The current form of Union is not strong enough to safeguard our interests; it is in our best interest to pool our sovereignty into a stronger, more efficient form of unity.
The European Union is, by most measures, the most successful political project of the twentieth century. The process of European unification brought unprecedented peace and freedom to a continent historically defined by conflict, and extended humanitarian aid and civil protection to the most vulnerable groups in the world.
European unity is the continuation and natural consequence of the European tradition of Enlightenment, and in many ways, Europe remains the primary defender of reason, human rights, and freedom in the world today.
Despite its notable achievements, the European Union’s current form has proven itself vulnerable to a number of challenges:
- Violations of international law and human rights by China and Russia
- Continued interference in European political process by foreign actors
- Emerging technologies giving rise to a new source of economic competitiveness
- Significant loss of global scale and competitiveness for major European companies
- Foreign powers adopting increasingly aggressive posturing towards Europe
While attempts have been made to deal with these issues individually, the root cause continues to remain unaddressed: the European Union is not designed to be a globally competitive structure.
Structure of the European Union
To effectively address these challenges, legislation along the following lines should be adopted:
Establish a Federal Republic of Europe with nine Founder States (Art.20 TEU)
Provide a standing offer for Federation membership to remaining EU States, open indefinitely
Federal responsibilities to include defense, foreign policy, and immigration
Federal Executive branch to consist of elected President and Prime Minister
President to direct foreign policy and defense; Prime Minister to form government
European Parliament to consist of Senate and Chamber of Deputies
Chamber of Deputies to have legislative initiative; President to have one veto per quarter
Invest judicial power in European Federal Courts responsible for disputes involving constitution and federal law
Taxation to consist of federal, state, and local taxes; capital gains taxed at state and federal level
Federal Republic to have Euro as currency; other States have the option to withdraw from Monetary Union if desired
Drafting and Ratification
To implement this legislation, we distinguish between two main phases of constitutional establishment: drafting and ratification.
The drafting of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Europe should be undertaken by a Drafting College, a European group of legislators tasked with negotiating and drafting the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Europe.
All interested Member States should nominate five elected legislative representatives (e.g. senators) to participate in the Drafting College, which should take place at a neutral, independently selected location for a period of three months.
With respect to the ratification of the Constitution, one of the most critical aspects in the long-term success of the Republic is that the people should be given a direct voice in adopting it. No other process can have the credibility needed to ensure long-term stability.
However, the topic of a continental constitution is too abstract to be submitted to a public referendum. Instead, interested Member States should elect, through direct popular vote, a Ratification Convention with the explicit and only task of approving or rejecting the proposed constitution.
In summary, each interested Member State should immediately establish two processes.
Each interested Member State should nominate five elected legislative representatives (e.g. senators) to participate in a European Drafting Convention, tasked with drafting the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Europe
Each interested Member State should elect a Ratification College, according to the following terms:
- Citizens shall directly elect a number of three Ratifiers per one million citizens, but no less than 30 Ratifiers and no more than 60 Ratifiers for each National Convention
- Elected Ratifiers may be elected officials (e.g. Senators), but to participate in the Ratification Convention they need to be elected specifically for this purpose
- In Member States where the national constitution permits it, the Convention shall be invested with the legal authority to ratify the Constitution directly
- The Convention holds office for three months, at the end of which it shall issue its decision recommendation to the national legislative body
- The Convention cannot amend or propose changes to the Constitution, it can only approve or reject the proposed draft
- All Convention deliberations shall be livestreamed, recorded, and available publicly
This process helps establish the credibility and validity of the national decision to join the Republic, and establishes the foundation of a strong new political entity with the overarching goal of securing a competitive place on the world stage for the emerging nation of Europe.
Europe requires a new model of unity, one focused on transforming Europe into a political entity which can be competitive on the world stage. To achieve that goal, however, Europe will first need to address its deepest, most fundamental flaw: its introversion.