Campaigning in favour of the European Constitution

Resolution adopted by UEF Federal Committee meeting in Brussels, November 20-21, 2004

The Union of European Federalists,

A. Assessment of the Constitution adopted by the Heads of States and Governments

1.   Welcomes that the Heads of States and Governments of the 25 member states have come to an agreement on the European Constitution at their summit in June 2004;

2.   Underlines  that the adoption of this Constitution  is an act of great political importance and a symbol towards the political unity of Europe;

3.   Is of the opinion that the Constitution represents a considerable progress when compared to the Nice Treaty and that the European Convention made a very decisive contribution to the Constitutional process;

4.   Regrets, however, that the final text of the Constitution  adopted by the Heads of States and Governments falls a long way behind the Convention's draft Constitution;

5.   Welcomes in particular the following achievements of the Constitution;

a. the incorporation  of the Charter  of Fundamental  Rights thus making it legally binding,

b. the clarification  of the values, principles  and objectives  that form the common ground for the Europeans,

c. the simplification of the legal and political foundations of the EU construction as well as the clarification of the competences of the EU,

d. the strengthening of the democratic legitimacy of the EU by giving the European Parliament  the  right  to  elect  the  Commission  President  and  the  co-decision- power in most of EU legislation,

e. the popular initiative system as a way to involve citizens in EU decision making, f.    the  creation   of  the  post  of  a  European   Foreign  Minster  and  a  European diplomatic service,

g. new mechanisms for common activities in the field of security and defence, h.   considerable progress on justice and home affairs.

6. Nevertheless  criticizes  that  the  Constitution  falls  short  of  what  is  needed  in  many respects, mainly

a. by  not  abolishing  the  unanimity  rule  in  many  important  fields  where  more effective decision making and thus majority voting would have been necessary, in particular  in foreign,  security  and  defence  policy  and  for the multi-annual financial framework;

b. and by not introducing  a procedure  what makes the entering  into force of the Constitution  possible  when all but one or two member  states have ratified  the text;

c. by foreseeing  a revision  procedure  which  does  not  allow  the  Constitution  to evolve in a flexible and efficient way.

B. Ratification of the constitutional Treaty

7. Insists on the need to make known this important move forward to the European citizens and to the parliaments of the member states, with a view to the national ratifications and especially the referenda to be held in several member states;

8. Invites the European Parliament to give its assent on the Constitution as early as possible to give an orientation to national ratification procedures;

9. Invites the European Parliament and the national parliaments to convene a "Congress of the parliaments of the EU" to help to ensure that the Constitution enters into force;

10. Asks  the  member  states  to  coordinate  the  dates  of  the  national  ratifications  by  the parliaments   and  the  peoples  of  the  member  states,  for  example  by  holding  joint parliamentary sessions or by holding some of the national referenda in the same period of time in order to stimulate a genuine trans-national debate;

11. Asks   the   European   Commission   and   especially   its   incoming   Vice-President   for Communication  Margot  Wallström  to develop  a European-wide  information  campaign about the achievements of the Constitution.

C. Federalists involvement in the ratification process

12. Commits   itself  to  actively   take  part  in  the  campaign   for  the  ratification   of  the Constitution  together  with the International  European  Movement,  the Young European Federalists    and   any   other   European-wide    organisation    such   as   ngos,   business organisations and trade unions, European political parties;

13. Calls upon the activists of the UEF constituent  organisations  to form together with the national organisations of the European Movement and JEF a broad coalition with elected representatives  on  local,  regional  and  national  levels  and  civil  society  organisations, including political parties, to promote the achievements of the Constitution;

D. Revision of the Constitution and transformation of the EU into a European Federation

14. Calls upon the European Parliament and Heads of State and Government of the member states to

a. create  a  framework  for  a  democratic  and  transparent  public  debate  on  the Constitution;

b. commit to convening a Constitutional Convention as soon as the European Constitution enters into force in 2007 or 2008 to revise the text and adopt further reforms to strengthen the democratic legitimacy the Union and the effectiveness of its instruments;

c. agree that future amendments to the Constitution should be adopted by qualified majority voting rather than by unanimity;

15. Calls upon the Federalist Intergroup in the European Parliament, the existing Intergroups in the national parliaments  and the new Intergroups to be founded by Federalists in the national parliaments in the course of the ratification debate to pass political resolutions in favour of the revision of the Constitution by a new Convention;

16. Repeats its demand that if only one or two member states are unable to ratify the text, the other member states should proceed nevertheless with the entering into force of the Constitution.