The future of the EU

On June 19-22, 2003 about 70 young and older participants from 10, both future and current, EU member states participated in the seminar that had been organised by Europe-House Marienberg in cooperation with UEF supranational. About 25 of them were members of the UEF and its constituent organisations, in particular 'Europa-Union Deutschland' and UEF-Czech Republic.

The focus of the seminar was the work of the Convention and the final draft constitution presented by President Giscard d'ESTAING on Friday, 13 June 2003.

The speakers, among them Prof.Dr.BUSSMANN (member of the Council of the Europe-House), Fernand HERMAN (President of UEF-Belgium), Bruno BOISSIERE (Secretary-General of UEF supranational), Dr.Otto SCHMUCK (chair of the working group on the Convention of 'Europa-Union'), Ivo KAPLAN (Secretary-General of UEF-Czech Republic) and Richard LAMING (Secretary-General of the Federal Union / UK) and the participants in the working groups, discussing in detail the new draft, underlined the progress it constituted in comparison with the present Treaties and the Nice Treaties, in particular the strengthening of the EP through its election of the President of the Commission and the extension of co-decision, a clearer hierarchy of competences and the introduction of the possibility of at least 1 Million citizens submitting proposals for legal acts to the Commission.

At the same time it was emphasised that much more needed to be done in the field of the Common Foreign and Security Policy, that there should be no veto right for member states for future changes to the Constitution and that the role of the new President of the European Council should be limited to representative and coordinating functions. Despite these deficits the participants expressed their hope that the Heads of States and Governments would refrain from making changes to the proposed Constitution.

Due to the success of the seminar and the excellent opportunity it constitutes for 'inter-European' discussions between a wide range of participants, it was decided that a similar seminar would take place before the summer holidays in 2004.