Federalism, the concept, and Federations, the practice

The question ‘what kind of federal model’ to adopt for Europe refers to a workable and working federation. It is the second issue to be addressed. The first issue to tackle is whether federalism as such is an acceptable organization model for the European citizens. Both issues, adopting federalism and building a federation, should be handled separately and in that order.

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EU Commission: navigator on a sinking ship

No business as usual for the EU-Commission. It proposes ambitious plans, but they are turned down or hardly approved, if so barely implemented. Why? The EU is not capable to define common European interests. What is the problem? The deciding powers lie within policy institutions, which are not organised on the European level, namely the European Council and the Councils of Ministers. These institutions are composed of national politicians. They struggle for their respective state interests. In this way, the intergovernmental EU destroys itself. A dissolution points at a system failure. How to overcome this decline? By building another ship: replace the EU by a Federation of European citizens, founded on a federal Constitution.

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Why is Europe not yet a federation?

Since a few centuries political philosophers advocate the creation of a European federation. From a formal and legal viewpoint this plea was worded in the well-known Schuman Declaration of May 1950. This Declaration expressed the desirability and necessity of a federal Europe. However, European leaders choose purposely an intergovernmental instrument, i.e. a treaty between Member States. This type of cooperation among Member States is diametrically opposed to the idea of a federal Europe. Ever since, European federalists try in vain to transform the intergovernmental system into a federation.

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EU global strategy: mission impossible

In 2015, the European Council mandated Federica Mogherini, the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, to continue the process of strategic reflection on a global EU strategy by June 2016. She launched a strategic assessment. However, the strategic objective of 'a common, comprehensive and consistent EU global strategy' can never be reached in the present EU-28. Starting from national interests as the intergovernmental EU does, one cannot care for a European common interest. A European Federation is able to fix a common European interest and hence to adopt a common strategy in this globalizing world.

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A federal solution for Europe

The recent agreement for the normalisation of relations between Serbia and Kosovo has confirmed that the European Union (EU) is still acting as a “magnet”, attracting its external neighbours and transforming and integrating them. 

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Premises for a European Federation

The European level shall function democratically since important decisions will not only be taken, they shall be democratically legitimated. No effective and just government is possible without a democratic political system. Federalism is such a bottom up system. It means checks and balances in and between several power centres. Federalism holds sharing of guaranteed power or sovereignty.

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Failing Faith in the European Union

Europeans do not only distrust their own governments, but they are also inherently skeptical of the European Union itself, the Eurobarometer shows.

What is the outlook for the Celtic Tiger's young generation?

The Eurobarometer survey carried out in November 2012 was noteworthy mostly for the darkness mired in its pages. Not only, it found, do Europeans not trust their own governments, but they are inherently distrustful of the European Union itself.
A matter of trust

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