FC Wroclaw - March 2000
The Federal Committee of JEF-Europe met in Wroclaw (Poland) in March 2001 and adopted the following resolutions. The Word document version can downloaded below:
JEF Appeals to Youth Organisations for Nice 2000
FC Wroclaw - March 2000
JEF calls on all youth organisations to come to Nice on 6-7 December 2000 and say YES to a Europe of the people
The Young European Federalists (JEF) calls on all the young citizens and the youth organisations of Europe to join an alliance of non-governmental organisations and citizens in a NGO Forum and rally in Nice (France) on 6-7 December 2000 at the end of the Intergovernmental Conference to demand a democratic process to establish a European Constitution for an enlarged European Union.
The European Union needs a comprehensive reform of its founda6tions and institutions to achieve as soon as possible a successful enlargement.
The European Union must face the challenges of unemployment, social exclusion, technological progress, sustainable development, and globalisation.
The European Union must contribute to building a secure, prosperous and democratic world order based on the principles of democracy, the rule of law, solidarity , peace and justice.
But to respond to these challenges, the European Union must involve the people of Europe in deciding the future of the Union. This means not a new minimalist treaty created by horse-trading between Governments in a diplomatic conference, but a Constitution, including a legally valid Charter of Fundamental Rights, which sets out clearly the rights of its citizens and how the Union must work democratically and efficiently.
The European Union has a single market, a currency and a central bank. Co-operation on security and defence is growing. Now the European Union needs to become a European democracy.
JOIN THE NGO FORUM AND RALLY IN NICE TO SAY:
NO TO MINIMALIST REFORM
YES TO A EUROPEAN CONSTITUTION FOR AN ENLARGED UNION
JEF on the Charter of Fundamental Rights at the start of the Convention
The Federal Committee of JEF, meeting in Wroclaw (Poland) on March 26-28, 2000 welcomes the decision to establish a Charter of the Fundamental Rights of the European Union and stress the following points:
1. The establishment of a Charter of the Fundamental Rights of the European citizens is a crucial achievement and could be the first piece of a real European Constitution. The European Union and the European Communities are still dominated by the economic dimension, the Single European Market and the Monetary Union. Most of the citizens feel the Union as distant, bureaucratic and far from their problems. The establishment of the Charter could mark the start of a new Europe focussed on the citizens and moving forward to a real Political Union. However, the Charter can unfold all its potential only if its creation is soon accompanied by a radical and comprehensive reform of the Union’s foundations and institutions, that lead to a true European federal Constitution, to give the Union the capacity to pursue effectively the values and goals that the Charter will solemnly enshrine. It would be very important if the Convention kept such point in front of the member states, specially considering the parallel ongoing process of the Intergovernmental Conference.
2. It is vital that the Charter becomes a legally binding document, integral part of the Treaties, and does not remain a simple Declaration. The European Union has already seen many Fundamental Rights declarations (see for example the European Parliament Declaration from 1989). Many international organisations have issued Declarations and Conventions of Rights, without having the powers to enforced them. What the Union needs now is a visible and transparent Bill of Rights of the European Citizens which gives the people awareness of their rights and access to the European Court of Justice for their enforcement. A binding Charter - by defining clearly the values, principle and goals at the heart of the Union - would also enhance the legitimisation and credibility of the future work and actions of the all Union’s institutions. This is even more important in view of the enlargement of the Union to new members.
3. The Charter should acknowledge and enshrine the unique features of the European model. A mixture and balance of individual freedom, in all its aspects, and solidarity and welfare make the European model unique and is at the heart of the identity of the European citizens. This should be reflected in the Charter. Moreover, the European unification marks the historic achievement of European pacification by the creation of a Union among nations and citizens that fought each other for centuries: the inclusion in the Charter of the "citizens’ right to peace", and the Union’s obligation to defend it, would symbolise perfectly such novelty of the European experiment.
4. The Charter should acknowledge and enshrine the achievements of the European political tradition paving the way for a clarification of what the Union is and how it works. Centuries of political fights in Europe have established the basic principle that "sovereignty lies in the people" and that of the division of powers. These historic achievements at national level are still opposed in the European Union, which is therefore not yet a democracy. The "European citizenship" has been created by the Amsterdam Treaty, but it remains an empty word as long as the citizens are deprived of the fundamental right of citizenship: the power to decide the Government and the policies of the Union. The institutions of the Union are the embryo of a real supranational democracy, but the European Parliament is still denied full legislative powers, the Council combines legislative and executive powers ineffectively, the Commission is not a real Government - all this makes the Union still undemocratic and ineffective. If the Charter reaffirmed the basic principle of "people sovereignty" in the Union, this could pave the way for a comprehensive redefinition of what the Union is and how it works, and thus for a real European democracy.
5. The Convention process to draft the Charter is very innovative and should be extended to the reform of the Union’s institutions. So far, the building of Europe has left aside the citizens and their elected representatives in the European Parliament, it has been the exclusive domain of the representatives of the member states governments. The involvement of the European Parliament and the national parliaments, as well as the dialogue with the civil society, makes the mechanism to elaborate the Charter profoundly innovative and more democratic than any other procedure experienced at European level so far. This method should replace the elaboration of fundamental texts of the European Union by Intergovernmental Conferences. The Convention could make its voice heard on this point already during the current Intergovernmental Conference.
JEF on the situation in Austria
The Federal Committee of JEF, meeting in Wroclaw (Poland) on March 26-28, 2000
expressing its strong concern about the Austrian Freedom Party’s (FPÖ) entry into the government of Austria, since its former leader Jörg Haider has expressed alarming nationalist and anti-European sentiments in the past,
reminds that if Europe today has still reasons to be afraid of the dangers of nationalism and xenophobia, this is because it has not yet completed a real political federal Union, the only real definitive solution to the division of Europe.
1. Confirms its support for Austria as an important member of the European Union and for JEF Austria and other pro-European forces in Austrian society
2. Believes that the reaction of the remaining 14 EU governments demonstrates the EU institutions inability to respond adequately to such a situation, and calls for the Union to develop methods for dealing with similar cases in the future.
3. Insists that every move shall be undertaken against anti-European tendencies with the Austrian government, but no restraint shall be placed upon mainstream civil society, which we continue to support
4. Notes the general pro-European orientation expressed in the preamble to the government declaration but maintains that this European spirit must be put into practice and form the basis of political life and all government action in Austria