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FC Munich - March 2001


The Federal Committee of the Young European Federalists (JEF) met in Munich (Germany) on March 30-31 and April 1 and adopted the following resolutions:

 

The Resolutions in Word document format can be downloaded below:


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Resolution on Constitutional Campaign Guidelines


FC Munich - March 2001

 

JEF decides to continue with renewed energy the Campaign for a European Constitution, changing its name into "Campaign for a European Federal Constitution", and alongside the following guidelines: 1. a strong critique to the Treaty of Nice, as it does not solve the problem of democracy and effectiveness of a Union soon with 25-30 members

 

2. a strong intervention in the "post-Nice" debate on "the future of Europe" to:

 

a. claim the foundation of a European Federation as the only answer to today's challenges facing Europe: the enlargement, the birth of the Euro, Europe's role in the global politics

 

b. stress that a European Constitution should be tool to establish a European Federation that recognises the right of European people to European democracy: the right to choose with our vote the Government and the policies of our Europe, the right to have our laws made by the representatives of the people and not by national diplomats, the right to be governed by people elected to govern Europe and not to run their national governments.

 

c. urge the Heads of State and Government of the member states to take soon an initiative, that is to declare openly their will to arrive to a Constitution to establish a European Federation, for all the European countries that want it, to put forward such a proposal to all Europeans, and then proceed against any resistance of those who want to keep Europe weak, divided and powerless.

 

d. recall that the creation of a European Federation has to be based on the will of the European people: a European Constituent Convention, directly elected or gathering representatives of the European and national parliaments, should be rapidly given the mandate to prepare a European Federal Constitution.

 

e. call upon the European Parliament and the national parliaments to use the ratification of the Treaty of Nice and any opportunity offered by the "debate on the future of the Union" to express their support to such initiatives, and carry out any possible action to favour them.

 

f. call upon the citizens and parliamentarians of the candidate countries to associates themselves to these requests, as The imminent enlargement of the Union must represent the historic re-unification of all Europeans into a single political community, not the dilution of Europe into a weak and divided free-trade area.


Resolution on the Treaty of Nice Ratification and Intergroup Strategy


The Federal Committee of the Young European Federalists (JEF), meeting in Munich on March 30-31 and April 1

 

noting that on March 7, 2001 the Intergroup European Constitution in the European Parliament has launched the Appeal "Yes to a European Constitution, No to the spirit of Nice", now endorsed by almost 200 MEPs

 

expresses all its support to the Intergroup strategy and in particular to the "call on every parliamentarian concerned not to deliver their verdict on the Treaty of Nice until satisfied that the European Council is willing to contribute to this new beginning" by mandating a Constitutional Convention to draft a European Constitution.

 

endorses the Appeal, attached hereto and integral part of this resolution, and commits to make all possible for it to be endorsed and implemented by the highest number of members of the European and national parliaments

 

invites all JEF national sections to make the same.

 

 

APPEAL

 

YES TO A CONSTITUTION FOR EUROPE

 

NO TO THE SPIRIT OF NICE

 

Yes to enlargement

 

The summit of Nice set out to give effect to the enlargement of the European Union by making it more efficient, transparent and democratic. This was the stated objective and, as numerous polls have demonstrated in our fifteen countries, it was what a large majority of European citizens expected.

 

No to the spirit of Nice

 

Unfortunately, at Nice, most governments fought to preserve their prerogatives and sought to protect their future ability to block decisions they dislike. The accumulation of national interests led to collective paralysis. The Union emerges enfeebled, less close to the citizen and less welcoming to our future members. All those called upon to take up a position on the Treaty of Nice, parliamentarians and citizens alike, must know that it represents a step backwards for the European institutions, each of which is weakened. The requirements to achieve a majority vote in the Council, far from being simplified, are made much more complex, making decision-making more difficult. The European Parliament does not have the means to carry out effectively its legislative and political roles. The European Commission is in danger of becoming no more than a secretariat of the Council. In short, this treaty would turn Europe into a kind of permanent diplomatic forum rather than a political community - the very opposite of what those who have built Europe have fought for fifty years.

 

For a European constitution

 

The governments have had to accept that a great public debate must now open up on the future of Europe. For us, this debate has meaning only if it launches a new start and the elaboration of a common project. It is high time for us to define what we want to do together, and to make of Europe a federation of peoples and states. Such a Europe needs a real constitution that guarantees a working democracy run by elected leaders. European decisions require European leaders accountable to all European citizens.

 

For a democratic convention

 

The constitutional approach requires a different methodology to that of Nice, namely that of a convention of elected representatives. The European constitution must be elaborated not by diplomats but by representatives of the people, drawn from both current member states and candidate countries, and so that those who are unwilling will not be able to block the union of the others.

 

Taking action now

 

The Union must be ready for enlargement as from 2003. If the work on the constitutional settlement begins in 2001, it will be perfectly possible to complete it in time for the first of the new members, thereby enabling all European peoples and states to choose their place and role in Europe.

 

We invite all those who are attached to the building of Europe, no matter what their political allegiance and country of origin, to sign up as a supporter of the new constitution for a united Europe.

 

We call on every parliamentarian concerned not to deliver their verdict on the Treaty of Nice until satisfied that the European Council is willing to contribute to this new beginning.

 

 


Resolution on the Failure of Nice and a Constitutional Convention to Design Europe's Future


The Federal Committee of the Young European Federalists (JEF), meeting in Munich on March 30-31 and April 1

 

criticises strongly the results of Nice. Democracy, efficiency and transparency are the basis of a successful future of the European Union. In Nice the European Council proved once more, that it is not able to fulfil these aims.

A successful Nice treaty would have needed the simplification of decision-making in the European Union and the introduction of qualified majority voting as the general voting procedure. Instead, the heads of government were not willing to abandon pure national interests and they did not show the willingness to progress together in European key issues. Only in theory the European Union is ready for enlargement, but in practise neither democracy, nor transparency have been strengthened. Democratic legitimacy and workability of the EU can only be achieved by establishing separation of powers. Still, the citizens of Europe do not have any chance to decide about the future of Europe. The treaty of Nice shows clearly, that in future, Europe cannot be governed exclusively by members of national governments. In an enlarged Europe, endless decision-making-marathons would not lead to any results. It is time to give the word to the citizens of Europe and their democratic elected representatives.

 

therefore supports the demands for a European Convention that has to draft a European Constitution and demands:

 

establishing of a Convention to replace undemocratic and inefficient IGCs. This Convention should start its work at latest in December 2001, after the Laeken Council. In this Convent member countries and applicant countries of the EU should be treated equally. The Convent has to be made up of members of the European Parliament, members of the European Commission, members of governments of the EU and applicant countries, members of the parliaments of the EU and applicant countries, as well as representatives of the Council or Regions and representatives of the civil society.

 

demands also that the Convention:

 

1. accelerates the post-Nice process and to finally carry out reforms needed for the accession of new member countries. These reforms should prevent Europe from being paralysed and should prevent new member countries from being second class members.

 

2. prepares a draft for the Constitution of the European Union. This draft has to show the way from nowadays EU to a democratic European Union of the people. The draft has to lay down structures for a future European federal state, including horizontal and vertical separation of powers.

 

3. involves the entire civil society in further hearings, additional to their representation in the convention.

 

After Nice, it is up to the member states and the applicant countries, to establish a Convention as soon as possible and to ask the European citizens for their approval of the drafted European Constitution.

 


Resolution on Actions During the Belgian Presidency


The Federal Committee of the Young European Federalists (JEF), meeting in Munich on March 30-31 and April 1

 

considering that the six months of the Belgian Presidency of the European Union will fall in a period in which the Union will have to take essential decisions for its future. As the European Council in Nice has inserted in the conclusions of the Summit a "declaration on the future of the Union" stating that the governments have to start a "debate on the future of the Union", which involves also the European and national Parliaments, and which should lead to a new institutional reform in 2003-2004 in view of a successful enlargement.

 

aware that the European Council in Laeken will have to decide method, procedure and aims of this process towards 2004

 

stresses that the Belgian presidency can play a crucial role so that this debate leads us into a true European Constitutional Convention, involving the representatives of the European citizens in the European and the national Parliaments, with a clear mandate to draft a European federal Constitution, to be presented directly to the European citizens, in both member states and current applicant countries as well as the European Parliament without any further intergovernmental conference.

 

resolves the following initiatives and instructs the Executive Bureau to carry out any action needed to implement them.

 

1. Memorandum for the Belgian policy makers - A memorandum should be prepared pointing out the responsibilities of Belgium in this critical phase of the European unification process and which suggests the possibilities of action. This text should be given the widest possible diffusion, distributing it to the European and Belgian national parliamentarians and opinion makers, the press, youth organisations, etc

 

2. Meeting Youth organisations / Belgian Government - At the beginning of the semester, a high profile Youth Convention with the goal to have a dialogue between the Belgian Prime Minister and others EU top personalities and representatives of European youth organisations. The organisational framework should be similar to the Youth Convention of Nice (JEF + Youth Forum + youth organizations). A "youth platform" for the after-Nice should be tried, on the model of the one of Youth for Nice 2000.

 

3. Some public events - Two or three public actions during semester, such as stand sor a collection of signatures in key places and moments (for example when the Belgian Parliament will ratify the Treaty of Nice).

 

4. Mobilisation for the Laeken's Summit - It should be evaluated with the Union of European Federalists and the International European Movement the possibility to organise a public action in Laeken in the days of the summit.


Resolution on Transparency in the EU


The Federal Committee of the Young European Federalists (JEF), meeting in Munich on March 30-31 and April 1

 

reaffirms JEF’s strong belief that the institutions of government in Europe will only be able to serve the interests of the people when they are democratic, federal and open to the people recalls that JEF’s support for the principle of greater openness in giving more power to the European Parliament (which meets in public) and for open constitutional reform conferences, should be extended also to the Council;

 

recalls many of the historical horrors done by Governments acting "in the name of the people" when allowed to work in secret;

 

therefore welcomes warmly the initiative of the current Swedish Presidency of the Council as a first step in opening up Council meetings;

 

regrets strongly that the current Presidency was prevented by some Member Governments from taking further steps to open up the Council — famously known as a legislature "too secretive to join itself";

 

further believes that this initiative is a further illustration of how all member countries have a contribution to make to the development of a democratic, federal and effective Europe which serves its citizens;

 

calls upon all Member States, and in particular when acting as the Presidency, to be as open in possible in telling the citizens what is being done in their name;

 

demands that future meetings of the Council should be open, and that in particular Council meetings should meet in public when voting and whenever acting as a legislature, and publish voting records;

 

confirms that openness and transparency of Government must be a fundamental underlying principle of the European Union.

 

The FC calls upon the Executive Bureau to write an open letter to the Swedish Prime Minister and President and the Head of the Belgian Government, Prime Minister Verhofstadt, congratulating the Swedish Presidency and encouraging the Belgian Presidency to continue in the same vein.

 


Resolution on JEF-Europe campaign activities


The Federal Committee of the Young European Federalists (JEF), meeting in Munich on March 30-31 and April 1

 

Realising that, despite the welcome efforts of the Nice Summit towards clearing institutional obstacles to enlargement and setting a timetable for the EU accession of the states currently negotiating, the preconditions necessary to guarantee a successful enlargement have not yet been fulfilledNoting that the traditional IGC method has proved unable to take the measures necessary to strengthen the Union’s capability for more democratic, transparent, and legitimate decision-making;

 

Reiterating our call for the European governments to move together towards a united and federal Europe, and recognising the need to continue the debate within JEF on the idea of a federal core in the context of the post-Nice process;

 

Reaffirming our commitment towards an enlarged, federal European Union as well as the need for stronger public engagement in debates on the future of Europe;

 

Keeping in mind that Young European Federalists (JEF) is an organisation which gathers together young federalists from 30 European countries and that a common ground needs to be maintained in order to unite all these federalist movements, both inside and outside of the European Union:

 

THE ORGANISATION OF YOUNG EUROPEAN FEDERALISTS directs its campaigning activities prior to the 2001 Congress towards:

 

1. Condemning the traditional IGC method as unsuitable for the functioning of a democratic and efficient Union as well as for bringing into life the ideal of citizens’ involvement in shaping the future of European integration;

 

2. Gathering of a Constitutional Convention which would comprise representatives from the applicant countries as well as those of the Union in order to produce a simplified, concise, and transparent federal Constitution for the whole of Europe;

 

3. Recognising the role of this European Constitution as a means of introducing democratic procedures, and the division of powers between the member states and the European institutions, such as a legitimate and accountable European Commission;

 

4. Continuing efforts to transform the status of the Charter of Fundamental Rights into a legally binding document, in order to render the Charter the instrument of effective protection of citizens’ rights;

 

5. Strengthening efforts towards a broader public discussion on the future of Europe in line with the Swedish Presidency’s efforts towards greater transparency in the Union;

 

6. Urging the Member States to take the necessary decisions regarding the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy and Structural Funds in the light of enlargement;

 

7. Demanding that the first wave of enlargement for the best prepared candidates take place no later than by the end of 2003 and continuing efforts to win greater public support for enlargement among the public in EU member states as well as in the applicant countries;

 

8. Supporting the process of stabilisation and association of South Eastern Europe as a first step towards EU enlargement to the region, with the enlargement process beginning with those democratic countries which meet the EU’s criteria.

 

To this end, training activities are planned in Berlin and Gothenburg ahead of a joint campaigning week at the turn of the Belgian/Gothenburg Presidency.

 

The EB are requested to develop activities based on the following proposals and PC 2 on Enlargement is requested to make further proposals focusing on the enlargement aspects.

 

I. JEF cooperation with European Parliament and European Commission

 

1. Youth Conference with Members of Parliament and Commission of the EU

 

a. JEF-Europe organises a conference for representatives of youth organisations (Brussels) in the autumn - with participation of Members of Commission and Parliament.

 

2. National action towards MEPs

 

a. National sections in EU countries take lobby action towards Members of European Parliament of their nationality.

 

II. JEF approaches to national governments

 

1. Letters to Heads of Governments

 

a. All national sections send letters to their national governments in order to ask their support for transparency as well as for Convention method and for Constitutional mandate in the context of the next reform — and to ask an initiative for a step towards a European Federation

 

III. JEF approaches to national (as well as regional and local) parliaments

 

1. Petitions/ letters to Speakers of the parliaments and parliamentary groups

 

a. All national sections approach their national parliaments with their petitions on EU future work during the spring 2001 in order to encourage the national parliament to be involved in the debate in the future of EU (method, mandate)

 

b. Hearings with parliamentarians at national, regional and local parliaments

 

c. All sections organise a hearing at the parliament (of their level) in order to encourage the parliamentarians to participate the debate in the future of EU (method, mandate)

 

2. Cooperation with/ Creation of Inter-groups for EU Constitution

 

a. Those national sections that evaluate an Inter Group as an option in their political reality approach their national parliaments in order to create an Inter-Group for EU Constitution (esp. Belgium, Finland, Portugal, Czech Republic, Slovenia)

 

b. Dialogue with MPs on national level as well as transnational level

 

c. All national sections make joint effort with their neighbouring JEF sections to support transnational networks of parliamentarians for EU Constitution (f.Ex. Nordic-Baltic JEF meeting with national parliamentarians in context of Swedish Presidency together with Baltic Youth Forum, South-East European meeting,…)

 

IV. JEF approaches to civil society

 

1. Transnational Campaign Day week to approach citizens

 

a. All national, regional and local sections organise campaign activities (street action, stalls, collection of signatures, manifestation, demonstration,…) to involve citizens in the movement for constitutional European democracy

 

2. Initiatives for NGO alliances with International European Movement

 

a. All national sections of JEF/UEF proposes to national sections of IEM to establish a national platform on civil society to discuss on the future work of the EU and the next IGC during this spring

 

3. Initiatives for Youth NGO alliances with members of European Youth Forum

 

a. JEF-Europe maintains a network of Youth NGOs (like European Youth Forum and European youth political parties) that are willing to follow-up the Post-Nice Debate and promote a democratic European Constitution

 

b. All national sections of JEF proposes to both National Youth Councils and political youth organisations to organise a joint event (following the model of JEF colloquim in EP) and to give out a joint statement on the future work of the EU

 

4. Initiatives for NGO Summit Events during Swedish and Belgian Presidencies

 

a. JEF-Europe organises together with respective national sections public events with NGO participation in the context of Swedish and Belgian Presidencies

 

V. JEF Policy in the years 2002-2003

 

1. Draft Resolution to be prepared for Congress

 

a. JEF-Europe (EB&FC) will prepare a draft Congress resolution on Campaign Framework for 2002-2003 including the detailed demands for Constitutional Convention (based on its mandate) and the action plan to campaign for these demands - as well as a strategy to support the applicant sections to be prepared for referendum campaigns on the referenda of the EU membership treaties


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