Amendments to Art. 2 (proposed by Cristina Fasone and Giuseppe Martinico)

By Cristina Fasone

Home Forums 04. Article II – Organization of the Legislative Branch Amendments to Art. 2 (proposed by Cristina Fasone and Giuseppe Martinico)

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    AvatarCristina Fasone

    The amendments to Art. 2 and recommendations have been agreed between myself, Dr. Cristina Fasone, and my colleague and friend Prof. Giuseppe Martinico and are intended as jointly submitted.

    Section 2, para 1:
    – please add “They shall not exceed 400 in number” after the first sentence “1. The House of the Citizens is composed of the representatives of the Citizens of the United States of Europe”.
    – In the third sentence, please, replace “six years” with “five years”. Six years is quite a long term of a lower chamber in comparative perspective.
    – The sentence “The members resign on the third day of the month of May in the final year of their term” could probably be deleted. it is not clear why they should resign if their office terminates with the closing of the term

    Section 2, para 2:
    – At the end of the paragraph, please add “Citizens of a State of the Federation who are legally resident in another State of the Federation can vote for the House of citizens in their country of residence.”
    – In order to make the provision more appealing to young generations, the voting age could be lowered depending on the voting age set at Member State level. Please, replace “those who have reached the age of thirty years” with “those who have reached the age of 18 years”

    Section 2, para 3:
    – Please, replace “without instructions” with “without a binding mandate”

    Section 3, para 1:
    – The number of representatives per Member States can be differentiated according to the EU citizens residing in that State.As the House of the citizens is elected in a federal-wide constituency, there can be some balancing here.
    – In the second sentence, it should be clarified if the mandate is renewable or not. Perhaps better not to make it renewable. In this case the sentence should read as follows: “appointed for a non-renewable term of six years”
    – it is not clear if the expression “by and from the legislature of the State” implies that senators are chosen from within the state legislatures. It would be appropriate and in this case the expression can be amended as “by the legislature of the state amongst its members”.
    – Please, change “provided that after three years half the number of Senators resign” with “provided that after three years half the number of Senators is renewed”.
    – Please, replace “The first appointing” with “The first appointment”
    – Please, delete “They resign on the afternoon of the third day of the month of May in the final year of their term” (see above)

    Section 3, para 3:
    – please, reformulate the following sentences “The Senators have an individual mandate. They carry out this mandate without instructions, in the general interest of the Federation” as follows: “The Senators have an individual and non-binding mandate that is exercised in the general interest of the Federation”
    – in the last sentence, regarding the incompatibility with any other public functions, it should be considered whether the incompatibility should also be applicable to the members of the states’ legislatures, should senators be chosen from amongst their components.

    Section 3, para 7:
    In this paragraph it should be clarified that for both the House of Citizens and the Federal Senate that “The rule on the immunities of the two Houses are determined at the level of the European Federation”.
    This is in order to avoid the present problem of a protocol on immunities going back to 1965 and deferring the choice on inviolability to the Member States de facto

    Section 4:
    – please add the following sentence at the opening of section 4 and re-number the following paragraphs accordingly: “The European Congress is the gathering of the House of the Citizens and the Senate in joint session in the building of the House of Citizens and is presided over by the Speaker of the House.”
    – it can be questionable that the European Congress determines how senators are selected if they are to be appointed by state legislature. Further functions can be conferred to the European Congress, for example of appointment of other federal bodies and institutions

    Section 5, para 1:
    – Please, rephrase the first sentence as follows: “Each House settles its Rules of Proceedings by majority of its members.
    – Please, add the following after “They regulate what subjects require a quorum”: “, which quorums are applied, the majority requested save is otherwise provided in the Constitution, …”
    – Please, replace “structural” with “systematic”

    Section 6, para 2:
    – As pointed out above, the paragraph is quite similar to what we have now. It could be expressly foreseen that the rules and procedure to declare the inviolability are to be set at European level at least for the members of the House of citizens. For the senators, also the rules of the State of appointment could apply, although this may risk to jeopardise the well-functioning of the institution.

    AvatarHerbert Tombeur

    My first observations concerning your well formulated proposals above:

    1° Section 2, par. 1: As already mentioned earlier today (cf. the size of the Houses), I propose a maximum of 300 members for each House, preferably less for the the House of States. Both Houses should function as good as possible.
    2° Section 2, par. 2: I propose a minimum age of 25 to vote – men’s brain (cf. brain researchers, like famous Dutch dr. Dick Swaab) and live experience are then quite mature, physically and mentally. Not earlier for the majority of people.
    3° Section 2, par. 3: I propose this alternative text “The members of the House of the Citizens have a strict personal mandate, in the general interest of the Federation. This mandate is incompatible with any other public function.” The same goes for the House of the States.
    4° Section 3, par. 1: I do not agree with you. I do emphasise that the equal number of members for each Member State is the expression of the equality in sovereignty between all States, whether they are big or small in territory or population, economical week or strong. The Citizens House is the expression, the tool of the federal sovereignty. About the renewing of half the Senate every 3 years, I would propose do abolish this system and to use the same term as that of the Citizens House, certainly of the Senate members are elected by the members of each State parlement, which I prefer above the elections by the State Citizens (cf. your observation on par. 3 of this Section 3, and the same in Section 4).
    5° I do support all your other proposals, or, if not, I have no opinion (yet) about these.

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