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The Federalist | Il Federalista |

Manifesto of the Action Committee for a European Federal State


Europe has great resources and a great potential, but its future is overshadowed by difficulties and uncertainties. Despite all the progress made in over 50 years of European integration, Europe is still powerless before the global challenges of ensuring peace and security and promoting fairer development and it struggles to foster growth, competitiveness and innovation in the European economy. The Euro is an important factor of cohesion among a group of European countries but - because it remains a "currency without a State" - it cannot deploy its full potential either for the European economy, or at the global level, and even its survival cannot be taken for granted.
The time available to complete the process of European political unification, which was started over 50 years ago by the founding countries of the first European Community is waning. The failure of the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe shows once again that the Union can provide a framework of cooperation for 25 ever more heterogeneous Member states but is unable to evolve to a fully-fledged political union. A mere association of States, which the European Union still represents today, cannot reverse Europe's trend towards political and economic decline. We must urgently return to the original inspiration of Europe's founding fathers and resume the design of a political Europe. Only the emergence of a European federal State, with a Government that has full sovereignty in foreign, security and defence policy as well as in economic and fiscal matters would mark the turn needed by Europe. Today, however, it is not possible to transform the entire Union at once into a federal State - simply because many of its Member States will never be in a position to accept it. The enlargement of the Union to 25 Member States and future enlargements to further countries play a role in ensuring at least some stability and a framework of cooperation at the continental level, but they make the goal of a European federal State even more unachievable. The past has given us examples - most prominently with the creation of the single currency - that the only way out of such an impasse is an initiative by a pioneering group of Member States acting as a vanguard and showing the way to the others.
In his Memorandum of May 3rd, 1950 Jean Monnet reminded us "Any which way we turn, in the current world situation, we are only met with impasses. . We need to change the course of events. . But words are not enough. Only immediate action taken on an essential point can change this current static state. We need profound, real, immediate and dramatic action that will bring about changes and turn into reality the hopes that the people are on the verge of not believing in anymore". This is what Europe needs today. A vanguard of countries ought to decide to move ahead and create a "federal core" within the broader "confederation" represented by the enlarged Union of 25 or even more future Member States. Jean Monnet recalled in the 70's "The European Economic Commission, the Council, The Assembly, The Court are certainly a prefederal model, but not the very organs of the European political federation that would be born on a specific act of creation requiring a new delegation of sovereignty. Here, one would need to invent something new". France and Germany and the other countries that founded the first European Community have a particular historical responsibility to promote such new "act of creation". They should therefore take the initiative by putting forward a federal pact to share their sovereignties and create the initial core of a European federal state within the broader European Union, open to all those willing to join in on such a proposal. This core would show Europeans the way of unity and would thus act as a magnet for all European countries willing to join at a later stage. In this way, European citizens would begin taking their destiny in their own hands.
In order to defend these ideas and to promote these goals across Europe we, activists in different pro-European and federalist organisations in various countries, have set up and joined the network of the Action Committee for a European Federal State.