Calling for a European Convention Strengthening the economic and political union within the Lisbon treaty

JEF Europe | Young European Federalists  

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Strengthening the economic and political union within the Lisbon Treaty

Resolution re-adopted by the Congress of JEF Europe – Malta – November 2017

JEF Europe,

?            Taking into consideration that the EU urgently needs to be strengthened to cope with the continuing economic crisis, increasing social tensions, strong migration flows and alarming international conflicts;

?            Persuaded that the economic, fiscal and political union has to be completed as outlined in the Blueprint for a deep a genuine Economic and Monetary Union(submitted by the European Commission in 2012), the Five Presidents’ Report Completing Europe's Economic and Monetary Union, the 2017 White Paper on the Future of Europe, and of the reflection paper on the deepening of the economic and monetary union;

?            Welcoming the many reasonable proposals to deepen European integration that have been debated in recent years (e.g. strong EU economic governance with increased democratic legitimacy, a larger and independent EU budget based on EU taxes, financial solidarity instruments);

?            Acknowledging that the implementation of most of these proposals would require  revision to the Lisbon Treaty;

?            Convinced that there is no time for political stalemate while preparing for a constituent assembly to reform the legal basis of the EU;

?            Stressing that measures to be taken should not only present temporary improvements but must provide sustainable solutions in the long-term;

?            Calls upon the EU and the member states to act now, exploit the margin and flexibility instruments provided for by the Lisbon Treaty and undertake all necessary measures that can be implemented within the current legal framework;

JEF Europe, claiming to strengthen the economic union,

1.         Stresses that the EU and in particular the Eurozone need to deepen integration in the fields of economic, social and fiscal policy;

2.         Emphasises that healthy national economies are the basis of a strong economic union and that it is thus of individual and common interest to the member states that they restore the strength and competitiveness of their national economies by implementing growth-enhancing structural reforms (e.g. regarding labour market or public services);

3.         Calls upon the member states to reinforce their commitments to the rules of EU economic and fiscal governance;

4.         Calls for further improvement of EU economic governance, by strengthening preventive, corrective and assistive instruments and ensuring democratic legitimacy of the decision-making process, to support economic recovery and prevent future economic crises and shocks;

5.         Calls upon the EU and the member states to closely coordinate and increase their investments to stimulate the European economy, emphasising that investment policy should not only focus on profitability but also on a sustainable European added value and enhance cohesion within the EU, particularly by supporting currently uncompetitive member states;

6.         Calls upon the Eurozone member states to explore the possibilities offered by the Lisbon Treaty to create an additional budget for and paid for by those countries to finance pan-European projects, without establishing burdens for other member states to join in;

JEF Europe, claiming to strengthen the political union

By setting clear priorities,

7.         Assumes that the new structure of the European Commission has the potential to increase the efficacy of this key EU institution;

8.         Calls upon the President and the Vice-Presidents of the European Commission to set clear political priorities and ensure coherent implementation within their cluster;

9.         Demands that the European Commission invite the European Parliament and national parliaments to comment on its annual work programme;

By politicising the European Parliament,

10.   Stresses that a political union needs a vivid, differentiated and accountable political debate in the European Parliament;

11.   Notes that the European Parliament is often perceived as a widely homogenous institution consisting of a grand coalition and some extreme representatives;

12.   Assumes that the close stance of the two largest parties might have been adequate at the time the European Parliament was not of equal standing with the Council in matters of legislation, but that the European Parliament, having a stronger role in EU politics now has to ensure its representative function;

13.   Calls upon the parties represented in the European Parliament to give life to the political debate, elaborate alternative approaches in EU policies and show the citizens that their concerns are heard, taken seriously and considered in the process of parliamentary deliberation;

14.   Calls for more visible public debates among the parties, which have had a positive effect on political awareness of the public before the European elections;

By strengthening the European Parliament

15.   Considers that EU economic and fiscal governance, particularly the monitoring of national budgets, being a very sensitive issue, merits increased democratic control by the European Parliament;

16.   Convinced that the European Parliament should also be involved in the debate on European investment policy and growth-enhancing structural reforms;

17.   Calls upon the European Commission and the Council to conclude an interinstitutional agreement with the European Parliament to closer involve the latter in EU economic governance procedures;

18.   Calls upon the European Parliament to make active use of its inter-institutional agreement with the European Commission on the right of initiative to steer the submission of legal proposals by the European Commission;

19.   Calls upon the European Parliament to increase the democratic legitimacy of its composition by elaborating a proposal for a uniform procedure for the election of its members (Art. 223 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union);

JEF Europe, claiming to use the political momentum,

20.   Notes that Europe is about to realise the strength it already has if the EU and member states work closely together in a spirit of mutual trust and solidarity;

21.   Underlines that the economic crisis and the current challenges in foreign policy have created a historical momentum that has to be used to strengthen the internal and external abilities of the EU;

22.   Calls upon all its members and partners to move Europe forward and campaign together for a stronger economic and political union in the short term and through a treaty revision process in the medium or long term while thinking ahead towards a genuine European federation.