11 September 2021
In preparation for the official launch of FAEF’s Citizens’ Convention on 2 October 2021, Progress Report 2 now follows.
Examination of the draft federal constitution can begin
The Citizens’ Convention aims to improve the (already elaborated) draft federal constitution of ten articles, preceded by a Preamble. We strive for a federal constitution of, by and for the citizens. Why we are doing this, and how, is described in the Call for Participation.
The draft constitution is on the website. For the Process of Improving the Federal Constitution.
You might start studying the draft Preamble now and consider submitting possible amendments after 2 October and before 16 October.
Some members of the Convention will be tabling amendments individually. Those who prefer to work in a group are asked to make this known via firstname.lastname@example.org.
I will introduce the eleven parts of this process with a short video. The introduction to the Preamble can be found here.
On 2 October we will open a Discussion Forum. It is open to members of the group of 55+ for tabling and discussing amendments. Others can follow this discussion and have input via another route (see below).
We make this distinction between the group 55+ and others for two reasons. To protect the members of 55+ from unwanted – anonymous – comments. And to stay as close as possible to the best practice, namely the organisation of the Philadelphia Convention of 1787. At that time 55 people rejected the intergovernmental confederal treaty and drafted the first federal constitution. We reject the EU treaties and finally want a federal constitution for Europe. So, we too have a group of 55. But we call it 55+ because we want to give space to people who would like to be members of this group with knowledge of the facts of federal statehood and strong motives for the creation of a European Federation based on a Federal Constitution.
The procedure in the Discussion Forum is as follows
- For each of the eleven sections of the Constitution, the members of the 55+ can submit their amendments at the end of the first two weeks intended for the section under discussion.
- They can submit them to the FAEF Board at email@example.com. But they can also choose to check their amendments first in the Discussion Forum. Members of the 55+ group can thus give their opinion on the amendments of others. They have exclusive access to the Forum.
- Everyone else can see the amendments and follow the discussion about them. But they will not be able to intervene in the discussion between members of the 55+ group. However, anyone who would like to contribute to the discussion can do so via firstname.lastname@example.org. Via this route they can also comment on amendments that are being discussed in the Forum by the 55+ group. The Board assesses such comments and forwards them to members of the 55+ group if they are valuable. In this way, it is an open process, but there is a guarantee for the 55+ group that they will not be disturbed with annoying comments.
- The members of the 55+ group ultimately decide which amendments will be submitted to the FAEF Board at the end of the two weeks via email@example.com. The management of the discussion in the Forum is thus in the hands of the members themselves.
- In the third week of each section, the Board concludes that section with publication on the website of the amendment or amendments.
- The Board shall carefully examine whether the amendments are in line with the objectives of the Convention and/or with the general draft of the Constitution. If the result of this examination is negative, the amendment will be placed on the Discussion Forum but with a justification as to why the board of the FAEF does not consider that amendment to be appropriate. It will then – as happened in the Philadelphia Convention – be put to a vote by the participants during a videocall meeting that will take place during the third week.
This procedure does justice to:
(a) the open and bottom-up nature of the Convention;
(b) the need to allow those with constitutional federal knowledge and passion (the 55+ group) to take the lead in tabling amendments,
(c) to an orderly and democratic voting process if the FAEF Board advises against certain amendments.
With kind regards,
Dr. Leo Klinkers
President Federal Alliance of European Federalists