Il 3-4 luglio si è svolto a Valencia il XXVII Congresso europeo dell’UEF, un momento atteso e importante sia sul piano organizzativo che politico. È stata anche l’occasione per festeggiare i 75 anni dalla fondazione.

Il 3-4 luglio si è svolto a Valencia il XXVII Congresso europeo dell’UEF. La riunione si è tenuta in formato ibrido, con la partecipazione di oltre 120 delegati. Una metà circa erano presenti a Valencia, mentre il resto era collegato via zoom.

Il Congresso era un momento atteso e importante sia sul piano organizzativo che politico. È stata anche l’occasione per festeggiare i 75 anni dalla fondazione.

Sul piano organizzativo il Congresso doveva valutare la proposta dei nuovi Statuti, elaborati da un gruppo di lavoro apposito composto dai rappresentanti di tutte le sezioni nazionali, che per alcuni mesi si è riunito e ha prodotto un testo su cui è stato raccolto il consenso unanime a livello degli esponenti delle sezioni impegnate nella stesura. Il Congresso ha pertanto approvato i nuovi Statuti – che rafforzano le responsabilità collettive sia dell’Executive Bureau, sia delle sezioni nazionali, e specificano meglio i compiti, i poteri e i meccanismi di controllo rispetto ai diversi organi – all’unanimità con tre astensioni.

Sul piano politico il Congresso si è concentrato soprattutto sulla Conferenza e sul ruolo che i federalisti devono saper giocare per cogliere questa occasione e riuscire a vincere le resistenze delle forze che si oppongono – sia a livello nazionale che europeo – al cambiamento dei Trattati. Ospite del Congresso Guy Verhofstadt (co-presidente per il Parlamento europeo del Board della Conferenza) che ha partecipato alla tavola rotonda e al dibattito politico nella seduta postmeridiana di sabato. Anche le mozioni, in particolare quella di politica generale, preparata dal Bureau, erano concentrate sulla Conferenza e sull’impegno dei federalisti. Sono state approvate tutte a larghissima maggioranza, e la mozione di politica generale all’unanimità.

Infine sono stati rinnovati gli organi, sulla base dei nuovi statuti. Sandro Gozi è stato riconfermato Presidente con una larghissima maggioranza (oltre l’80%); è stata riconfermata anche Anna Echterhoff come Segretaria generale. Tre i Vicepresidenti (Domenec Ruiz Devesa, UEF Spagna e parlamentare europeo del Gruppo S&D; Luisa Trumellini, MFE; e Markus Ferber, Europa Union Deutschland, parlamentare europeo del Gruppo del PPE) e un nuovo Tesoriere (Dominique Ostyn). Sono poi stati eletti gli altri 9 membri dell’EB e gli 11 membri del Comitato federale eletti in lista politica. Le sezioni hanno poi nominato i loro membri (al MFE ne spettavano 19) e i supplenti, figura reintrodotta per cercare di incentivare l’effettiva presenza e partecipazione alle riunioni degli organi istituzionali. In calce è pubblicata della nostra delegazione, che annovera anche un nuovo membro del Gruppo Spinelli, Fabio Massimo Castaldo del Movimento 5 Stelle e Vicepresidente del Parlamento europeo.

Nonostante le difficoltà organizzative legate alla modalità ibrida di conduzione della riunione, il Congresso è stato un momento importante di ripartenza della nostra organizzazione europea sul piano interno, ed una conferma della sua capacità politica di giocare, in questa fase, un ruolo importante nel quadro del processo della Conferenza.

Dopo questo Congresso l’UEF è dunque pronta per affrontare al meglio l’impegno politico dei prossimi anni, con l’obiettivo di portare un proprio contributo cruciale per il conseguimento delle riforme federali dell’UE. 


 

OUR FEDERAL EUROPE, SOVEREIGN AND DEMOCRATIC

The XXVII Congress of the UEF, held in Valencia in presence and online on 3-4 July 2021, welcomes the launch of the Conference on the Future of Europe and welcomes the fact that • the UEF President, Sandro Gozi, is among the MEPs participating in the plenary and also the UEF Vice-President, Domenec Ruiz Devesa;

  • the UEF participates in the plenary as one of the organisations representing the civil society;
  • many members of the Board of the Spinelli Group are also in the delegation of the European Parliament in the plenary.

In the awareness of the phase of profound transition that Europe and the world are going through towards a new economic and social model linked to digitalisation and the ecological transformation of the production and organisation of our way of life; and towards a new international order that presents many challenges and in which Europe must protect its model of values and its interests;

is convinced

that the Conference represents a great opportunity:

  • of democratic participation and confrontation with the citizens in order to show which Europe they want for their future;
  • to show that the will of citizens is to build a sovereign and democratic Europe: effective in action, strong in solidarity and in the protection of fundamental rights, European values and the rule of law, capable at the same time of ensuring the safety of citizens and fighting inequalities in our community;
  • to realize the project of the Founding Fathers, who fought to build the European Federation as a community of destiny;

that the time has come for federal solutions for Europe.

At the same time, it is aware

that if the process of the Conference were to fail, it would fail also the possibility of reforming the European Union and adapting its institutions to the new political phase that is opening up after the pandemic.

The XXVII UEF Congress therefore reaffirms that the objective of the process initiated by the Conference must be an effective reform of the Treaties; recalls

  • the Appeal Our Federal Europe, Sovereign and Democratic, which has been designed to accompany the start of the Conference; it has been co-signed by the Spinelli Group, the European Movement International, the President of CERM, and has been endorsed by more than 450 personalities from the world of politics and institutions, culture, labour and enterprise, and was taken up by numerous European, national and local newspapers throughout Europe;
  • the general policy resolution unanimously approved by the Federal Committee on 19 December 2020 which listed the Treaty reform proposals on which UEF believes the Conference should focus, i.e.:

- the creation of a fiscal capacity of the European Union, so that it can collect the resources it needs to implement its policies on its own. The fiscal power to be exercised in line with the priorities of the European political agenda is a necessary condition for the emergence of a European sovereignty able to operate in the name of the common interests and values of European citizens and to achieve fairer taxation within the European Single Market.

- the attribution of new competences to the European Union so that it can be sovereign, a cording to the subsidiarity principle, at macroeconomic level and in foreign and security policy and in research, health and training;

- the reform of the decision-making process in a way to grant the Union with sufficient autonomy to act in the new areas of competence, i.e. through an extension of the ordinary legislative procedure, with the co-decision of the European Parliament and the Council;

- measures to promote fundamental rights, both within the Unione and externally,, the democratic principles and the rule of law underpinning the European Union with regard to possible illiberal drifts in the Member States;

- the question of ratification by qualified majority of the EU Treaties. Since some member states might not initially share the project for a federal Union, the time has come for the majority of countries that agree to share a part of their sovereignty - in those fields that are no longer manageable at national level - to go ahead to build a Europe open to all, safeguarding the unity of the European Union, but at the same time restructuring EU in a way that it provides for different levels of integration and participation;

calls, in addition to that,

  • clear reforms in order to encourage stronger pan-European democracy — real European political parties and proper campaigns for European elections — particularly the creation of a pan-European constituency and transnational electoral lists headed by the candidates for President of the European Commission.

recalls

  • the guidelines discussed in PC1 meeting for the federalist campaign on the platform, reminds
  • the idea and proposals already published on the digital platform in the thematic area of European democracy (For a true European democracy: abolish the right of veto and assign direct powers to the European Parliament in taxation and foreign policy; There can be no true European democracy without an autonomous EU fiscal power), together with those in preparation on the new competences, the respect for fundamental rights and the rule of law and the ratification of the new Treaty by majority;
    and
  • the information and guidelines sent to the national sections in order to set up a coherent and strong European campaign and let our federalist proposal reach the citizen’s panels and the members of the plenary;

underlines therefore

  • the importance of organising a well-coordinated campaign at this stage to maximise the impact of federalists and their ideas and influence the outcome of the Conference and urges the European statutory bodies and the national sections
  • to commit for the success of the federalist goals and proposals in order to make of the Conference on the Future of Europe a moment of true European democracy able to trigger the birth of a federal political Union.

 

Celebretion of 75 years of UEF

The Union of European Federal was founded in Paris on 15 december 1946. Its organisation was completed through the congresses of Montreux (1947), Rome(1948) and Strassbourg(1950).  The first members of UEF were federalist organisations from the Member States, which had been spontenously born in Western Europe right before WWII, during the war (fighint agains nazi-fascists) and afterwards. In these first years, European federalists developed some foundamental ideas, which have constantly guided (with of course some upades and clarifications) the political action of UEF untill today.

  1. The irreversible peace and democracy in Europe can only be achieved only through the construction of a federal state. The UEF has always opposed the confederalist approached put forward by some European leaders such as Churchill, De Gaulle, Thatcher and Chirac.
  2. European unity is a foundamental step in the process of global unification. Accordingly, universal peace is the ultimate objective of the federalist struggle and pan-European nationalism must be rejected.
  3. National governments are considered both a mean and an obstacle to achieve European unification. Indeed while they are forced by the structural crisis of national states to accept and pursue European integration, they want to conserve their sovereignity as much as possible. This contradiction can be overcome only thank to the intervention of a federalist organisation (such as UEF) ,which is indipendent from national governments and can exercise some form of political pressure on governments to accept federal reforms of the Union.
  4. A European federation can be established only through a democratic constituent assemply, rather than through an intergovernmental conference. Such democratic constituent assembly would be composed of citizens represenatives and vote by majority.
  5. In order to put forward the federalist goal, UEF shall take advantage of the structural inefficiency and weak democracy accountability of intergovernamental integration.

After having remembered the foundamental orientations of UEF it must be said that our organisation had an decisive influence on the developpment of European integration and the introduction of federal elements in the process, such as the direct election of the European parliament, the estbalishment of the single curency and the use of majority rule in the Council. Of course, the role of great European statemen helped and we need to thank people like Schuman, Monnet, De Gasperi, Adenauer, Spaak, Hallstein, Delors, Brandt, Kohl, Merkel and Macron. However, they have been also influenced by the theoretical and practical action of the UEF.

The recent opening of the the Conference of the Future of Europe has given us another opportunity  to create the conditions for the establishment of European political federal union: this is the main political struggle for UEF today.

Sergio Pistone