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JEF-Europe >Press Centre >- Archive 2003 >
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Federalists welcome the Commission's attempt to draft a system of true European democracy


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The Young European Federalists (JEF) welcome the Commission's second position on the future European Constitution. Now is the right moment to make detailed proposals on how a supranational democracy on the European Continent should work. To propose a structure based on the twin legitimacy of the citizens and the states was an essential step of the Commission.

 

"The European Commission is right to propose putting an end to the unanimity rule in the Council." stated Alison Weston, President of JEF Europe.

"In a democratic European Union we need an accountable government and understandable institutions and procedures. This means co-decision between the Parliament and the Council on all legislation is essential, and the Commission should become a true European government."

 

Nevertheless, there remain areas of concern. The Commission proposal that the President of the Commission be elected by the Parliament on the basis of a two-thirds majority would not contribute to bringing Europe closer to its citizens.

 

"Such a provision would force parliamentarians to establish very large coalitions, preventing citizens from deciding on his or her candidate for the Commission President in the European Parliament elections, which would be a prerequisite for a true supranational democracy", said Jan Kreutz, Vice-President of JEF Europe. "What national leader ever needs a two thirds majority to be elected?"

 

"Even more confusing is to demand more power for the Parliament, but then make the Commission responsible to the Council, thereby strengthening the latter. The Commission failed to answer the major question: what exactly are the respective powers of the European Parliament and the Council?"

 

The Young European Federalists appeal to the Convention to follow the aim of the Commission and to put forward a Constitution that deserves to be called democratic. Only if citizens can understand the European project and identify with it, can they be expected to accept the new Europe.


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