A Petition for a European Federation

At the initiative of the think-tank EuropaNova and in collaboration with Celsius-Europe, a new generation is calling on European leaders to take responsibility for taking Europe out of the crisis and committing to the creation of a European federation. The first signatories of this manifesto are young NGO responsible, political heads, company directors, journalists, culture people and intellectuals from 15 EU member states.

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Manifesto: the awakening of a new generation of Europeans.

It is now and not in ten years time that the fate of half a billion Europeans and the future model for our societies are at stake. Will we, Europeans, have the courage, determination and energy to turn Europe into a great and democratic power?
This is the challenge that we face, as the world rapidly reshapes.

In a decade, the West has lost its leadership of the process of globalisation. New global interdependencies have appeared in a mutating world where rising powers, often federations the size of continents, have shifted the global balance of power. It is the emergence of a new world. And with it, a new generation of committed Europeans is becoming more aware of the necessity to rethink the future and the general interests of Europe together.

Will we, as Europeans, prove that neighbouring peoples which share the same fundamental values can reinvent themselves and consider their unity in a democratic manner to find a way out of the crisis?
Will we find the means to channel capitalism to serve society?
Can we reinvent our capacities for production and innovation?
Are we going to be able to face the challenges of climate change and sustainable development?
Will we reinvent a fair society which integrates men and women of various generations throughout their lifetimes?
Will we succeed in associating the youth, culture and mutual knowledge at the heart of our project?
It is a major undertaking: nothing less than a new vision of Europe and the world.

In order to face up to these historic challenges, we need first to deal with an emergency : to bring a sustainable solution to the crisis the ‘old continent’ is facing, which annihilates trust, feeds populism and threatens sixty years worth of European integration. This crisis highlights the inadequacy of the European intergovernmental system of decision-making as well as its state of unpreparedness. There is also a profound lack of common vision and leadership amongst European decision-makers. There is an emergency jointly to create a new sovereignty – this time a collective one – which will give credit back to political action.

In order to do so, let us agree now on a government for the Euro zone, with all the countries willing to join it: a government which does not only monitor national budgets but has the specific ambition to make fiscal and social policies converge; a government that will be driven by growth, innovation, employment and a genuine ability to invest collectively. This government will jointly define a European federation, which will gather at the appropriate time all the member states of the Union prepared to do so. It should be controlled in a democratic way. In the short term, we suggest an active association between the European Parliament, the European Commission and national parliaments, with an equal status for member states, in dealing with the crisis.

Beyond the emergency, time has come to reshape European democracy and to involve European peoples and citizens in this project. European civilisation is at the origin of the ‘nation-state’, the republic, and intergovernmental institutionalised cooperation. The time has come to create a trans-national European democracy, promoting the diversity of our cultures and the individual differences of each member state. Among European countries, voices are being raised to warn about the inadequacy of our current models. Today, the Europeans are ready to write a new page of their history, in an optimistic way, and to prompt a debate over the constitution of a genuine political space which places people at its heart and capitalism on the right path. We wish the upcoming European elections to be the opportunity to elect a constituent assembly, which gives the EU a new fundamental law. Organised for the first time on the same day in the whole Union, these elections should also be the occasion for a campaign in which every political European party will present its candidate for the presidency of the European Commission. European Fundamental Law shall come into force in countries which freely decide to ratify it and embark on a journey to federal democracy.

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