20 Years After "Spinelli's Draft Constitution" Political Europe should not go backwards

On the occasion of the 20th anniversary -14 February-, of the adoption by the European Parliament of the draft Constitutional Treaty presented by Altiero Spinelli, the Union of European Federalists reaffirms the urgency to proceed resolutely on the constituent track initiated twenty years ago.


According to UEF Secretary-General Bruno BOISSIERE : " a fundamental political act must now give concrete expression to the visionary ideas put forward at the time ; a first European Constitution should be adopted before the EP elections of June 2004. Indeed, without an immediate qualitative step forward as the one proposed by the European Convention, the European Union will neither get a chance to meet the current challenges nor be able to initiate further developments".


Altiero Spinelli's lucidity and vision of a democratic, efficient and transparent citizens'Europe must inspire all parliaments and governments, which have the political will to realize the federal aim as envisaged since the origin of European integration. Therefore the UEF invites the European Parliament to follow its vocation and to take, in a coordinated action together with the national parliaments, all necessary initiatives so that the current constitutional process leads to the approval of the Convention draft before the European elections.


" Governements must look ahead to the future of Europe, instead of going back to intergovernmental practices of the past which are not democratic and would also condemn Europe to the incapacity to act. The political Europe should not go backwards ", declared UEF President, Jo LEINEN, MEP.

Call to the national governments and parliaments and the European Palriament: European Constitution now! Adoption without veto!

Read the Appeal in German, adapted by Europa-Union Deutschland (PDF).

The Union of European Federalists deeply regrets the failure of the Brussels IGC summit in December 2003. The draft Constitutional Treaty adopted by consensus by the European Convention, a legitimate body representing not only the governments but also the parliaments of Europe, is a balanced compromise which would mean an important step towards a more democratic, effective and transparent European Union.

The outcome of the Brussels summit clearly demonstrated once more the failure of the intergovernmental method. If the principle of national veto is maintained, a relaunch of the intergovernmental negotiations will not yield any results in 2004.

The UEF therefore calls:

1. on the national parliaments to endorse the Constitution drafted by the Convention - in a coordinated action together with the European Parliament - no later than the beginning of May 2004;

2. on the Heads of state and government to approve the draft Constitution without any substantial amendments at an extraordinary summit before the European elections.

If some national governments are not ready to sign the draft Constitution those governments that are willing to go ahead should do so without delay. No veto of a single government should prevent the others to do what is urgently needed to enable the enlarged European Union to face the challenges of the future. If there is no agreement on the Constitution before the EP elections the constitutional idea will be threatened, risking the disintegration of the Union.

Furthermore the UEF calls on those national parliaments and governments willing to endorse the draft Constitution and the European Parliament to agree also on

- a ratification clause based on the majority principle providing that the European Constitution should enter into force as soon as a large majority of the member states have ratified it;

- a revision clause including an agenda and a mandate to a new Convention - to be convened no later than 2008 - in order to complete its constituent work and approve further improvements of the Constitution.

(Adopted by the UEF Bureau meeting in Berlin on 7-8 February 2004)