Pre-Summit: Where is the hope, Europe?
The Young European Federalists (JEF-Europe) are deeply distressed about the preparations for the European Council that starts today in Brussels. Prospects for any progress look slim.
"At this crunch time for European integration after the French and Dutch votes, Europe’s leaders seem incapable of giving the EU any direction or hope," stated Jon Worth, President of JEF-Europe.
"If Member States are just left to decide on their own what to do with the Constitution, it is just like letting all of the horses out of the stable – once gone, it will be almost impossible bring them back."
"The Constitution, and the reforms it would bring, is vital to the future of the European Union. We simply cannot let all of that fall apart in another disastrous example of intergovernmental bargaining."
After the French and Dutch votes, there were small signs of a more cooperative approach among Europe’s heads of state, but this has quickly evaporated.
"The wrangling over the budget shows the EU in an even worse light," continued Jon Worth.
"European citizens want vibrant economies fit for the 21st century, and that means cash for research and economic reform."
"What citizens for sure do not want is one state holding back reform of an agricultural policy conceived in the 1950s, and another clinging to a rebate fought for in the 1980s."
"Do Europe’s heads of state not realise that politics, and the people, have moved on?"
JEF-Europe has long campaigned for a Federal European Constitution, a solution that gives a positive and democratic solution to Europe’s political woes.
"Out would go the national vetoes, the national contributions, and the national haggling," explained Jon Worth.
"In would come governance in citizens’ interests, real democratic accountability, reforms of the EU’s outdated policies, and fair financing thanks to an EU-level taxation system."