A FEDERAL UNION FOR THE YOUNG CITIZENS
In yesterday's Convention debate on the first articles of the future Constitution, a majority of the Convention members spoke in favour of a federal European Union. The omission of the word 'federal' would be disappointing, especially for the young. In the final report of the European Youth Convention in July 2002, young citizens from all over Europe called for a 'European Federal Constitution'.
Alison Weston, President of the Young European Federalists (JEF-Europe) said: "Federal elements in the European Union, such as the Euro, are already a reality. The task of the Convention is to establish a Constitution which gives the EU the democratic basis it has been lacking until now."
A broad majority of the Convention members also spoke in favour of changing the draft articles to give a more significant role to the citizens. . "The Young European Federalists would like to see the Convention establish a Union of citizens and states, not of states and peoples," continued Alison Weston. "In this Union it should be the interest of 500 Million citizens that counts, not the interest of 27 governments."
"Valéry Giscard d'Estaing is wrong when he says that citizens care more about institutions, competences and technicalities than about their rights. It is precisely the opposite. The Charter of Fundamental Rights has to be at the very beginning of the Constitution", said Jan Kreutz, Vice-President of JEF-Europe.
Alison Weston stressed: "In the new versions of the articles and futurearticles, the will of the citizens must play a stronger role. The citizenshave accepted that the EU is more than a mixture of national states - it is time for the EU to reflect this."
"Citizens demand a Union that respects the democratic principle at the European level. This must be a guiding principle in the discussion on the institutions. The result of the Convention therefore must be a European Federal Constitution."
(c) JEF-Europe 2003
Press Contact: Jan Kreutz
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