Citizens Take Over Europe supports and endorses the petition for treaty reform initiated by the Union of European Federalists and the Citizens’ Panel Ambassadors of the Conference on the Future of Europe.
Nearly a year has passed since the Conference on the Future of Europe has concluded its work, but the most pressing proposals have not seen their due consideration by all EU institutions. The European Parliament has been the most ambitious and closest to meeting citizens’ demands, where last June, for the first time in history, it triggered Article 48 of the Lisbon Treaty and voted in favor of a new European Convention. The European Commission has also positioned itself in favor of treaty change and stands ready to take its institutional role in a new European Convention.
The Council, however, in one year, has not even considered treaty change or how it will follow up to the Conference proposals, and the positions of the individual Member States are still unclear.
In the meantime, the war on Ukraine continues and Europe’s security and defense is at daily risk, and the financial crisis escalates as Europe is still recovering from the pandemic. Europe needs to guarantee its strategic autonomy, sustainable growth, improvement of living and working conditions without destroying the environment. Strengthening the European Union is not only a question of being fit to meet the challenges of today, but it is a question of survival.
But reform needs to go beyond merely revising Europe’s defense policy and competences for external action. Europe’s democracy and decision-making processes need revising too, in order to make Europe better fit to serve citizens and to achieve better well-being in the face of external and internal threats to European democracy.
Civil society is not the only one calling for treaty reform. Citizens call for it too – in the final proposals of the Conference on the Future of Europe where several proposals touch on aspects that require a new European Convention, in the 2nd December Feedback Event open letter to the Commission and the Council, in our open letter calling for a people-powered Convention, and many other publications.
A democratically designed and run Convention, which must involve civil society and citizens in agenda setting, in designing working procedures, in deliberation, in decision and in follow-up would be a profound reaffirmation of Europe’s democratic values and mark a decisive move away from all suspicions of technocratic or top-down decision making.
The Conference on the Future of Europe was unprecedented in bringing together European and national level decision-makers across institutions together with the citizens. This process must now be followed up. And the citizens have spoken: start treaty reform now. Read and support UEF’s petition here: https://sway.office.com/iYpx6U6hKCxKrAFL