Remove hidden references to slavery

By Jakub Jermar

Home Forums 05. Article III – Powers of the Legislative Branch Remove hidden references to slavery

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    AvatarJakub Jermar

    Please delete (or give a very good rationale for) paragraph 1, section 3, Article III:

    “The immigration of people, by States considered to be permissible, is not
    prohibited by the European Congress before the year 20XX.”

    As far as I can tell, this comes from the US constitution where it served the purpose of allowing the slave trade to continue for some years after the US constitution was ratified.

    For reference, here’s the US original:

    “The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a Tax or duty may be imposed on such Importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each Person.”

    Mauro CasarottoMauro Casarotto

    You are right.


    The constitutional toolkit doesn’t refer to slavery, instead explains that this serves to give the states some time with their current setup before a common immigration policy is made (p. 210). This could be 3 or 5 years for example.

    So I don’t think it is problematic for that specific reason, but it is probably not needed in any case.

    AvatarJakub Jermar

    Well neither does the US constitution, but the reason this strikingly similar formulation is there is to keep the slave trade going for some time.


    My argument is: since we don’t have slave trade in Europe, we don’t need this paragraph. Or at least don’t make it look like it is the redressed US one (which for sure is about slave trade).


    Yes, lets remove it.

    AvatarHerbert Tombeur

    Yes, I join you both. Let us delete Aricle III, Section 3, par. 1, about immigration. I add this argument to yours: entry, stay and residence of non-nationals on the State territory may likely stay a Member State competence. Why? I observe that there is a very narrow common ground for any EF concerning immigration from outside the Federation, as European countries are very different in territorial size, population density, social system and economic strength. If any constitutional stipulation about migration would be maintained, it could concern only the/some internal migration policy between the Member States of the Federation.

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