Extract of comments by mr. Robert Verschooten

I finished reading your European federalist papers 0 to 12. I found it a well balanced and a clear intellectual piece of work. Still unfinished, as I understand.

Last year a number of remarkable papers dealing with federalism and or the future of Europe were published. I strongly believe a serious and common effort should be undertaken to summarize and distribute this summary in federalist circles all over Europe. Such a broad (and incomplete resp. tentative) summary can become a starting point for the tentative formulation of a common strategy to all - or at least a majority of - European federalists. This tentative formulation shall signal all options. As you do in your papers. A conscious choice among the innumerable options is a must in order to clarify the position of the European federalists and create a movement of thought liberated from hesitation and improvisation. Quite a programme...

You asked for comments. I have some. Not meant as any form of criticism, on the contrary. These ideas and suggestions are not mandatory, but reflect some - incomplete - reflections coming from a European federalist. Following list of questions is obviously incomplete, but are a fall-out of a spontaneous reaction. A direct formulation of the core ideas is, I believe, the most concise way to convey the message.

  1. Delors (as well as Barroso) was quoted as recommending a federation of nations. Which I understand equals an improved form of confederalism.  As opposed to the UEF/JEF, and Verhofstadt or Cohn-Bendit etc. who promote a federation of people. This distinction is of paramount importance.  
  2. The transition of intergovernmentalism towards a fully fledged federalism was broad up. In this respect I believe further elaboration of the concept of pre-federalism can be useful (I revert to my paper called 'Raising the profile of UEF (2)', to be found on www.europadebat.be, sub publications). What are the breaking points between intergovernmentalism and pre-federalisme, respectively between pre-federalism and federalism? Cohabitation of hybrid forms of governance and institutions create a lot of misconceptions with people.