No halt to federalism if the EU is to become democratic
Valéry Giscard d'Estaing's recent comments calling for a 'halt to federalism' are typical proposals from the President of the European Convention. This is another case of identifying the major problem - the complexity of the European Union - yet proposing nothing more than an intergovernmental solution.
"The major decisions in economic and foreign policy have unfortunately always been made through cooperation between the European Union's governments" stated Alison Weston, President of the Young European Federalists (JEF-Europe).
"That is precisely the reason why a coordinated European approach to problems such as the conflict in the Middle East has failed to materialise, and why economists raised questions that coordination of 12 governments' fiscal policy could not be enough in the Euro area."
"The only new thing that Giscard proposes is to rename Europe. The citizens of the European Union need effective institutions and relevant policies, not a re-branding exercise."
JEF-Europe calls on Valéry Giscard d'Estaing to take into account the conclusions of the European Youth Convention if, as he stated at the outset of the Convention, he is serious about listening to the views of young people.
Alison Weston continued: "Our message to the Convention is clear - 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."
"The Convention should establish this institutional order by drafting a Federal European Constitution, the only way to make decision making in the European Union truly democratically accountable."
Notes to Editors:
Initial comments by Valéry Giscard d'Estaing can be found in the Financial Times, 7/10/02
The European Youth Convention brought together 210 young people from across Europe in July 2002. The final document from the event can be found at: www.youth-convention.net