Chers Amis du Traité de Lisbonne,
Ce 13 Septembre 2023 à Strasbourg vient de s’ouvrir une étape peut-être déterminante dans l’évolution de l’UE : l’ouverture officielle d’un nouveau processus constituant européen.
En effet, la Commission des Affaires Constitutionnelles du Parlement Européen (AFCO) vient de rendre public un Projet complet de révision des Traités sur l’Union et sur le Fonctionnement de l’Union (TUE et TFUE) :
Il ne s’agit pas d’une « étude » ou d’un simple « rapport » - mais d’un véritable projet législatif qui va suivre un processus bien balisé : vote en Commission AFCO (Octobre), vote en pleinière (Novembre), transmission au Conseil (Décembre), transmission au Conseil européen (Décembre).
Nous avons régulièrement informé les Amis du Traité de Lisbonne du débat et des phases préparatoires de ce Projet :
Il est à présent devenu une réalité concrète sous la forme d’une série systématique de 267 amendements aux 55 articles du TUE et aux 358 articles du TFUE !
Pour l’information immédiate des Amis, nous joignons ci-dessous la lettre d’un des initiateurs du projet, le Député vert Allemand Daniel Freund.
Et nous reviendrons rapidement avec des analyses détaillées du Projet.
19 - 09 - 2023
Last Wednesday, European history was written in Strasbourg. Together with MEPs from the five largest pro-European political groups, we presented a reform roadmap for the European Union. For the first time ever the European Parliament is triggering changes to the EU Treaties. We want: more democracy, more citizen participation, more European security and less blackmailing by autocrats. This report is the result of four years of hard political work. Without strong Green backing, without a strong European civil society, without a new form of European citizen participation, without you, it would never have come this far. In 2019, we promised in the election campaign "Come, let's build the new Europe!" We are now a good deal closer to that!
EU citizens sparking change The last EU reform was 15 years ago. However, with the Treaty of Lisbon major design flaws could not be remedied. First and foremost: the principle of unanimity. Yes, Europe has mastered a number of crises in the past 15 years. But Europe's answers were often too little, too late and/or bypassed the European Parliament. The negotiations on sanctions against Putin have shown how shamelessly Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orbán uses his veto to weaken sanctions against Putin's henchmen, to extort EU funds, to paralyze European foreign policy. The unanimity principle is a security risk for Europe.
Heart of EU renewal But how do you get things moving in a Europe whose integration is stuck halfway in so many areas? We looked at how others were doing it. The Irish have shown with citizens' councils and referendums that citizens have made the breakthrough on abortion rights and marriage for all, where parliament and government have been stuck for many years. So, we decided to bring this idea to Europe. As a member of the steering committee of the Conference on the Future of Europe, I was able to make the idea a reality. The Citizens' Councils have become the heart of the EU reform process during the Conference. I was impressed to attend these panels in Strasbourg, where 800 randomly selected citizens discussed and argued. In the end they presented more than 200 very concrete policy proposals for a new Europe.
Pro-Europeans United These citizens' proposals were the central document for our work in the European Parliament. We forged an alliance with conservatives, social democrats, liberals and leftists and turned the citizens' demands into concrete EU treaty changes. It was always important to me in the negotiations to keep the pro-Europeans together. Because only with a united European Parliament can we develop the necessary pressure. Now, we need to convince a majority among the governments of EU member states. Because we want to start an EU Convention. To this end, we have now presented 140 pages of concrete amendments for Europe's future. 140 pages which reflect our fight for a more democratic, a more robust Europe.
More democracy, more security, more Europe: the core elements Majorities decide instead of vetoes: National vetoes in the Council should be almost completely abolished, including on taxes, the EU budget and foreign policy. A strong Parliament at the heart of European democracy: Parliament would have equal rights with the Council in deciding the budget. Parliament would be able to propose laws. A stronger link between the European election and the EU-Commission: the Commission would be more strongly elected by the Parliament and thus by the voters, and would in future be called the "Government". The President would be proposed by the Parliament and confirmed by the Council. Instead of 27 commissioners (proposed by the member states), 14 would be proposed by the president to the parliament. Defending Europe's values: Sanctions against governments that violate fundamental EU values will be made easier. The European Court of Justice should decide whether fundamental values are violated, and the Council should then be able to impose sanctions by majority vote. A strong Europe, when necessary: As a consequence of the Corona crisis, health will be a shared EU competence. The EU may also set minimum standards in education. Discrimination can be more easily prohibited by law. All new EU laws are subject to a climate neutrality clause. What happens now and what you can do The Constitutional Affairs Committee (AFCO) will vote on the draft report on October 19. The plenary in November. However, to get closer to our dream of a Federal Republic of Europe, there is still a lot of political work ahead. To actually start an EU Convention, we need a simple majority among the governments of the EU member states, 14 out of 27. But we have not yet achieved that. That's why we need courageous, strong governments to lead the way right now. Exactly today, a Franco-German expert group is presenting very helpful proposals, which you can find HERE.
Every support helps us! Please make clear in your communities and member states that the EU reform can no longer be put on the back burner. Who knows who will be in the White House next year? Who knows when the next big crisis will come? We should make Europe more democratic and resilient NOW and also implement the recommendations of the citizens* from the Future Conference. Thank you! Daniel
The complete draft report of the MEPs in English: https://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/AFCO-PR-746741_EN.pdf The Franco-German expert paper in English: https://www.politico.eu/wp-content/uploads/2023/09/19/Paper-EU-reform.pdf