[The first draft was designed by Leo Klinkers and Herbert Tombeur in their European Federalist Papers (2012-2013). After 2013, Leo Klinkers added some elements including a new Preamble and anti-corruption clauses]
Nous, citoyens des États [ici une liste des États participants],
I. Considérant que
(a) que la fédération des États-Unis d'Europe, établie par nous, a la tâche et le devoir de nous soutenir en tant que citoyens dans notre recherche du bonheur dans la liberté ;
(b) that it should support our quest for happiness should base
- à travailler sans relâche pour préserver la diversité de toutes les formes de vie sur Terre,
- on unconditional respect for the diversity of sciences, cultures, ethnicities and beliefs of the citizens within the federation,
- et sur la compassion humaine pour les citoyens de l'extérieur de la fédération qui veulent trouver leur bonheur au sein des États-Unis d'Europe ;
- qu'en l'accomplissant, il doit témoigner de la sagesse, de la connaissance, de l'humanité, de la justice et de l'intégrité, dans la pleine conscience qu'il tient ses pouvoirs du peuple, que tous les hommes sur terre sont créés égaux et que personne n'est au-dessus de la loi.
II. Considérer davantage :
(a) that this federal Constitution is based on the wealth of thoughts, considerations and desires of European philosophers - and of European political leaders after World War II - to unite Europe in a federal state form;
(b) that the federal system is based on a vertical separation of powers between the member states and the federal body through which the member states and the federal body share sovereignty;
(c) that the horizontal separation of the legislative, executive and judicial powers (trias politica) both at the level of the federal body and at that of the member states is guaranteed by a solit system of checks and balances.
III. Considérant enfin que, sans préjudice de notre droit de modifier la composition politique de l'organe fédéral lors des élections, nous avons le droit inaliénable de déposer les autorités de la fédération si, à notre avis, elles violent les dispositions des points I et II,
Adopter les articles suivants pour la Constitution des États-Unis d'Europe,
Article 1 ….
Article 2 ….
The preamble 'We, the citizens of the states ...' shows that this Constitution is ratified by the citizens themselves. It is thus of, by and for the citizens of the United States of Europe, in accordance with the adage 'All sovereignty rests with the people'.
The United States of Europe' consists of the citizens, the member states and the federal body.
Il s'agit d'une constitution, pas d'un traité. Lorsque des pays ou des régions veulent vivre ensemble en paix et doivent coopérer à travers des frontières historiquement déterminées, mais veulent néanmoins conserver leur autonomie et leur souveraineté, une fédération est la seule forme d'État qui puisse le garantir. Ce n'est pas possible avec un traité. Un traité est un instrument permettant aux administrateurs de coopérer dans des domaines politiques sans avoir à rendre régulièrement compte démocratiquement des décisions qu'ils prennent.
The fact that this Constitution is first ratified by the citizens and only then by the parliaments of the member states indicates that - in accordance with the elementary aspects of federalism formulated by Johannes Althusius around 1600 - it is established from the bottom up and not imposed from above.
This federal Constitution guarantees the common interest of the citizens of the United States of Europe and leaves it to the citizens of the member states, and to the member states themselves, to serve their own interests.
C'est pourquoi cette Constitution fédérale se compose d'un nombre limité de règles de nature générale contraignante. Il n'y a pas d'exceptions - motivées par des intérêts nationaux - à ces règles générales contraignantes.
The self-evident 'pursuit of happiness' of the citizens and the mission and task of governments to support the citizens is a cornerstone of the Declaration of Independence (1776) and of the subsequent American Constitution (1787-1789), the first federal Constitution in the world. This served as a model for the federations that were subsequently established and which currently house 40% of the world's population. The 'pursuit of happiness' is therefore also a cornerstone of the federal Constitution of the United States of Europe. The pursuit of happiness includes values such as peace, security and prosperity.
In the first place, this consideration gives the federation the task of working restlessly to preserve the diversity of all life forms on Earth. Unsuccessful preservation of the diversity of all forms of life threatens human life on Earth. This task requires maximum cooperation, expertise and reliability within the federation's authorities.
Secondly, the federation has maximum respect for diversity in social life. Wherever it disappears, monocracies are created, condemning parts of society to inbreeding. Diversity of sciences, cultures, ethnicities, and religions creates new sciences, cultures, ethnicities and religions. This Constitution therefore rejects any agitation aimed at protecting the so-called 'own people first' and will use all legal means to combat such agitation.
Thirdly, as a consequence of the above, this Preamble explicitly indicates that there is no room for a slogan like 'Europe first'. The Federation of the United States of Europe shares its place on Earth with all other peoples and does not lock itself up behind the walls of a 'fortress Europe'. Closing the external borders for the purpose of protectionism of one's own people is not listed in the list of crimes against humanity, but nevertheless has a serious penalty: the eventual disappearance of what one wishes to preserve. In other words: open external borders, not closed borders.
That creates obligations:
- Concevoir et mettre en œuvre des plans tels que le plan Marshall (1948-1952) pour soutenir les pays pauvres dans leur développement économique afin d'éliminer la nécessité de fuir en Europe.
- With immediate effect, to provide a humane existence for the approximately sixty million war refugees.
- To strengthen the demographic and geopolitical position of Europe by offering immigrants a secure existence within the federation with wisdom, knowledge, humanity, justice and integrity.
- En considérant la mise en œuvre de cette dernière comme l'un des intérêts communs de la fédération.
Cette Constitution est donc une tâche et une opportunité de renouvellement politique fondamental, maintenant que les démocraties d'après-guerre sont arrivées au terme d'un cycle de vie de soixante-quinze ans et ont conduit à l'exclusion des citoyens au profit d'une gouvernance fondée sur des traités qui, de par sa nature même, est devenue de plus en plus oligarchique et protectionniste.
La fin prévisible du cycle de vie politique des démocraties d'après-guerre, comme nous venons de le mentionner, place les pays qui cherchent à protéger la démocratie dans un "tour de force" comparable à la révolution des Lumières. La démocratie et la représentation du peuple doivent être réinventées sur la base du principe "Toute souveraineté appartient au peuple".
The Treaty of Lisbon should give way to a Constitution that takes representation of the citizens as its starting point. This implies, among other things, the abolition of the European Council of Heads of Government and State, the creation of a European Parliament based on proportional representation within one constituency - the territory of the federation - and a government led by a president elected by the citizens. Thus, equipped with a democratic mandate.
That can only succeed with wisdom, knowledge, humanity, justice and integrity. With only two certainties: if it succeeds, it is a crucial revolution for the preservation of Europe. If it fails, by the end of this century, after the last tribal war in Europe initiated by nation-state anarchy, someone will turn off the light.
Democracies cannot prevent elections from leading to groups within democratic institutions that wish to use their power against democracy. This Constitution enables the institutions of democracy as much as possible to deal with abuses of democratic procedures by building in defence mechanisms. The task is therefore a fundamental reorientation of the concept of democracy in 21st century Europe. With a task for political parties to consider their own responsibility to devise instruments to defend democracy against parties that abuse (or would like to abuse) the procedures of democracy in order to destroy that democracy. Probably more than any other organisation within a democratic system, political parties will have to reflect on wisdom, knowledge, humanity, justice and integrity in order to ensure the viability of a federally united Europe.
The 'building blocks' of federalism as a state institution originate from the so-called Political Method of Johannes Althusius (1603). The 'cement' to inextricably connect these 'building blocks' was supplied in the writings of European political philosophers such as Aristotle, Montesquieu, Rousseau and Locke with their views on popular sovereignty and the doctrine of the trias politica. The American federal Constitution is based on these writings, while Europe condemned itself to waging wars for centuries.
Not only philosophers provided the 'cement' for the building blocks of federalism. Also, political and social leaders - in the Interbellum period, for example the British Philip Kerr, better known as Lord Lothian - and after the Second World War the Italian Altiero Spinelli who, with his Ventotene Manifesto (1942), laid the foundation for the post-war pursuit of federalism. Between 1945 and 1950 this aspiration was led by a large number of conferences and plans led by statesmen, scientists, cultural figures and civil movements. But in 1950 it radically ceased with the ‘Schuman Declaration’. Although the Declaration fully demanded the creation of a federal Europe, it placed its elaboration in the hands of government leaders. In this way - unintentionally, but through guilty ignorance of how to make a federation - the treaty-based intergovernmentalism that is taking the European Union to the end of its current political life cycle was created.
The thirteen former American colonies in late 18th century solved the dilemma of 'never again a ruler versus the need to represent the people'. They applied the system of shared sovereignty devised by Althusius by inventing the vertical separation of powers between sovereign states and a federal body. Without sacrificing the integral member state sovereignty, they asked a federal body to take care - with the powers of the member states - of a limitative number of common interests.
Contrary to the assertion that, in a federation, member states transfer all or part of their sovereignty in the sense of 'giving away and thus losing', this is not the case. Parents who bring their child to a teacher do not lose anything of their parenthood but entrust the teacher the parent’s authority to teach the child knowledge that the parents themselves cannot realise. Not only does it remain their child, but after a school day it comes home with extras: new knowledge that the parents themselves could not have given to the child. That is why another popular view is incorrect. Namely the opinion that a federation is a superstate that destroys the sovereignty of the member states.
The vertical separation of powers, leading to shared sovereignty between the federal body (operating for the whole) and the member states, also solves another problem. Namely the principle of subsidiarity. This principle in the Lisbon Treaty states: 'The authorities of the European Union should leave to the Member States what the Member States can do better themselves'. Because Article 352 of the Treaty allows the European Council to take any decision that, in the Council's view, serves the Union's objectives, the Council can ignore the principle of subsidiarity. In a federal state form, this legal pitfall is absent. In a federation the subsidiarity principle coincides with the vertical separation of powers and therefore does not need to be mentioned as such in the articles of the Constitution.
A final aspect of this Consideration IIb implies that - because of the restrictive set of powers of the federal body - all other powers remain with the citizens and the member states. This implies, inter alia, that the member states retain their own Constitution, parliament, government and judiciary, including their own areas of policy, in so far as these are not defined by the vertical separation of powers in the exhaustive list of interests that the federal body is required to represent on behalf of the member states. Any monarchies will also be maintained.
La séparation horizontale des trois pouvoirs - le législatif, l'exécutif et le judiciaire - n'est pas une spécificité de la seule forme d'État fédéral mais sert d'adage à tout État qui veut éviter la domination d'un seul pouvoir. Au sein d'une fédération, cependant, il existe deux particularités.
Premièrement, dès le premier État fédéral - celui des États-Unis d'Amérique - la trias politica doit être établie tant au niveau de l'organe fédéral qu'au niveau des différents États membres. Deuxièmement, en plus de l'invention de la séparation verticale des pouvoirs mentionnée ci-dessus, la Constitution fédérale des États-Unis d'Amérique a introduit une deuxième innovation : les checks and balances. Dire qu'un État qui se respecte doit considérer la trias politica comme élevée, c'est simplement exprimer une valeur. Mais les valeurs ne peuvent être gardées et préservées que par le biais de normes. C'est pourquoi la Constitution américaine - et aussi cette Constitution européenne - contient des articles qui empêchent que l'action inévitable des trois pouvoirs dans le domaine d'un autre pouvoir ne dérape vers la suprématie d'un pouvoir sur l'autre. À cette fin, il y a les checks and balances. Ce sont les contre-pouvoirs indispensables pour freiner le "désir" toujours présent des trois pouvoirs d'étendre leur complexe de pouvoirs au détriment des pouvoirs des autres.
Citizens derive from the English Magna Carta of 1215, the Dutch Placard of Abandonment of 1581, the American Declaration of Independence of 1776 and the French Revolution of 1789 the inalienable right to depose governments from the federal body if they violate the provisions under I and/or II.
In accordance with the adage 'All sovereignty rests with the people', the citizens of the United States of Europe are the federation's alpha and omega. Alpha in the sense of: they ratify the federal Constitution and thus establish a system of representation of the people, of executive governance based on political decision-making by the representative body and jurisdiction to settle disputes. Omega in the sense of the inalienable right to dismiss those who unexpectedly abuse the federal system, for example by (attempts to) establish autocracy of a leader who wants to operate above the rule of law.
[For explanatory notes see the European Federalist Papers, 2012-2013]
Article I - La Fédération et la Déclaration des droits
- The European Federation is formed by the Citizens and the States, participating in the Federation.
- The powers not entrusted to the European Federation by the Constitution, nor prohibited to the States by this Constitution, are reserved to the Citizens or to the respective States.
The European Federation endorses the rights, freedoms and principles as written in the Charter of the Fundamental Rights of the European Union, excluding the principle of subsidiarity, as mentioned in the Preamble of this Charter. The European Federation accedes to the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.
Article II – Organization of the Legislative Branch
Section 1- Setting the European Congress
- The Legislative Branch of the European Federation rests with the European Congress. It consists of two Houses: the House of the Citizens and the House of the States, under the name Senate.
- The European Congress and its two separate Houses have their residence in Brussels.
Section 2 - La Maison des citoyens
- The House of the Citizens is composed of the representatives of the Citizens of the European Federation. Each member of the House has one vote. The members of this House are elected for a term of six years by the Citizens of the Federation qualified to vote, united in one constituency. The election of the members of the House of the Citizens takes place each time in the month May, and for the first time in the year 20XX. They enter office at the latest on June 1st of the election year. The members resign on the third day of the month May in the final year of their term. They can be re-elected twice in succession.
- Eligible are those who have reached the age of thirty years and are registered as Citizen of a State of the Federation during at least seven years.
- The members of the House of the Citizens have an individual mandate. They carry out this mandate without instructions, in the general interest of the Federation. This mandate is incompatible with any other public function.
- The right to vote in elections for the House of the Citizens belongs to anybody who has reached the age of eighteen years and is registered as Citizen in one of the States of the Federation, regardless of the number of years of that registration.
- The House of the Citizens choose their Chairperson, with the right to vote, and appoint their own personnel.
Section 3 – The House of the States, or the Senate
- The Senate is composed of eight representatives per State. Each Senator has one vote. The Senators are appointed for a term of six years by and from the legislature of the States, provided that after three years half the number of Senators resign. The first appointing of the full Senate takes place within the first five months of the year 20XX. The three-yearly appointments to replace half of the Senators takes place in the first five months of that year. The Senators enter their office at the latest on June 1st of the year of their appointment. They resign on the afternoon of the third day of the month May in the final year of their term. The Senators who resign are immediately re- appointable for a further term of three years. The Rules of Proceedings of the Senate regulate the way of resigning of one half of the Senate.
- Eligible as Senator are those who have reached the age of thirty years and who have been registered for a period of at least seven years as Citizen of a State of the European Federation.
- The Senators have an individual mandate. They carry out this mandate without instructions, in the general interest of the Federation. This mandate is incompatible with any other public function.
- The Vice-president of the European Federation chairs the Senate. He has no right to vote unless the votes are equally divided.
- The Senate elects a Chairperson pro tempore who in the absence of the Vice-president, or when he is acting President, leads the meetings of the Senate. The Senate appoints its own personnel.
- The Senate holds the exclusive power to preside over impeachments. In case the President, the Vice-president or a member of Congress is impeached the Senate will be chaired by the Chief Justice of the Court of Justice. In case a member of that Court is impeached the President will chair the Senate. No one shall be convicted without a two third majority vote of the members present.
- Conviction in cases of impeachment shall not extend further than the removal from office and disqualification from holding any office of honor, trust or salaried office within the European Federation. The convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to indictment, trial, judgment and punishment according to law.
Section 4 - Le Congrès européen
- The time, place and manner of electing the members of the House of the Citizens and of appointing the members of the Senate are determined by the European Congress.
- Le Congrès européen se réunit au moins une fois par an. Cette réunion commencera le troisième jour du mois de janvier, à moins que le Congrès ne fixe un jour différent par la loi.
- Le Congrès européen établit un règlement intérieur pour son mode de fonctionnement.
Section 5 - Règlement intérieur des deux Chambres
- Each House settles Rules of Proceedings. They regulate what subjects require a quorum, how the presence of members can be enforced, what sanctions can be imposed in case of structural absence, what powers the Chairperson has to restore order and how the proceedings of meetings and votings are recorded.
- Le règlement intérieur régit les sanctions infligées aux membres de la Chambre en cas de comportement désordonné, y compris le pouvoir de la Chambre d'expulser le membre de façon permanente à la majorité des deux tiers.
- During meetings of the European Congress no House may adjourn for more than three days without the consent of the other House, nor may it move its seat outside of Brussels.
Section 6 - Rémunération et immunité des membres du Congrès
- The members of both Houses receive a salary for their work, determined by law, to be paid monthly by the Treasury of the European Federation. Next to that they receive a compensation for travel and accommodation expenses in accordance with the real expenses made and confined to the travels and activities justified by their work.
- The members of both Houses are in all cases, except treason, felony and disturbance of the public order, exempted from arrest during their attendance at sessions of their respective House and in going to and returning from that House. For any speech or debate in either House they are not to be questioned in any other location.
Article III – Powers of the Legislative Branch
Section 1 - Way of proceeding to make laws
- The House of the Citizens has the power to initiate tax laws for the European Federation. The Senate has the power – as is the case with other law initiatives by the House of the Citizens – to propose amendments in order to adjust federal tax laws.
- Both Houses have the power to initiate laws. Each draft law of a House will be presented to the President of the European Federation. If he/she approves the draft he/she will sign it and forward it to the other House. If the President does not approve the draft he/she will return it, with his/her objections, to the House initiating the draft. That House records the presidential objections and proceeds to reconsider the draft. If, following such reconsideration, two thirds of that House agree to pass the bill it will be sent, together with the presidential objections, to the other House. If that House approves the bill with a two third majority, it becomes law. If a bill is not returned by the President within ten working days after having been presented to him/her, it will become law as if he/she had signed it, unless Congress by adjournment of its activities prevents its return within ten days. In that case it will not become a law.
- Any order, resolution or vote, other than a draft law, requiring the consent of both Houses – except for decisions with respect to adjournment – are presented to the President and need his/her approval before they will gain legal effect. If the President disapproves, this matter will nevertheless have legal effect if two thirds of both Houses approve.
Section 2 – Substantive powers of the Houses of the European Congress
The European Congress has the power:
- to impose and collect taxes, imposts and excises to pay the debts of the European Federation and to provide in the expenses needed to fulfill the guarantee as described in the Preamble, whereby all taxes, imposts and excises are uniform throughout the entire European Federation;
- to borrow money on the credit of the European Federation;
- to regulate commerce among the States of the European Federation and with foreign nations;
- to regulate throughout the European Federation uniform migration and integration rules, what rules will be co-maintained by the States;
- to regulate uniform rules on bankruptcy throughout the European Federation;
- to coin the federal currency, regulate its value, and fix the standard of weights and measures; to provide in the punishment of counterfeiting the securities and the currency of the European Federation;
- to regulate and enforce the rules to further and protect the climate and the quality of the water, soil and air;
- to regulate the production and distribution of energy;
- to make rules for the prevention, furthering and protection of public health, including professional illnesses and labor accidents;
- to regulate any mode of traffic and transportation between the States of the Federation, including the transnational infrastructure, postal facilities, telecommunications as well as electronic traffic between public administrations and between public administrations and Citizens, including all necessary rules to fight fraud, forgery, theft, damage and destruction of postal and electronic information and their information carriers;
- to further progress of scientific findings, economic innovations, arts and sports by safeguarding for authors, inventors and designers the exclusive rights of their creations;
- to establish federal courts, subordinated to the Supreme Court;
- to fight and punish piracy, crimes against international law and human rights;
- to declare war and make rules concerning captures on land, water or air; to raise and support a European defense (army, navy, air force); to provide for a militia to execute the laws of the Federation, to suppress insurrections and to repel invaders
- to make all laws necessary and proper for carrying out the execution of the foregoing powers and of all other powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the European Federation or in any Ministry or Public Officer thereof.
Section 3 – Guaranteed rights of individuals
- The immigration of people, by States considered to be permissible, is not prohibited by the European Congress before the year 20XX.
- The right of habeas corpus is not suspended unless deemed necessary for public safety in cases of revolt or an invasion.
- The European Congress is not allowed to pass a retroactive law or a law on civil death. Nor pass a law impairing contractual obligations or judicial verdicts of whatever court.
Section 4 – Constraints for the European Federation and its States
- No taxes, imposts or excises will be levied on transnational services and goods between the States of the European Federation.
- No preference will be given through any regulation to commerce or to tax in the seaports and airports of the States of the European Federation; nor will vessels or aircrafts bound to, or from one State, be obliged to enter, clear or pay duties in another State.
- No State is allowed to pass a retroactive law nor a law on civil death. Nor pass a law impairing contractual obligations or judicial verdicts of whatever court.
- No State will emit its own currency.
- No State will, without the consent of the European Congress, impose any tax, impost or excise on the import or export of services and goods, except for what may be necessary for executing inspections of import and export. The net yield of all taxes, imposts or excises, imposed by any State on import and export, will be for the use of the Treasury of the European Federation; all related regulations will be subject to the revision and control by the European Congress.
- No State will, without the consent of the European Congress, have an army, navy or air force, enter into any agreement or covenant with another State of the Federation or with a foreign State, or engage in a war, unless it is actually invaded or facing an imminent threat which precludes delay.
Section 5 – Constraints for the European Federation
- No money shall be drawn from the Treasury but for the use as determined by federal law; a statement on the finances of the European Federation will be published yearly.
- No title of nobility will be granted by the European Federation. No person who under the European Federation holds a public or a trust office accepts without the consent of the European Congress any present, emolument, office or title of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince or foreign State.
Article IV – Organization of the Executive Branch
Section 1- Establishing the offices of the President and the Vice President
- The executive power is vested in the President of the European Federation. He/she is in office for a term of four years, together with the Vice President who shall also be in office for a term of four years. The President and the Vice President are elected as a duo by the Citizens of the European Federation, which has to that goal one constituency. They are re-electable – forthwith – for one term.
- The election of the President and the Vice President of the European Federation will be held on the third Friday in the month of October; the first election in the year 20XX. To bridge the period between ratification of the Constitution of the European Federation and the first election of its President and Vice President the European Congress appoints from its midst an acting President. This acting President is not electable as President, nor as Vice President, at the first Presidential election of the European Federation.
- Electable for President or Vice-President is any person who, at the moment of his candidacy, to be set by federal law, has reached the age of thirty-five years, who has the nationality of one of the States of the European Federation and who has been registered as a Citizen of one of the States of the Federation for at least fifteen years.
- The President receives a salary for this position, set by the European Congress. The salary shall not be increased nor decreased during the term of his/her presidency, and he/she does not receive any other compensation or in kind from the European Federation, nor from any individual State of the Federation, nor from any other public institution within or outside of the Federation, nor from a private institution or person.
- Before the President enters the office he/she will pledge, in front of the Chief Justice of the Court of Justice, in the month of January in which his/her office begins, the following oath or affirmation: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of the President of the European Federation and shall to the best of my ability preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the European Federation.
Section 2 – Vacancy and end of the term of the President and the Vice President
- The President and the Vice-President will be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors. In case of removing the President from office, his/her death or his resignation, the Vice President will become President.
- Whenever there is a vacancy in the office of the VicePresident the President will nominate a Vice President who will take the office upon confirmation by a majority vote of both Houses of the European Congress.
- Whenever the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Chairperson of the House of the Citizens his/her written declaration that he/she is unable to execute the powers and duties of the office, and until he/she transmits to them a written declaration to the contrary, such powers and duties shall be discharged by the Vice President as Acting President.
- Whenever the Vice-President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Chairperson of the House of the Citizens their written declaration that the President is unable to execute the powers and duties of the office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.
- Thereafter, when the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Chairperson of the House of the Citizens his/her written declaration that no inability exists, he/she shall resume the powers and duties of the office unless the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may provide by law, transmit within four days to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Chairperson of the House of the Citizens a new written declaration that the President is unable to execute the powers and duties of the office. Thereupon Congress shall decide the issue, assembling within forty- eight hours for that purpose if not in session. If the Congress, within twenty-one days after receipt of the latter written declaration, or, if Congress is not in session, within twenty-one days after Congress is required to assemble, determines by two-thirds vote of both Houses that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of the office, the Vice President shall continue to execute the same as Acting President; otherwise, the President shall resume the powers and duties of the office.
- The terms of the President and the Vice-President will end at noon on the 20th day of January in the final year of their term. The terms of their successors will then begin.
- If, at the time fixed for the beginning of the term of the President, the President elect shall have died, the Vice President elect shall become President. If a President elect is unable to pledge the oath or affirmation for beginning his office, or if the President elect shall have failed to qualify, then the Vice-President elect shall act as President until a President shall have qualified; and the Congress may by law provide for the case wherein neither a President elect nor a Vice President elect shall have qualified, declaring who shall then act as President, or the manner in which one who is to act shall be selected, and such person shall act accordingly until a President or Vice President shall have qualified.
Article V – Powers and tasks of the President
Section 1 – Presidential powers
- The President is commander in chief of the armed forces, security agencies and militia of the European Federation.
- He/she appoints Ministers, Ambassadors, other Envoys, Consuls and all public officials of the executive branch of the European Federation whose appointment is not regulated otherwise in this Constitution and whose offices are based on a law. He/she removes from office all public officials of the European Federation after their conviction of treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors.
- He/she may seek the opinion, inwriting, of the principal officer in each of the executive departments, upon any subject relating to the duties of their respective offices.
- He/she has the power to grant amnesty and grace for offenses against the European Federation, except in cases of impeachment.
- He/she has the power to make treaties, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur.
- He/she nominates and appoints judges of the Constitutional Court of Justice and of Federal Courts, by and with the advice and consent of the European Congress.
- He/she organizes once per year a consultative referendum among all Citizens of the European Federation with the right to vote in order to obtain the opinion of the European people with respect to the execution of the federal policy domains. The referendum shall be executed under the umbrella of the European Digital Agenda.
- He/she organizes a decisive referendum among all Citizens of theEuropean Federation with the right to vote on the question of whether or not the European Federation should accede to, or should co-establish, an international organization with compulsory regulating power, after advice of the Senate about this acceding or co-establishing.
- He/she may organize a referendum among all Citizens of theEuropean Federation with the right to vote on a draft law that has met objections by the President according to Article III of this Constitution and about which the Houses of Congress after these presidential objections do not come to an agreement during two years. The term of two years begins as from the first plenary vote in the House that did not initiate the draft law.
Section 2 – Presidential tasks
- The President gives the European Congress once per year information about the State of the Federation and recommends measures that he judges necessary.
- The President may on extraordinary occasions convene both Houses of the European Congress or either of them, and in case of disagreement between them with respect to the time of adjournment he/she may adjourn them to such time as he/she thinks proper.
- The President receives Ambassadors and other foreign Envoys.
- The President takes care that the laws are faithfully executed.
- The President commissions the tasks of all government officials of the European Federation.
Article VI - Le pouvoir judiciaire
Section 1 – Organization
The judicial power of the European Federation is vested in a Constitutional Court of Justice. European Congress may decide to install lower federal courts in States. The judges of the Constitutional Court of Justice as well as those of the lower federal courts hold their office as long as their conduct is good. For their services they receive a salary which during their office cannot be reduced.
Section 2 – Powers of Federal Courts
- The federal judicial branch has the power to judge in all conflicts arising under this Constitution; with respect to all laws of the European Federation; to treaties made, or that shall be made under the authority of the European Federation; to all cases affecting Ambassadors, other Envoys and Consuls; to all cases of a maritime nature; to all cases in which the European Federation is a party; to controversies between two or more States, between a State and Citizens of another State, between Citizens of several States, between Citizens of the same State in matters of land in another State and between a State or Citizens of that State and foreign States or Citizens thereof.
- The Constitutional Court of Justice has the exclusive power in all cases in which only States, Ministers, Ambassadors and Consuls are party. In all other cases, as mentioned in Clause 1, the Constitutional Court of Justice is the court of appeal, unless European Congress decides otherwise by law.
- Except in cases of impeachment, the trial of crimes, as determined by law, will be by jury. These trials will be held in the State where the crime has been committed. If they have not been committed within any State the trial will be held at such place or places as decided by law by European Congress.
Section 3 – High treason
- High treason against the European Federation shall only consist of levying war against the Federation, or of adhering to its enemies by giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of high treason without the testimony of at least two witnesses to the crime, or on confession in open court.
- European Congress has the power to declare the punishment for high treason, but in no way a verdict of high treason shall lead to attainder or confiscation for the offspring of the convicted person.
ARTICLE VII – The Citizens, the States and the Federation
Section 1- Les citoyens
- The Citizens of each State of the European Federation possess also the Citizenship of the European Federation with all the associated political and other rights. The Citizens of a Member State are also entitled to all rights and favors of the Citizens of any other State of the Federation.
- A minimum of 300,000 Citizens of the European Federation is required to present a draft law to the European Congress. This draft describes only the contours of the goal or is a draft law. It will laid down as a People’s Initiative at the Registry of the House of the Citizens. Congress and the President decide on the receptivity of the People’s Initiative. The House of the Citizens deals with this People’s Initiative according to its legislative procedures. Both Houses of Congress make a final decision regarding this proposal within two years of its registration. In case one House accepts a draft law as a result of this People’s Initiative, while the other House rejects this draft or does not make a decision within the determined time period, the President presents the accepted draft law with the advice of each House regarding this People’s Initiative to the Citizens of the Federation and to the legislatures of the States. In case the presented draft law is accepted, by a simple majority, by the Citizens and by the States, it will become federal law. Should there be no such majority this People’s Initiative is rejected. Should neither House decide within the determined time period the President presents the People’s Initiative to the Citizens of the Federation. They decide by simple majority whether the People’s Initiative should be maintained. In case it is maintained the People’s Initiative will be dealt with again by Congress. Congress makes a final decision carrying the overall meaning of the People’s Initiative, under the supervision of the President. Congress determines by law the procedure for dealing with a People’s Initiative without committing itself to substantive conditions.
- A person convicted in any State of the Federation for high treason, felony or other crimes, fleeing from justice and found in a different member State, will at the request of the executive authority of the State from which he/she fled, be surrendered to the State with jurisdiction relating to that crime.
- Slavery or any form of compulsory servitude, except in case of punishment or a crime for which the said person has been lawfully convicted, will be ruled out in the European Federation or in any territory under federal jurisdiction.
Section 2 - Les États
- Full faith and credit will be given in each State to the public acts, records and judicial proceedings of all other States. Congress may prescribe by general law the manner in which such acts, records and proceedings will be proved, and the effects thereof.
- The States of the European Federation have the exclusive power to regulate matters of Citizenship. A State’s Citizenship is valid in any other State of the Federation.
- States may join the European Federation with the consent of a two-third majority of the Citizens of the acceding State, a two third majority of the legislative branch of the acceding States, a two-third majority of the Citizens of the Federation and a two-third majority of each House of the European Congress, in this order. The European Federation takes note of this consent and acts accordingly.
- States joining the European Federation after the Constitution having come into force retain their debts and are bound to the laws of the Federation as of the moment of their accession.
- Any change in the number of States of the European Federation will be subjected to the consent of a two-third majority of the Citizens of the concerned States, a two-third majority of the legislative branch of all States and a two-third majority of each House of the European Congress, in that order.
Section 3 - La Fédération
- The European Federation will guarantee a representative democracy fo reach Member State and will protect them against an invasion and, at the request of the legislative branch, or that of the executive branch in case the legislative branch cannot convene, against internal violence.
- The European Federation will not interfere with the internal organization of the States of the Federation.
- The European Congress has the power to have at their disposal and make all necessary regulations with respect to the territory or other possessions belonging to the European Federation.
Article VIII – Changing the Constitution
The European Congress is authorized to propose amendments on this Constitution, each time a two third majority in both Houses consider this necessary. If the legislative branches of two thirds of the States consider it necessary Congress will hold a Convention with the assignment of proposing amendments to the Constitution. In both cases the amendments will be a valid part of the Constitution after ratification by three quarters of the Citizens of the European Federation, three quarters of the legislative branches of the States and three quarters of each House of the European Congress, in this order.
Article IX - Loyauté fédérale
- This Constitution and the laws of the European Federation, which will be made in connection with the Constitution, and all treaties, made or to be made under the authority of the European Federation, are the supreme law of the Federation. The judges in every State will be bound hereby, notwithstanding any other regulation in the Constitution or the laws of any State.
- The members of the European Congress, the members of the legislative branches of the States and all executive and judicial officers, both of the European Federation and of the States, will be bound by an oath or affirmation to support this Constitution. But no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification for any office or public trust under the European Federation.
Article X – Transitional Measures and Ratification of the Constitution
- All debts entered, and engagements contracted by States before the ratification of this Constitution will remain valid within the European Federation.
- The ratification by a simple majority of the Citizens of nine States of the Eurozone will be sufficient for this Constitution of the European Federation to come into force.