Frequently asked questions about the European Federalist Papers

European Federalist Papers © Leo Klinkers & Herbert Tombeur, 2012-2013

1. ABOUT IMPORTANT CONCEPTS

What is a federation?
This is an organization in which the members remain autonomous and sovereign, while ceding a limitative number of powers to a separately functioning body, so that this body can take care of all interests that the members cannot (or no longer) take care of individually. This body for the whole is sovereign with respect to these limitative set of powers but does not possess top-down hierarchical powers. Thus, both levels of governance operate in a sovereign manner. They share sovereignty for the whole and for the members of the organization, for instance the federated member states. This system can only be changed upon the agreement of all governments, of the members and of the whole. See Papers no. 2, 5-8 and 10.

What is an intergovernmental governing system?
It is a system in which member states cooperate on the basis of a treaty and to that end cede powers to a central body. Although this seems to be similar to a Federation, the difference is that in an intergovernmental system member states lose their sovereignty due to the fact that the central body makes compromises between the interests of the different member states while forcing, time and again, in a hierarchical manner, a uniform way of operating: centrally imposed uniformity. Notwithstanding the treaty’s concept of subsidiarity, which should work as a shield against centrally imposed government. See Papers no. 1, 2, 4 and 10.

What is meant by subsidiarity in the EU-context?
This is a rule in the EU-treaties in which it is agreed that it remains with the member states to do themselves what they can do best themselves. However, this principle has never worked properly in the EU-intergovernmental governing system because it has never been clear what powers in which policy domains should be left to the member states to decide upon by themselves. The EU-treaties do not include a definition or a criterion regarding this matter. Thus, this principle provokes a permanent debate on the division of powers between the EU and its member states. Moreover, the European Council (the assembly of national government leaders) can decide top-down whatever they deem appropriate for all member states. Subsequently, the member states have to carry out these decisions, EU-wide. However, due to the fact that these decisions are mostly the fruit of wheeling and dealing by national-driven agendas, they may be profitable for one member state and disadvantageous for another. That is why the intergovernmental system, with its non-functioning principle of subsidiarity, meets with growing resistance. See for our criticism of the principle of subsidiarity in the EU-context Papers no. 2, 11, 16, 20, 21 and 22.

What is meant by the vertical division of powers?
This is the essence of a Federation: the federal body has a limitative set of powers to take care of the common interests of all member states. All other powers remain with the Citizens and the member states. The federal body cannot take any decisions on subjects other than those which have been entrusted to this body by the member states within the limitative list of powers. See Papers no. 14, 16, 21 and 22.

What is the horizontal division of powers?
This is the classic trias politica: the division between the legislative, executive and judicial branches of government. In a Federation this horizontal division of powers can be applied on the federal level, as well as on the level of the member states. See Papers no. 14, 19 and 20-22.

What are checks and balances?
Even when the horizontal division of powers – the trias politica – is executed properly, the three branches of government may encroach on each other’s domain. To prevent one from becoming dominant, the Constitution needs built-in checks and balances: they maintain an equilibrium between the three branches. See Papers no. 14, 16, 17 and 21-24.

What is European integration?
With this we mean a type of assimilation of member states, originally only intended to cover economic matters. However, over the years the EU has usurped more and more policy fields, due to the lack of a clear division of powers between the EU itself and its member states. Thus, the term ‘integration’ implies that member states have to look more and more alike because they have to adopt the same policies and the same rules. See Papers no. 4-6.

What is wrong with European integration?
As such ‘integration’ is a sympathetic word. However, it is necessary to use this term in the correct context. It is wrong to use it in the sense of the integration of member states themselves. That is similar to assimilation, losing one’s identity. States and citizens are not in favor of this. The concept of ‘integration’ is only wise at the level of the federal body. At that level the limitative set of powers which have been ceded by the member states to the federal body, are executed in an integrated manner. Thus, in a Federation the member states themselves do not integrate, only the powers of the federal body do. 

What is the Kompetenz Katalog?
This is the list of limitative powers ceded by member states to a federal body in order to use these powers, and no other powers, to take care of the common interests of member states which can no longer be performed by them individually. For instance, to have a European defense, a European foreign policy, a European energy and environment policy etc. The federal state of Germany has many times insisted on accepting such a Kompetenz Katalog in the EU, whereas other member states have always rejected this. In essence, the application of such a Katalog is the same as creating a Federation. See Papers no. 4, 10, 15 and 20-22.

What is the difference between a Federation and an intergovernmental governing system?
In a Federation the members retain their sovereignty. They do not lose anything, but rather gain something instead: no worries about interests that they themselves can no longer take care of individually. In order to look after these interests, the sovereign members of a Federation create an equally sovereign body. To that end, they establish a Kompetenz Katalog, a limitative set of powers to be executed on behalf of them by this – equally sovereign – body. Meanwhile Germany remains Germany, Spain remains Spain, Romania remains Romania etc. Within an intergovernmental system member states gradually lose both their sovereignty and their identity: they have to dissolve, due to the necessary integration. And this is not what they want. That is why we find growing resistance among many member states and citizens against the European Union. EU-intergovernmentalism is feeding Euro-skepticism.

 

2. ABOUT FEDERALISATION

Is a Federation only intended for states?
No. A Federation is a type of organization that may be applied both in the private and in the public sphere. The FIFA – the World Football Association – is an example of a private federal organization. The Association of Owners in an apartment building is also a Federation: the board of that association possesses limitative powers to take care of common interests, such as maintenance of the roof, elevators and staircases. To this end the apartment owners pay a monthly contribution. In a Federation this is called tax. A cooperation – well-known in agricultural and banking circles – also has a federal structure. See Paper no. 7.

Why do people create a Federation?
Because they wish to remain sovereign but prefer to have certain matters taken care of by a communal body. The impetus can thus come from the outside (threats) as well as from the inside (interests). And they are willing to pay for that: they gather financial means to pay someone else to efficiently take care of common interests – in the private sphere through financial contributions, in the public sphere through taxes. See Papers no. 9, 10, 12, 14 and 20.

What does a country lose when joining a Federation?
Nothing. It actually receives something extra, namely the certainty that those interests that cannot be efficiently taken care of (any longer) by the country itself will be taken care of by another body.

How does one create a Federation?
A private federation is established by a contract or covenant, or a different similar kind of agreement. A public federation is mostly based on a Constitution, not a treaty. Usually states use a treaty as the instrument to establish a confederation or an intergovernmental system. See Papers no. 2, 4, 5 and 7.

Do many people know what a Federation actually is?
No. Due to false information by Euro-skeptics and Euro-haters many people think that a Federation is a super state or an empire, which is absolutely not the case; on the contrary. The EU’s present intergovernmental system – in which government leaders in the European Council can decide whatever they wish and subsequently can enforce these decisions to be executed in all member states – is a super state.

Do several kinds of Federations exist?
Yes. The best thing to do is to read Paper no. 5.

Are some Federations better than others?
Yes. Sometimes Federations are created incorrectly, both constitutionally and institutionally. Which leads to an early death or to a deficient functioning. See for examples Papers no. 18 and 19.

Do all federalists share the same opinions about federalization?
No. Unfortunately there is not one prevailing doctrine with regard to federalization. That is to say, we think that in our European Federalist Papers we have tried in an honest manner to establish fixed contours for European federalization, based on old and new wisdoms. However, there are of course people with differing opinions – though they may not have had the time to study our Papers thoroughly.

What other opinions can we encounter?
There is a group of people, led by President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso, who speak about a Federation of Nations. That is the same as talking about a ‘pregnant man’: two words that cannot be used in the same context – or a contradiction in terminis, such as a ’Constitutional Treaty’. One can only speak of a ‘Federation of Citizens’ because – whatever book on federalism one consults – the Citizens are the foundation of a Federation, not the States. Besides, there are differing opinions regarding the method of creating a European Federation. Federalists in the European Parliament want to do this by changing the existing EU-treaties. We reject this because it has been tried many times before and has always failed. And it will continue to fail in the future. See our Papers no. 11 and 12. We choose as a method for federalization the successful approach adopted by the founding fathers of the American Constitution. Thus, through organizing a federal Convention. This Convention should lead to a federal Constitution to be ratified by a majority of the Citizens of at least nine countries of the Eurozone.

For how long has Europe been busy with the creation of a Federation, and why has this not succeeded up until now?
Already for 700 years has the necessity of having a federal Europe been discussed; it began in the realm of the Habsburgs. In our modern history the 1941 Ventotene Manifest by Altiero Spinelli and Ernesto Rossi could be considered the first well-formulated concept for European federation. Thereafter, European cooperation began with the Schuman Plan or Declaration of 1950. However, the intended federalization has never been achieved because this Schuman Plan contains a severe systemic error which has been propagated throughout all following EU-treaties. We explain this error in Papers no. 11 and 12.

Don’t you need one homogeneous people and one homogeneous language in order to create a Federation?
No, this is a popular misconception which has been spread around without any foundation. Even in the USA not everyone spoke or speaks English. Millions of immigrants continue to speak their native language. Moreover, the difference between citizens of Vermont and Texas are as large, or maybe larger, than the differences between inhabitants of Finland and Greece. And did you know that federal Switzerland acknowledges four different government languages as official languages? And that federal India acknowledges no less than 22 languages? The EU acknowledges 23 languages. See Papers no. 15 and 20.

What makes a Federation stronger than any other state system?
The answer to this question will be clear if you look at Federations such as Canada, the United States of America, Brazil, Australia, India, Austria, Switzerland and Germany. These are very strong countries. Within Europe you may look at the difference between federal Germany and centralized France: despite the economic crisis Germany still has economic growth – France not at all. This is not a flaw of President François Hollande, but of the centralized governing system. If you like to know more you should read Paragraph 1.5 of the Annual Report 2012 by The Netherlands Bank. This explains why the federal American system could cope faster and more effectively with the banking and economic crisis. What is more: since 1787 there has been only one interior war in America. How many wars did we have in Europe since 1787? See Papers no. 15-17, 20 and 21.

Can the Benelux play a role with regard to European federalization?
Yes. The Benelux has been the initiator of European cooperation, even prior to World War II. Also at present we see that the Benelux is able to play an important role in making the turnaround towards a real European Federation. See Paper no. 13.

How does a country become member of a Federation?
In two ways: either immediately at the moment of ratifying the Constitution (from that moment on there are no conditions to meet other than to comply with the rules of the Constitution), or one can join at a later stage. In that case the Constitution requires a heavy decision-making procedure. Not only the Citizens and Parliament of the joining country need to agree upon that, also the Citizens and Parliaments of the other member states, as well as the two Houses of the federal Parliament. See Papers no. 5-8, 21 and 24.

Is it possible for a member state to leave the Federation unilaterally?
No, not unilaterally. Here the same procedure applies as in the case of joining after the Constitution’s ratification: everyone needs to agree for a member state to leave the Federation (Paper no. 24). This subject has been the cause of the one and only American internal war, from 1861-1865: about ten states unilaterally left the Federation because they feared that Abraham Lincoln, as soon as he was to take office as the new President, would abolish slavery. He declared war on them, exclusively because of their leaving the Federation. That was a breach of the Constitution, which he wanted to uphold. Not because of slavery. Only in 1863 did he manage to push through Congress a law on the abolishment of slavery.

What is the part of the federal budget in the GNP?
In the USA this is 24%, in the European Union this is hardly 1%. This is one of the reasons why the EU has so much trouble absorbing the debts of its member states. Again and again debt-free or low-debt member states need to achieve a mutual agreement on the way in which they will help member states with a heavy debt-burden. This is splitting up the EU; see Papers no. 1-5 and 21-22.

Do taxes of member states remain the same when introducing a federal tax?
No, of course not. When introducing a federal tax, the taxes of member states will be lowered or abolished. Citizens should profit from federalization, not lose from it. It is a constitutional matter and a matter of policy choices which taxes become federal and which remain with the member states and their component parts. See Paper no. 22.

Will there be a better balance between income and expense if we would have a federal tax?
Yes. Let’s see an example in the field of defense-expenses. The USA spends twice as much on defense as the EU-countries. But they have a more balanced ratio between investments (25%), personnel (50%) and exploitation (25%). Belgium, Italy and Greece spend more than 70% of their budget on personnel. This implies few investments. Moreover, there is a lot of fragmentation. There are more than twenty different combat vehicles in Europe and decisions on defense are taken on the basis of national interests, without looking at surpluses or shortages within the NATO and the EU. The EU can only make operational 70.000 troops out of almost two million European troops. That kind of financial imbalance will disappear within a Federation. See Papers no. 21 and 22.

 

3. ABOUT THE TREATY OF LISBON

Why is it not possible to create a European Federation by changing the Treaty of Lisbon?
This is not possible because that Treaty is filled with systemic errors. These errors destroy the system from within. Each attempt to repair that error only increases the problem. This error originated in the first official document that attempted to create European togetherness: the Schuman Plan of 1950. The fault was/is: wanting to create a Federation by a) a Treaty, b) ratified by Nation States. From that moment on the ‘Europe to be united’ was governed top-down, hierarchically by Government leaders. Instead, it should have been a) a Constitution, b) ratified by Citizens, because by definition a Federation possesses a bottom-up character through its democratic basis. Since this systemic error has been transferred to all following adaptations of European Treaties, even in the attempt at creating a European Constitution in 2003, any new change of the Treaties will host the same error and will disable the creation of a Federation. Moreover, any adaptation will even deteriorate the destructive character of the intergovernmental system – and therefore accelerate the resistance of more Citizens and States against the EU. For a further explanation see Papers no. 11 and 12. 

What is really so bad about the Treaty of Lisbon?
The Treaty of Lisbon is the worst legal document ever written in the history of Europe. The nucleus of legislating doctrine is to only make generally binding rules. And these rules have to be clear. However, the Treaty of Lisbon – consisting of two sub-treaties with over 400 articles – is ambiguous and towards the end comprises dozens of Protocols indicating how these articles should be applied, then followed by dozens of exceptions to these articles. This is the worst thing one can do in the field of law making: writing exceptions to general rules. This is why, with respect to the Treaty of Lisbon, the old proverb is applicable: the more rules, the more fools. See Papers no. 1-5, 14 and 21-24.

Why would it be possible to federalize Europe since this has failed as from 1950, while the number of Euro skeptics and Euro haters increases?
Yes, the paradigm shift is possible. Due to the crisis there is a real possibility to turn around, not only the financial system but the whole EU-system. It suffices to understand what federalism is. Federalism, giving priority to the Citizens instead of the States. Skepticism and resistance against the EU could grow and increase by the intergovernmental system that is operating centralistic and top-down.

 

4. ABOUT THE FEDERAL CONSTITUTION (Papers no. 21-24)

Why do you choose an American Constitution for Europe?
We do not choose an American Constitution for Europe. It is a European Constitution, based on the constitutional wisdom of European philosophers and political theorists. It is the merit of the Americans at the end of the 18th century that they recognized the values of the writings of European philosophers and that they were the first in the history of mankind to transform these wisdoms into a practical Constitution. We Europeans were blind to this, all that time. And that is why we have paid such a high price in terms of a never-ending array of wars in Europe.

What does your Constitution have which makes it a strong and applicable foundation for a European Federation?
Our Constitution contains only universal principles of democracy and federalism. In only ten articles. Its compactness makes it suitable for any assembly of countries wishing to cooperate federally without losing their sovereignty and to all improve from it. Just as ‘1 + 1 = 2’ is a formula that can be applied in any country of the world, whatever the language or culture. Everybody understands such a compact, clear and general formulated text. This Constitution is in any case the opposite of the Treaty of Lisbon with its very many appendixes and amendments, which no one can understand and which is even not workable for the technocrats themselves.

What are these universal principles in your federal Constitution?
These are: a) a vertical division of powers (Kompetenz Katalog), b) a horizontal division of powers (trias politica), c) checks and balances (equilibrium between the branches when they need each other), d) dualism (parliament and president have their own democratic mandate), e) bill of rights, f) the federation is of the citizens), g) mutual rights and duties between the states and between the federal body, states and citizens. That is all there is. This has proven to be sufficient to unite 50 states in America. Who dares to say that this would not be applicable to Europe is talking nonsense. The United States of America and other large Federations have proven the contrary, for many decades.

How did you arrive at a Constitution of only ten articles?
The 1787 U.S. Constitution boasts only seven articles; 27 amendments were added to that Constitution. We have incorporated some of these amendments into our Constitution. Furthermore, we have improved the structure of the seven U.S. articles by dividing articles so that they can be better understood. We have also incorporated elements of the Swiss Constitution. That is why our Constitution contains ten articles.

How on earth can ten articles cover the variety of European societies?
Well, they can. Due to the fact that in the Constitution we have confined ourselves to only laying down universal principles, that no country in the world can oppose to. Exactly because of its compactness of only ten articles (the Germans say: “In der Beschränkung zeigt sich erst der Meister” - Goethe) it covers all we care for. The Treaty of Lisbon, on the contrary, with over 400 articles, automatically provokes the need of member states to incorporate a great variety of national-driven details and exceptions. That is why it is an extremely bad legal document that destroys the interests of the European Citizens. A law-student who would write such a document would be expelled from the faculty.

How does your Constitution safeguard democracy?
Through a system of two Chambers: the House of the Citizens and the House of the Senate. The first House will be elected directly by the federal Citizens, qualified to vote, whereby the Federation is one constituency. Thus a German can vote for a Spaniard and the other way around. The Senate is appointed out of and by the Parliaments of the member states of the Federation. The President is also elected by the people. Both Parliament and President have a democratic mandate. That is real dualism, which is not possible within a parliamentary democracy, where the legislative power formally possesses the ultimate power, but in the actual practice of all European countries, walks on the leash of the executive power. See Papers no. 17 and 22.

Why would a German vote for a Spaniard? How does he know that this would be a good choice?
He does not need to know that. Elections have to take place through transnational or trans-European political parties. Voters cast a vote on the candidate of their favorite political party. Thus, it is a list-system. It is the responsibility of the political parties to include federation-wide adequate candidates in the list. By offering voters the best options to choose the right candidate. For instance by also listing the candidates in a woman-man-woman-man ratio. Thus 50-50% gender equality. See Paper no. 22.

Notwithstanding their federal Constitution, the Americans are stuck with the fiscal cliff?
Yes, they are, but in our Constitution this cannot happen. We have improved upon the American version, among others by giving the President the power to organize a binding referendum to solve an impasse when politicians abuse the system of checks and balances by practicing non-decision-making.

Thus, you establish a direct democracy?
Yes. Mid-19th century the Swiss designed their own federal Constitution, based on the American Constitution. In that document they incorporated elements of a direct democracy. We have added the best aspects of these to our Constitution. See Papers no. 23 and 24.

What do member states of a Federation have to adjust in their own country?
Nothing. They remain how they are and they keep what they have: their own parliament, government, judicial system etc. The only thing they do is transfer some well-defined matters that they can no longer efficiently take care of themselves – due to globalization – to another body, so that they do not have to concern themselves with these matters anymore.

 

5. ABOUT ORGANIZING A FEDERAL CONVENTION

Why do you intend to organize a federal Convention in 2013, such as the Convention of Philadelphia in 1787?
We will have elections for the European Parliament at the end of May 2014. In the last year many EU-politicians – including the President of the European Commission – have come forward with the statement that there should be a federal Europe. Apparently, EU-politicians have begun uttering these words due to the series of crises in Europe. Well, the time is right to have a Convention by Citizens, to design a draft federal Constitution and to present it to all European Citizens in the context of a referendum.

Do other federalists agree with this?
No. Leading federalists show at this moment (May 2013) two opinions deviating from ours. They want to organize such a federal Convention in 2015, thus following the 2014-elections. This implies that these elections will once again be national(istic)-driven, as has been the case with previous elections. Even while Europe is in a severe crisis, not only financially, but also institutionally: member states are increasingly taking hostile positions against one another due to the absence of a European agenda; there are only national agendas. It is not clear to us why they want to delay a Convention since everyone can see that the media and public opinion claim that we cannot go further this way in Europe. Thus we plead to have this Convention now, prior to the 2014-elections. And the same people want to federalize through changing (once again) the EU-treaties. However, we have already explained that due to the extreme severe systemic errors no adaptation of the treaties can ever deliver a Federation, but rather a disaster.

Why do you want a federal Convention with leaders of civil society-organizations and no representatives of EU-institutions or of member states?
A Federation is of and for the Citizens. The disaster occurring when you allow representatives of the EU and of nation states to discuss and decide about European federalization has become sufficiently clear following the failed Convention by Valéry Giscard Estaign in 2002-2003. See Paper no. 25.

Who are represented by these civil society-organizations?
It appears that in each EU-country there exist dozens of organizations which in one way or another plead for European togetherness, unity, cooperation. Organizations of elderly as well as of young people; contemplative, cultural, political and activist groups; established and recently created organizations. Together they represent millions of European citizens who are very much – according to the Euro-barometer – in favor of Europe but not per se in favor of the present EU. Some organizations operate as an umbrella covering many other organizations. Since a Federation has to be established by the Citizens themselves we select citizens-organizations as participants in the Convention. Representatives of EU-institutes and EU-member states will be invited as Observers, not as decision-makers.

Why is participation in the federal Convention confined to 55 delegates? The population of Europe is much larger than that of the American people in 1787.
First of all we wish to limit the number of delegates to 55 as a tribute to the 55 delegates of the Convention of Philadelphia. They were the ones to establish the American Federation which at first brought together 13 states and ultimately 50 states. We are able to do the same in Europe. Second, because it is nonsense to assume that a greater number of Europeans would require a larger number of delegates. It all comes down to the quality of the draft federal Constitution and the quality of the delegates of these civil organizations.

 

6. ABOUT A REFERENDUM REGARDING THE FEDERAL CONSTITUTION

How can you organize a European-wide referendum about the draft federal Constitution as the product of the federal Convention?
Professionals are able to do this, and the technical instruments are available.

How do you prevent fraud in an electronic referendum?
Google ‘Fraternité 2020’. Fill out your vote and you will see the answer.

What will happen if the referendum reveals a majority in favor of a Federation? Will the European Parliament, European Commission and European Council be sent away?
There are three options: 1) we will gain a majority in nine countries of the Eurozone, 2) we will not gain a majority in nine countries; 3) we will gain a majority in even more than nine countries of the Eurozone, maybe even EU-wide. When the first case happens, everything stops; we did not make it. In the second case we create a Federation of nine or more countries of the Eurozone. These states leave the EU individually and join the EU again as a Federation. In the third case, if all EU-states want to become member of the Federation, we create a transition plan to transfer the whole EU into a Federation.

Do you really think that the people of Europe would vote for a European Federation?
Yes. Because this Federation is in our opinion the other Europe that Citizens have been aspiring to, for many years. We are convinced that a Federation will be the proper boost to the European continent that is needed now.

From where do the Citizens of Europe gain the right to vote for this?
From the explanation by James Madison regarding the First Amendment on the American Constitution in 1789: "All power is originally vested in, and consequently derived from, the people... The people have an unalienable right to reform or change their government, whenever it be inadequate to the purposes of its institution.” Herewith Madison summarizes in two sentences what has been written since Aristotle until Montesquieu regarding the primary political right of Citizens: to reform or to abolish their government whenever that the government is operating badly.

How many votes do you need to establish a Federation?
We only need the majority of Citizens of nine countries of the Eurozone.

When will we have a Federation?
That there will be a Federation is clear. When? That depends on the result of the referendum.

 

7. ABOUT THE AUTHORS OF THE EUROPEAN FEDERALIST PAPERS

Why did you write these European Federalist Papers?
To correct the mistake made by Jean Monnet and Robert Schuman in 1950. Rather than creating a Federation out of and by the Citizens they opted for a Federation of Nation States, in which the government leaders, with their nation-driven agendas, became dominant. Monnet and Schuman should have endured, together with Spinelli, the same thinking and acting process as has been followed by the founding fathers in America: a federal Convention which transformed the wisdoms of European philosophers into a federal Constitution. If they had done so, they would not have chosen the wrong method in 1950 to try and establish a Federation through a Treaty by nation states. Once again: in 1950 it surely was their aim to create a Federation but due to that systemic error it never happened, and it will never happen in the future. It has even been a taboo, year after year, to talk about federalization. When members of the European Commission finally began to pronounce the F-word in the course of 2012, due to the banking and economic crisis, we found that the time was right to do what Monnet, Schuman and Spinelli in 1950 unfortunately had not done and what was criticized by Robert Levine in the New York Times in 1999: ‘Europe needs its own version of the Federalist Papers’. See the Introduction on our Papers on the Homepage of our website www.europeanfederalistpapers.eu.

What is your legitimization to write these papers? You are not named Jefferson, Madison, Hamilton and Jay.
That is correct, we have different names. Our European Federalist Papers are based on more than ten years of study and nine months of writing. Furthermore, on forty years of knowledge and experience, supported by the application of standards and principles of the science of public administration, constitutional law, philosophy and political science, accompanied by an elaborated study of literature in the field. You may decide if this serves as sufficient legitimization to write these Papers.

Are you politicians, scientists or public administration consultants?
We are not politicians. Nor do we owe something to any political party. You can place us between science and public administration consultancy. We explain why a Federation is needed, what should happen to create it and how to do so. That is consulting. However, we apply our knowledge and experience (which is science) and we support our points of view with figures, facts and rational arguments (that is science too). In the history of Europe, Papers like these have not yet been written. But they can be improved upon indeed, if the people who know better comply with the academic requirement to refute our points of view – on paper, so that it can be verified – with better figures, facts and arguments.

Why are the Papers only in Dutch and English?
We do not have money for other translations. However, sympathizers have taken the initiative to create groups of volunteers to translate the Papers into other languages (situation May 2013): Swedish, Lithuanian, Romanian, Spanish and Czech. We hope that others will follow.

Are there more remarkable federalist groups?
There is a large interest in federalization. On a global level, as well as among hundreds of groups in Europe. Too many to list. Some groups, however, should not remain unmentioned here: the Union of European Federalists, the Spinelli Forum/Group, the JEF-groups and the European Federal Party. At the global level we would like to mention the World Federalist Movement and the World Constitution & Parliament Association.