On March 31st, F.A.E.F. Federal Alliance of European Federalists, in collaboration with other European citizens, initiated a petition on Change.org, addressing the European institutions and the governments and parliaments of the member states. Below the text of the petition:
FOR THE SOUL OF EUROPE AND THE LIVES & LIVELIHOODS OF MILLIONS OF EUROPEANS
Critical decisions are made at critical times and change the course of history. We call for a leap forward in European history through the establishment of a European Federation, initially between those countries and peoples that currently find themselves not well served by the European Union at a time of dire need. We want the European unification project to succeed. To do so, it needs to take into account the interests and approaches of all participating countries. If at least 9 EU countries join the Federation, it can be legally recognised as an “enhanced form of cooperation” under the EU Lisbon Treaty, thus creating a federal core within the EU.
As the Covid-19 pandemic keeps spreading around the world, causing death and economic destruction, another battle is also raging: a battle for the soul of Europe.
In the EU countries worst hit by the disease the sense is widespread that European solidarity and leadership are only grand-sounding words that do not translate into concrete action when most needed. Despite some notable exceptions, the truth is that each country has been left to its own devices, without support from the EU brothers and sisters, showing up the fragility of the European project.
What is even more damaging is that with the economy at a virtual standstill due to the lockdown necessitated by the virus, certain EU partners refuse to consider the issuing of “coronabonds” to inject liquidity into the system throughout the Eurozone. Thus individual governments are left to fend for themselves, deprived of a basic tool of public policy – the regulation of the money supply and the provision of stimulus packages for the economy. A project built on mistrust and lack of solidarity, arrangements that benefit only part and not the whole, cannot last for long.
We therefore issue a stark warning about the future of the European project and call on the leaders of member states and of the central EU institutions to sit down in full realisation of their historic responsibilities and work out a plan which will benefit all European countries and citizens. This should have happened yesterday but cannot wait beyond tomorrow.
We call on the leaders of the 14 EU member states currently in favour of the ‘eurobonds’ – France, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Greece, Portugal, Slovakia, Ireland, Lithuania, Slovenia, Latvia, Estonia, Cyprus and Luxembourg – with the support of any other like-minded EU country, to take immediate measures to establish a European Federation through the adoption of a Federal Constitution. By thus joining forces and creating institutions of real unity and mutual support, such a Federation will be able to speak in one voice at the European Council and vis-à-vis the other EU institutions, including the European Central Bank and even the rest of the world.
In a properly structured Federation, a Federal Constitution guarantees a clear division between the powers of the federal bodies and the powers of the sovereign member states. A central federal body only takes care of the common interests of all the member states and citizens (civil rights, environmental protection, the problem of climate change, the migrant crisis, foreign policy / defence, the common currency and of course emergencies such as the present Covid19 pandemic). In all other fields, the member states will remain sovereign, retaining their own institutions, traditions, etc. No opt-outs, no room for partisan nationally driven egoism.
We hope that eventually all EU countries will agree to join a more close-knit political entity of this kind. For the present, however, those countries currently less well served by EU approaches and policies will have to be those who bring the Federation into being and negotiate for change.
Leo Klinkers, President and co-founder of F.A.E.F. (Federal Alliance of European Federalists);
Lorenzo Sparviero, F.A.E.F. (Federal Alliance of European Federalists) co-founder;
Michel Caillouët, F.A.E.F. (Federal Alliance of European Federalists) co-founder;
Catherine Guibourg, F.A.E.F. (Federal Alliance of European Federalists) co-founder;
Peter Hovens, F.A.E.F. (Federal Alliance of European Federalists) co-founder;
Mauro Casarotto, Secretary and co-founder of F.A.E.F (Federal Alliance of European Federalists);
Georgios Kostakos, FOGGS (Foundation for Global Governance and Sustainability) Executive Director;
Martina Scaccabarozzi, + Europa Milano;
Koen Von Bremen, Federalism for Peace;
Francesco Paolo Sgarlata, Europe Today Director.