Daniel Freund

11. February 2022 Democracy

Dear pro-Europeans,

 

In 1984, the European Parliament adopted the draft of a European Constitution, which could still solve problems the EU faces today: nearly completely abolishing national vetoes, deciding the EU budget by Parliament and Council together, the EU court checking member states on questions of human rights and the rule of law, health and other societal policies to be a shared competence between EU and member states.

 

This courageous move 38 years ago is a wake-up call to pro-Europeans while the Conference on the Future of Europe is entering into its decision-making phase.

We invite you to hear some of the witnesses explain key features of the 1984 draft treaty. Current MEPs will comment how this can inspire today’s decisions.

 

Join our hybrid event on 14 February 2022 17h30-19h00 either online or in 76 Allée de la Robertsau, 67000 Strasbourg, France. Register now: https://federalists.us9.list-manage.com/track/click?u=a29e6e9c2933956511dfd1e1e&id=05b224a153&e=2899a9499b

 

Speakers at the event will include:

  •   Pier Virgilio Dastoli, President of European Movement Italy, former secretary to Altiero Spinelli, lead author of this draft treaty
  •   Heidi Marie Wieczorek Zeul, Social-Democrat MEP 1979-87, later German Federal minister for economic development
  •   Jean Paul Jacqué, Spinelli draft treaty jurist
  •   Monica Frassoni, former secretary general JEF
  •   Enrique Barón Crespo, former President of European Parliament and European Movement International
  •   Jean Victor Louis, Professor Emeritus at the University of Brussels (ULB)
  •   Danuta Hübner, MEP (EPP/Poland) and Member of the COFE
  •   Katalin Cseh, MEP (Renew/Hungary) and Member of the COFE

 

UEF, together with the Spinelli Group, JEF and the Movimiento Europeo Italia, suggest that pro-Europeans in Parliaments and the Conference on the Future of Europe open a debate about the method adopted by our EP in 1979-1984 and the gap between the main results of this parliamentarian common work and the situation of the European Union as it is now. The Spinelli Draft Treaty and its method and its content should inspire our work in the framework of the debate on the future of Europe. Find here the full statement: https://mcusercontent.com/a29e6e9c2933956511dfd1e1e/files/63e0da96-8b4a-ac54-a3de-6a61c5bd295a/The_Spinelli_Draft_Treaty.docx.pdf

 

Looking forward to the discussion!

 

With federalist regards,

Daniel Freund, MEP and President of the Spinelli Group

Pier Virgilio Dastoli, former assistant of Altiero Spinelli, President of European Movement Italy

Sandro Gozi, MEP and President of the Union of European Federalists (UEF)

Domènec Ruiz Devesa, MEP, Vice President of the UEF

Antonio Argenziano, President of the Young European Federalists (JEF)

 

The method: a new treaty decided by parliamentarians without governments

In July 1981, the EP decided to create an ad hoc committee with the only task to elaborate a new treaty on the European Union updating the then Rome Treaties.

 

Following the Vienna Convention on the International Treaties, the EP decided to submit its new Treaty directly to the national Parliaments asking them to ratify it without the signature of the national governments and excluding an intergovernmental or diplomatic Conference.

The roadmap adopted by the Institutional Affairs Committee foresaw a mission to all the ten

national Parliaments to discuss with each one the draft and then giving the task to the new elected European Parliament to revise the draft and adopt a final text in view of the national ratifications.

 

The draft was adopted in February 1984 and the mission of the European Parliament has been executed only with the German Bundestag, the Italian Chamber and Senate and the Belgian House of Representatives.

 

The European Council, met in Fontainebleau in June 1984 and decided to ignore the method proposed by the EP, to create a “committee of wise men” (the Dooge Committee, without women!) and finally to convene a traditional diplomatic conference having the mandate to modify the Treaties of Roma.

 

The result has been the Single European Act that entered in force in July 1987.

 

We suggest that pro-Europeans in Parliaments and the Conference on the Future of Europe open a debate about the method adopted by our EP in 1979-1984 and the gap between the main results of this parliamentarian common work and the situation of the European Union as it is now.

 

The contents: abolishing vetoes, an EU court to protect the rule of law in member states, ratification by majority

We summarize the main results of the Spinelli Draft Treaty.

  1. Creation of the European Union (instead of the European Communities Treaties)
  2. The accession to the European Union could be opened only to the “democratic European Countries”
  3. The creation of a European citizenship is provided of rights and duties
  4. The respect of Human Rights based on an EU Charter to be adopted five years after the enter in force of the European Union. The respect of Human Rights should be considered a binding condition to become or to be an EU member. The respect of the Human Rights (Rule of Law) should be submitted to the check of the Court of Justice
  5. The European Union has a legal personality
  6. The transfer of the competences in the field of the External and Security Policy and in the industrial policy by the Member States to the European Union as an exclusive or shared competence could be decided by the European Council with a qualified majority vote. The transfer of competences by the European Union to the Member States is excluded
  7. When the European Union acts in the field of a shared competence based on an organic Law (“constitutional Law”) this competence becomes exclusive
  8. The European electoral law is adopted based on an organic law
  9. The European Parliament and the Council compose the legislative and budgetary authority
  10. The Council of the Union and the European Council act always with a qualified majority vote with to only exception of the decisions in the field of the international cooperation
  11. The President of the Commission is appointed by the European Council and the Commission enters in force after the vote of confidence of the European Parliament
  12. The number of the members of the Commission is fixed by an organic law
  13. The members of the Court of Justice are appointed fifty-fifty by the European Parliament and by Council
  14. If the European Commission refuse a law initiative, the initiative power can be exercised by the European Parliament and/or by the Council
  15. The primacy of the European Union Law is established in the Treaty
  16. The fulfillment of the economic and monetary Union is established by an organic law
  17. The Treaty introduces a specific title dedicated to the Society Policy (Gesellschaftspolitik) based on shared competences
  18. The Treaty has inserted the system of the financial balancing of member states
  19. The Treaty will enter in force if it is ratified by a majority of the member states representing the two-thirds of the global population of the European Communities