Tribune. Faced with geostrategic challenges, environmental issues and discrepancies on values, the requirement for unanimity between the 27 members of the European Union (EU) has become sterilizing. To move forward, let’s dare a federal hard core. The conference on the future of Europe, which will draw its conclusions in spring 2022, should take up this theme.
Political, economic and social sovereignty is now sedimented on a continental scale. A medium-sized nation is fragile and barely audible at the global level. None of the 27 Member States of the European Union (EU) is able to master, alone, the gigantic challenges of the 21st centurye century. Moreover, it is by uniting within a federation that Europeans will be able to defend their humanist principles and their ways of life.
Unfortunately, the 27 states are not all ready for this federal impetus: too many differences, too many divergent expectations. Allowing some to go faster and further requires a multi-speed Europe. The first circle – the hard core – would then form a federation, which implies the adherence of the states concerned to a common constitution. Treaties, based on the acquis communautaire, would specify the objectives and the means of the other circles. Any member state would naturally have a vocation to join the inner circle.
Europe has several circles!
A federation defines two levels of sovereignty. Each federated state has its own institutions and political space. He adheres to shared values. The federal level, with its parliament and its government, levies taxes, takes care of foreign affairs, immigration and defense. The federal administration defines common strategies and policies. It coordinates and welds the whole.
By establishing peace, a market and a single currency, Europe has already made huge strides. In addition, the EU has shown responsiveness and solidarity in the face of the health crisis, in particular with the € 750 billion plan. But it is still in the middle of the ford, and must be completed. Only a political, and therefore federal, Europe will be able to deploy all its strength and dynamism in the service of its citizens and its member states.
However, the European treaties in force are not drawn up to facilitate a qualitative leap in this direction. On the contrary, the requirement of unanimity between the members (the veto) obliges them to progress at the same pace in sovereign areas, the euro being an exception. To get out of this impasse where states have different aspirations and where the veto is stifling, only one solution exists: Europe with several circles!
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“It is by forming a unit within a federation that Europeans will be able to defend their humanist principles and their ways of life”