROPEAN FEDERALISTS,

 

CONVINCED that the final months of the Convention and the IGC that will follow can represent a unique chance to progress towards a Federal Europe,

 

CONSIDERING that the outcome of the Convention is, at the moment, very likely to be far from a Federal Constitution, and that, thus, pressure still needs to be put on the Convention in order to achieve the goal of a federal Europe,

 

CONSIDERING that it is necessary at this crucial stage of the Convention, to show once again, two years after Nice 2000, the massive support of the European citizens to the Federalist project,

 

CONSIDERING that the support of public opinion and civil society is essential in the battle for a Federal Europe, and that alone, the States are unlikely to carry on with the necessary reforms of the European institutions,

 

CONSIDERING that the street referendums organised by JEF and UEF sections have proved their great efficiency in different European States

 

OBSERVING that the co-ordination between national and sub-national sections as well as the organisation of referendums during special political occasions (European social forum, referendums held simultaneously in Florence, Lyon and Francfort) are very useful to the success of such an operation,

 

CONSIDERING that only JEF – Europe can assure sufficient co-ordination and support to realise a European referendum day, involving more than 100 cities around Europe,

 

CONVINCED that the 9th of May is the most appropriate date to organise a Europe-wide operation,

 

States the following:

 

JEF – EUROPE (Young European Federalists),

 

COMMITS itself to promote as many street actions on Europe Day as possible, with the ambitious aim of 100 street actions.

 

COMMITS itself to promote the idea of street referendums as a tool that can be used in as many street actions as possible, where the local legal and political situation enables this.

 

COMMITS itself to promote such an action among the other pro-European or Federalist organisations,

 

ASKS the Executive Bureau to co-ordinate this activity and circulate the appeal and other relevant materials to sections to enable them to organise street referendums, and promote this action in their press strategy


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