Text of the video
Opening of FAEF’s Citizens' Convention on 2 October 2021
The European state system has changed radically three times in the history of Europe. But one thing did not change: the nature of anarchy of successive European state systems.
First there was the nobility-anarchy of the fights between noblemen in the Middle Ages. The Peace of Westphalia in 1648 put an end to this with the creation of nation states, but as these continued to wage war, nation state-anarchy emerged.
Since 1951, the emerging theEuropean Union state system of treaties has caused treaty-anarchy. EU-Member States ignore treaties if they feel that observing them damages their national interests. Driven by populist nationalism, this is a source of serious conflict.
The Citizens' Convention of the Federal Alliance of European Federalists anticipates the next European state system, that of the federal United States of Europe, based on a federal constitution, free from anarchy within that state system.
The current treaty-anarchy de facto started with the Schuman Declaration of 9 May 1950. At that time, the French foreign minister, Robert Schuman, declared with great emphasis that Europe should become a federation. But, despite the fact that a number of great thinkers, first of all people like Victor Hugo and Altiero Spinelli, devoted their pursuit to the creation of a European Federation based on a constitution, Schuman instructed heads of government to base that federation on treaties.
As a result, the European Union now governs 27 Member States top-down as one single state. But treaties as a basis for súch kind of governance have no soul. A statelike system requires a constitution. With a true trias politica that is kept in balance with checks and balances.
Let me go back over two centuries to place this in a historical perspective. In 1787, the 55 members of the Philadelphia Convention threw the ‘Articles of Confederation’ treaty that was to continue to bind their 13 states, former British colonies, in the trash can.
Why did they do this? Because it was already clear at that time that governing a group of states with a treaty is a systemic error. Those who doubted this were given a rude awakening by James Madison and Alexander Hamilton who, in the Federalist Papers, mercilessly exposed the systemic errors of working with a treaty.
The Philadelphia Convention ignored the mandate to correct the errors of their treaty and designed the world's first federal constitution. Robert Schuman – and his adviser Jean Monnet - should have known this.
Schuman should have demanded that the federal Europe be created with a constitution. A constitution is the soul that contains the fundamental principles of hopeful and secure coexistence. The absence of a constitution - or its poor construction - is like a house built on quicksand. Or with cracks in the foundation. Rats and cockroaches find the openings and spread their diseases.
That is why the Federal Alliance of European Federalists rejects the Treaty-based European Union and, like the Philadelphia Convention, seeks a federal constitution as the basis for the federal United States of Europe.
The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, pronounced the "State of the Union" on 15 September. The title was: 'Strengthening the soul of the Union'.
A soul? The European Union is run by an oligarchy of administrators rather than a parliamentary democracy of the people. With top-down binding directives - without integral political accountability - the EU is crumbling the sovereignty of the Member States and leading them into a process of assimilation instead of integration while retaining their individuality.
This State of the Union álso fails to draw lessons from history. After 1787, twenty-six other states followed America's example. Together they now house 42% of the world's population.
The countless attempts by social groups to federalize Europe have always met with political resistance. The price that Europe has had to pay for this is horrific.
I am sometimes asked: "The European Union does good things too, doesn't it?” Well, that is the wrong question.
The right question is: 'If the United States of Europe had been established immediately after 1787, would we have had the devastating Napoleonic Wars, the wars between Germany and France which led to the First World War and, as a result of the bad Peace Treaty of Versailles in 1919 and the treaty-based - and therefore powerless - League of Nations, the Second World War?
Would the peoples of Greece, Spain and Portugal have suffered years of fascist dictatorships? And would the Balkan countries have been torn apart in religiously motivated wars?"
And outside Europe, geopolitically? Would the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, the Russian theft of parts of Georgia and Ukraine, ever have happened if Europe were a federal state, with an authoritative geopolitical position?
And could the conflict in the Middle East have arisen and evolved so dramatically after 1948, or would Palestine and Israel long ago have been member states or affiliated partners of a European federation?
And would America, the United Kingdom and Australia have concluded the recent Aukus Pact to subdue China? A pact that seems to herald a new world order as an 'Anglo-Alliance'?
What about the powerlessness of the EU in the fight against poverty, child labour, illiteracy, homelessness, refugees, racism, corruption, greed, global warming, the lack of worldwide vaccinations against the Covid pandemic, economic inequality, slavery, famines, and misleading conspiracy theories? How much soul is there in the policy of pushing immigrants back into the sea?
Is it so difficult to understand that the treaty-anarchy lies at the root of this powerlessness of the European Union?
The reality is that financial and material interests have driven out the sense of values. And that the European Union is merely an accumulation of national interests. As a political community it is soul-less, brain-less, and power-less. It is merely a technical, bureaucratic, economic union.
Not only does it lack a valid constitutional basis on which to make decisions that are binding on everyone, but it also lacks a foundation of moral values such as the links between hope and happiness, justice, and solidarity.
The European Union has no political-philosophical basis for values such as justice, freedom, art and culture, necessary sources of inspiration for humane citizenship. Such a basis can only be expressed in a constitution and that is precisely what the European Union is lacking.
Albert Einstein once said, 'Those who cause the problems are not those who can solve them'. That disqualifies EU-leaders as problem solvers. Other people must stand up, special people who - with an aversion to administrative oligarchy and a love of representing the people in a democratic federal state - think, read, study, and use their knowledge to give Europe the soul it has been longing for, for 200 years. The soul of a federal constitution.
We do not take to the streets with flags, we do not erect barricades, we do not storm government buildings. Applied science and moral responsibility underpin the Citizens' Convention of the Federal Alliance of European Federalists.
Our Convention is going to improve a draft federal constitution and offer the result for ratification by the people, just as the Philadelphia Convention did. As a legal foundation of a federal state system, serving as a building block for a world federation, based on the Earth Constitution, which aims at replacing the treaty-based system of the United Nations.
When the members of the Citizens' Convention - as the founding fathers of the federal constitution - look back in ten years' time from a federal Europe to the present time, they will not understand how a treaty-based European Union could ever have existed.
Examination of the Preamble can now begin. Amendments to this part of the constitution should be received within two weeks via firstname.lastname@example.org. The Procedure of the Convention can be found on the website at the Discussion Forum (www.faef.eu).
Well, on behalf of the board of the Federal Alliance of European Federalists, I declare the Citizens' Convention open.