Europe Today

Federate the federalists: ‘Europe will be a federation, or will not be’

|Lorenzo Sparviero

Following the unexpected ‘call to enter the field’ that marked the beginning of my commitment as a federalist activist, another call, equally strong, has recently taken over: the call to federate the federalists!

An idea that has gradually transformed into a passion, near an obsession, and a mantra for others who, to my amazement, are starting to use it without, however, understanding the deep and almost ‘esoteric’ origin of the message.

What it proposes is a change, a discontinuity; it is a ‘quantum leap’ compared to the linear and traditional approach followed until now by movements that praise federalism without making any progress in its implementation, insisting on the concept of European unity in the confederal sense, based on intergovernmental negotiation and not on a Constitution of the Federal State, voted for by the people of Europe.

I therefore feel the need and the duty to clarify and explain this apparently simple formula in understandable terms. It all began with a sudden idea, an enlightenment, born as a reaction to the observation of the dispersion of forces – already scarce and inappropriate to achieve the goal of creating a federal Europe – pursued by the pro-European friends with whom I was and I am in contact, the idea, the project of federating the federalists!

Behind the definition of Federalism one can understand different things, even opposites. In recent Italian political experience, the term federalism has been used as a flag by the Northern League, which today is no longer regionalist but nationalist, declaring its sympathy for the extreme and sovereign right. This ‘Lega Nord’ began by dividing Italy into macro-regions (Centre, North and South) and focusing on the detachment of the rich and productive North from the poorer South, backward in the industrial field, with weak finance and poor organization of public administration in the provision of the public services.

Today, after the turning point of the young Matteo Salvini who imposed a break with the Bossian past by launching the nationalistic slogan ‘the Italians first’, the Lega is focussed on the exclusion of the new derelicts, the immigrants, and has changed from ‘federalist’ to ‘nationalist and sovereignist’, closely related to the nationalist, sovereign and xenophobic movements of Le Pen (France) and Farage (Brexit) and to sympathies for the ‘strong men’ like Putin or even like Trump (USA first!). This improper use of the term ‘federalist’ has led to confusion and to a dangerous regression on the part of the European people towards a ‘nationalism’ which the French President, Mr. Macron, (who is also a ‘federalist’ but who, in practice, is inclined to continue the intergovernmental administrating method) recently denounced, sounding the alarm about possible scenarios which could lead to the return of civil war in Europe. 

This is the state of play in Europe today, where people are confused, frightened and inclined to close themselves off, to curl up like hedgehogs against the threats of immigrants, Islamic terrorism, competition between European countries, and so forth.. This is the road, not to `European Unity’, but to the ‘disintegration of the European dream’. Brexit is the first clear sign of the new crazy trend, and of how thoughtlessly this route is being taken.

So what is Federalism and the need to ‘federate the federalists’? Federalism means in a nutshell to unite what is different, while respecting the diversity of another, taking care of a handful of common interests, served by a common objective: the creation of a federalist state, a European Federation, based on a Constitution, democratically ratified by the European citizens, reflecting the best ideologies and values so far laboriously acquired by our western civilization.

The slogan ‘federate the federalists’, is the call for a new urgent political program to be implemented through the grass-roots pro-European movements in order to stop the current wretched course of history. And it is the first stage of a ‘non-traditional’ and complex route that aims: 

− to make European citizens aware of what is at stake, focusing on correct information and direct knowledge, through person to person training and multimedia courses launched on the web in every European language, clarifying not only the ideal but also the concrete superiority of the new federal state structure with respect to the current hybrid situation and its potential catastrophic developments in the event of a return to the nationalisms of the past (40% of the world’s population lives in federal states, with advantages in terms of internal administration, the ability to negotiate in foreign policy, taking care of common interests like European defence, border protection, the fight against international crime, etc.) but, above all, by ensuring lasting peace and peace within its internal borders… 

− to develop a debate in every European country through federalist and federated movements under a single organization that leads to the shared definition of objectives to be achieved and implemented in a timely manner, through the awareness of national parliaments and governments and European institutions, speaking to them with one voice and also with ‘peremptory’ tones. These inalienable objectives are: the immediate definition and approval of a European Federal Constitution and the establishment of the Federal State followed by elections to its governing, legislative and administrative bodies. –

This process has already begun in Milan, on the occasion of the March for Europe on 12 May 2018; a group of 13 Europeanist movements and parties of different ideologies and political sensitivities met to sign a common declaration in favour of the European Federal State addressed to all national and European authorities.

The ‘big bang’ of epochal change has begun: a simple and at the same time revolutionary action, a ‘quantum leap’, which will transform Europe into a new and advanced political reality, to the advantage of the countries that will decide to become part of it, each at the time and in the manner appropriate to their own speed of maturation, and for the sake of the rest of the world, since Europe is historically and morally the cradle of Western civilization, which will be able to raise the level of ‘wisdom and well-being’ of the planet.

Lorenzo Sparviero, co-founder of F.A.E.F. (Federal Alliance of European Federalists)

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