British Constitutional Plan a recipe for EU stagnation
The Young European Federalists (JEF-Europe) express their strong opposition to proposals by Professor Alan Dashwood of Cambridge University, implicitly endorsed by British Minister for Europe Peter Hain, for a constitutional order for the European Union which its author claims is 'anti-federal'.
Reacting to the release of the draft by Professor Dashwood, Alison Weston, President of JEF-Europe stated: "These proposals do nothing but seek to turn the clock back to the 1970s when the then European Economic Community's political role was stagnant and limited."
"While we welcome proposals for one defining text for the European Union, the intergovernmental cooperation, as proposed by Professor Dashwood, is nothing new. It has not delivered an effective or democratic Europe in the last fifty years, and rehashing these ideas and labelling them a Constitution will not change anything now."
"The crucial issue - how to give citizens a true say on EU decision making - has been overlooked."
Responding to Peter Hain's claims that the idea of a federal European Union had 'run into the sand', Ms. Weston explained: "Only the proposals of the British government so far aim to take the European Union in a non-federal direction. There is a broad consensus within the Convention that member states sitting down and working out compromises between them is not a satisfactory way of making decisions."
"Federalism means that powers assigned according to the level at which problems are best solved. We do not necessarily need more powers at European level, but how decisions are made in the European Union simply has to change."
"The only way for the European Union to be effective is if a supranational executive (the European Commission), taking decisions in the interests of the whole of Europe, is firmly held to account by the European Parliament."
"This requires the drafting of a true Federal European Constitution."