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Aus unserem Europaverband

Wenn man Zeit und Muse hat, dann kann man sich auch einmal mit der UEF beschäftigen. Schon bei einer der ersten Zusammenkünfte 1945 oder 1946 hat einer der Anwesenden zurecht gefragt, wie wir denn Europa einigen wollen, wenn wir uns nicht einmal selber einigen können!

Und über all die Jahrzehnte ging und geht es bei der UEF heftig zu -- zumindest an Diskussionsstoff mangelt es allen Beteiligten nicht. Ich finde inzwischen, das die UEF den Zustand Europas ganz gut abbildet; dabei sind dies nur die an Europa Interessierten.

Ganz aktuell wird die folgende E-Mail von François Mennerat vom 10. Oktober 2023 in den entsprechenden Kreisen geteilt:

Dear Colleagues,

While apologising for the length of the following message, a length that I feel absolutely necessary to explain the highly controversial situation we (and UEF) are now in, I do urge you to nevertheless take the time to read it in detail.

An online meeting of the Executive Bureau has been held last night, at short notice as it is now becoming the rule. The relevant documents, including the agenda, had been sent at the last minute, as it is also now becoming the rule.

At some point, although it had not been mentioned on the agenda, a reference has been made about “THE resolution”, which has then been displayed on the shared screen. To my surprise I realised that “THE resolution” was the one we had proposed, still recognisable, but with major amendments that resulted in having it promoting Treaty changes instead of a constituent process. I have received that text this morning (attached). The goal was, explicitly, to have all the EB members (7 out of 13 were present on line) to endorse and sign that amended resolution, so that it could be circulated as THE resolution proposed by the whole EB.

The procedure regarding how to handle resolutions

It is described in the statutes that were adopted by the Congress in València on 4 July 2023 (the registration of which is still pending, although there are hints that it should be done ahead of the next Congress, together with the change of seat from Den Haag to Brussels). Strangely, however, they deal at large with resolutions to be submitted to the Congress, not those submitted to the Federal Committee, except as mentioned further below.

Chapter II: Statutory Bodies


The Congress


Art.11 1. Only members of the statutory body concerned and constituent organisations are eligible for submitting resolutions.

2. Only resolutions submitted before the deadline will be taken up.

3. Last minute compromise amendments may be proposed by the ‘rapporteurs’.

Emergency Resolutions may be tabled, if put forward by the Executive Bureau or the Presidium of the Congress, once the Bureau has been discharged or by 10% of the members of the statutory body concerned coming from at least three constituent organisations.


Rules of Procedure for the Congress

Art. 14 1. The Congress elects for its meetings:


C) One chair and one rapporteur for each Political Commission and Working Group.

D) A Resolution Committee consisting of three members and, in addition, of the rapporteurs. The task of this Committee will be to examine the resolutions and if need be, to propose modifications.

2. The Congress shall be required to vote only on resolutions, motions or agendas reviewed by a resolutions committee.


The Federal Committee

Notice of meetings

Art. 18 (...)

6. Notice of meeting, including the proposed agenda and the draft resolutions, must be sent out at least six full weeks in advance.

Usually, once submitted, before the deadline (this time 01 October before 12:00), via the Secretariat, they are circulated to all FC members together with a form to be compulsory used to submit proposed amendments before a second deadline (this time today 10 October before 24:00). Those are then to be examined, discussed and adopted or discarded by the relevant Political Commission, here PC1 Institutional Affairs (CoFoE, Democracy). Following, after being revised by the Resolution committee, it is submitted with proposed amendments still visible, for discussion and final vote. Indeed, the process may look long but, at least, it respects democracy. Now, the EB decides in private which resolutions will be discussed in the relevant PC and no debate takes place in the plenary.

Yesterday’s EB meeting

Needless to say that when being presented with the redacted resolution, I openly refused to accept that manoeuvre, meaning that, once more, it was a way to avoid debates about not only the format and content of the resolution, but that it was a fundamental question of inter-governmental treaties versus a democratic constitution. Rossolillo then replied that the PC1 would meet on Thursday (three days later…), without mentioning the time, to debate the draft redacted resolution. No previous announcement of any meeting of PC1 had been made before. And today, this morning, we receive an e-mail announcing on Thursday, under the umbrella of PC1, not a meeting for that, but a public presentation of the “Draft report” of AFCO about the treaty change, a clever way of imposing their point of view On that page, the link “Download the draft resolution ‘For a more democratic Europe now’” actually leads, not to the document to download, but only to the registration form to the online event. By the way, it must be stressed that that report remains a simple draft produced by a small group of AFCO members until it is voted and possibly adopted on 25 October, by which it would become an official AFCO Report to the Parliament.

Then Trumellini declared that the topic had already been discussed at the February FC meeting, while, in fact, our resolutions (Virgilio’s, and Jean’s and me) had been deliberately discarded to favour Domènec’s one, promoting Treaty change.

And Domènec stressed that there were still three stages to go through for that report: one in AFCO on 25 October, one in the EP plenary between 20 and 23 November, and eventually the European Council who, after consulting the European Parliament and the Commission, could possibly adopt by a simple majority a decision in favour of examining the proposed amendments (Art. 48 TEU). To which he added, without the slightest embarrassment, that if the third stage was not completed, we could examine the hypothesis of a constituent assembly, but if the first two stages were not completed (by Parliament), we would have to forget the idea of a constituent assembly altogether. He simply omitted that the expected constituent assembly should not be convened by the current Parliament, but by the next one, to be elected next year, thus skipping the need to orientate the electoral campaign towards that.

A strong reaction from us, the proposers is necessary

Dear colleagues, it is now blatant that a small group of persons arrogates to itself the right to rule alone the organisation, with no regard for the elementary principles of democracy that should prevail in an association of volunteer activist members. The fundamental debate we seek to revive in the situation Europe is currently in refers to a major issue in the history of UEF, particularly during the nineteen fifties and nineteen sixties (see Spinelli and Albertini). We cannot let this debate be dismissed out of hand. As federalists, we cannot let it be stolen in favour of an inter-governmental stance.

Moreover, that attitude reflects contempt for the proposers and is a real insult to them. This disregard for the traditional rules governing the handling of resolutions is unworthy of an organisation that prides itself on promoting the rule of law. The authoritarian climate of censorship that has now prevailed for some time in that organisation must be vigorously denounced and condemned. I call on you to react bitterly to, beyond appearing as a failure and a forfeiture from a patented federalist organisation, constitutes an extremely serious anti-democratic attitude. I have the privilege of being a member of the EB for a yet few weeks, but I cannot act and react alone.

With my kindest regards.

François Mennerat

Dear members of the Federal Committee,
Once again, my attempt to connect to Zoom did not work yesterday evening for the PC 1&3 meeting, although I do not have this problem when François Mennerat organises a meeting via Zoom for the UEF Belgium, nor when it is the S€D that organises it for its Board.
On the basis of the report François gave me on the PC 1&3 meeting, I believe that the European Parliamentarians are on the wrong track in persisting in proposing a reform of the European treaties which, I am told, 18 out of the 27 members of the European Council consider inappropriate and/or unrealistic.
As the AFCO Committee has done, the Parliament will probably vote on the report on the reform of the European treaties on 22 November, not so that the proposals it contains can be taken up by the European Council, but so that it can tell the electorate that everything possible has been done to follow the recommendations of the Conference on the Future of Europe. These voters will not be fooled, that will be obvious in June.
The UEF is being encouraged to make the same mistake.
I think it would be better not to waste time and to campaign on the urgent need for a strong and democratic European government, i.e. a federal one. Only this approach could arouse the enthusiasm of the masses.
As previously agreed, if by the end of December the European Council has not responded favourably to the European Parliament, the UEF must ask the candidates for the European Parliament to commit themselves to the idea that, once installed, the European Parliament should set itself up as a constituent assembly.
The UEF cannot content itself with following the European Parliamentarians, who have their own agenda and political constraints that are not imposed on a militant association. 
On the contrary, we must be the spearhead of European federalists.
Best regards,
Jean Marsia

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  • Zum Protokoll des Gesprächskreises „Europa jetzt!“ würde ich gerne hinzufügen, dass wir Teilnehmer auch darüber debattiert haben, wie „selbstverständlich“ Europa gerade für uns jüngeren geworden ist. Viele von uns kennen es gar nicht anders. Reisen ohne Grenzen, zahlen in Euro, keine Zollgebühren beim Onlineshopping, anders kennen wir es fast nicht. Es gilt, diese Freiheiten aufzuzeigen um das Interesse an Europa zu wecken.
    Ebenso war sich der Großteil der Gruppe einig, dass wir keine Angst haben, sondern Bedenken und Unsicherheit empfinden, wenn wir die aktuellen Entwicklungen beobachten.

    • Wie wir feststellen durften ist die Halbwertszeit solcher Runden nicht ausreichend, um ein Forum nur annähernd zu füllen. Wo die Unverbindlichkeit zum Prinzip erhoben wurde, muss man tatsächlich über ganz neue Kommunikationskanäle nachdenken.