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For a federal Europe: Stand Up for the United States of Europe
Stand Up for the United States of Europe, a recently founded citizen non-partisan movement, proposes the creation of a federation of European countries. Since the launch of the European journey the world has drastically changed. At the time, Europe enjoyed a favorable economic climate, growth driven by technological progress, a competitive industrial sector, an increase in the purchasing power of the middle class, population growth and competition limited to countries from the developed world.
However, since the early 90s, a period characterised by globalisation and the rise of major new emerging countries, the European model of integration has lost its momentum. Moreover, the past trends have now reversed without Europe offering an alternative solution and what we witness instead is: an aging population exasperated by a declining birth rate, a rise in nationalism and extremism, an increasing number of the population living in a state of poverty, crippling red tape, a decrease in the competitiveness of European businesses, increasing deficits, inability to reduce sovereign debt, and an inevitable growing mistrust of the citizens in their leaders
States are part of a bigger story and have experienced many different organisational forms throughout their history. If we do not adapt ourselves to the new worldwide reality, already strained by the impact of the crisis, and if we keep our current frozen structures, we will only intensify the fears and stereotypes, which already characterised the Germans as the rulers or the Greeks as the profiteers.
This grim historical xenophobic regression is fueled by the loss of modern benchmarks and by the creation of increasingly large economic union which has no equivalent political underpinning capable of uniting the people of Europe around a common identity.
Our project should not frighten anybody. We are not recommending that the States as we know them will be dissolved, but rather adapted, arguing in favor of a strong acceleration of transferring powers still executed at the national level such as defense, economy, finance or industry, by a real revolution of mentalities and political habits.
In our world of open markets, Europe cannot hope to restore any of its political influence and economic, financial, social and cultural clout without new and structural reforms being implemented.
To achieve our goal, we propose the following programme:
- The election of a European President through universal suffrage and the formation of a European government.
- The reform of the European Parliament, empowering it to legislate on several essential matters currently controlled by National Parliaments.
- The creation of a second chamber which represents the Member States in order to harmonise the collective interests of the Federation with those of its constituent members.
- The creation of a genuine European identity, founded on a Constitution, a Charter of fundamental values and a deployment of multiple initiatives that allows this identify to gradually become a reality
- A fiscal policy which permits the European government to manage 20% to 25% of Europe’s wealth creation (a proportion similar to that of the United States) as opposed to the minuscule 1% that is managed currently.
We are calling upon all Europeans who share our vision, regardless of their political orientation, all private organisations, businesses, associations, social stakeholders who are receptive to our message, to join us in building the Europe of tomorrow.
A Europe with the ambition to reverse the decline, in which it has become mired far too long and to give new meaning to collective political action.
The time has come now more than ever to defend Europe, less we bequeath the troubled shores of the 20s for those of the 30s. This is the reason that we invite you to support our platform.
Our future and the future of our children are in our hands. If Europe fails, they will be the first victims of… unemployment.
Europe is not our problem. Rather, it is our only solution, our only defense against the demons of the past!
Olivier Boruchowitch (Journalist and Philosopher), Jean-Pierre Buyle* (Lawyer, former batonnier of the bar of Brussels), Yvan de Launoit*(Researcher in experimental oncology), Paul Dujardin* (General Manager and Artistic Director, Palais des Beaux-Arts de Bruxelles), Frédéric Flamand* (Choreographer / Director), Marc Filipson*(Founder, Filigranes libraries), Benjamin Goodman (Student), Paul Grosjean (Independent journalist), Michael Guttman* (Violinist), Joanna Haouzi (Student), Kris Clerckx (Journalist), Joël Kotek (Historian, ULB Professor), Pierre Lallemand* (Architect), Richard Laub (General Manager), Pierre Mertens* (Writer), Marcel Rozencweig* (Oncologist, Medical Affairs Director [Innate Pharma], Professor-Associate New York University), Jan Rubes* (Professor Faculty philosophy and letters and Faculty social, political and economic sciences ULB), Muriel Safi (Lawyer), Maurice Sosnowski* (MD PhD MBA, Head of Department Anesthesiology and RESI, Institut Bordet), Thomas Spitaels*(President of Executive Committee - CEO, TPF Group, Entrepreneur of the year 2012), Philippe Steinfeld (Lawyer), Carine Van Der Plassche (Assistant in Communication), Roland Vaxelaire* (Company director), Jean-Pierre Vergauwe (Lawyer) for Stand Up for the United States of Europe ; also on Facebook
* Members of the support committee Stand Up for the United States of Europe
This is an opinion piece submitted by the authors and does in no way constitute a Bulletin leader. Views expressed are those of the authors alone. A French-language version of this article first appeared in Le Soir on June 11, 2013