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Greater European Integration: The way forward

, by Gioventù Federalista Europea, Junge Europäische Föderalisten - Deutschland, Les Jeunes Européens - France

The Young European Federalists (JEF) are aware that the European Union has to cope with a large number of challenges which are constantly growing. However, the EU is not able to deal with it alone, it needs backing of its Member states. Crises like the recent fiscal one might always occur and weaken the European Integration, calling into question the functioning of its institutions and especially Europe’s Economic and Monetary Union.

To overcome and prevent those situations in the future, the EU has to be reformed concerning its powers and institutions. Furthermore, the EU is in dire need of an efficient public policy to get closer to its citizens and to counteract the European lack of interest in European integration processes.

Therefore, JEF’s national sections in France, Germany and Italy congratulate the cross-party initiative of a declaration between the Italian, French, German and Luxembourgish heads of Parliament chambers and welcome the concept of a “Federal Union of States” acknowledged by these political figures representing the European citizens.

Although the title of the declaration (“Greater European integration: the way forward”) and in general the contents of the document are not strictly federalist, its message is extremely crucial, in particular in relation to the historical moment we are living. While Europe deals with the economic stagnation and the tragedies of immigration in a sort of torpidity, leaving the world beyond its borders burning in its conflicts (and now within its borders), this declaration represents - without any doubts – a hope of redemption for citizens and representatives of European governments in charge. Many European politicians are ignoring the problem or, even worse, are reacting to the systemic crisis by reproducing national attitudes that we hoped had been abandoned during the last European conflict (the fence construction in Hungary or the identifying numbers in Czech Republic are some examples).

The text of the declaration shows the path for a future without this kind of uncivilized behaviours, in favour of the return of the idea of a Europe of peace, rights and democracy. The document reports not only that this aim is difficult to achieve, but also highlights the key problems of the crisis which is afflicting our union. We cannot solve neither the economic nor the refugee and migration crises without reforming the structure of European institutions and the establishment of a federal European policy for economics, foreign affairs and immigration. The federalists, who are too often condemned as a “Cassandra of the European woes”, could have finally found new interlocutors in a favourable historical moment of action.

We support and share the call for signature of the presidents of all the parliamentary assemblies of the EU Member States at the end of this declaration. It is important to include all Member States in the process of further integration and to ensure that this process remains open and inclusive.

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