Federalism

Joan Marc Simon: “Federalism has more sense in the 21st than in the 20th century”

22nd Congress of the Union of European Federalists took place in Paris, on October 10-12

, by Fabien Cazenave

All the versions of this article: [English] [français]

Joan Marc Simon: “Federalism has more sense in the 21st than in the 20th century”

The Congress of the Union of European Federalists has taken place in Paris on 10-12 October. In an interview to Joan Marc, UEF Secretary General, he has told us why “federalism has more sense in the 21st than in the 20th century”.

The XXII European Congress of UEF has taken place in Paris on October 10-12. Can you explain us what is UEF?

UEF is an organization that since 1946 has played and continues to play a major role in building a political European Union. The final goal of the UEF is to create a federal Europe .

Now like in the past UEF is convinced that democracy and the rule of law should apply at all levels and supranational decisions should be transparent and accountable. For this reason, UEF international together with its more than 20 national sections campaigns for a federal Europe .

What is the meaning of being a federalist in the 21st century?

Federalism has even more sense in the 21st than in the 20th century. In times of globalization, when everything is globalised except democracy, it is vital that accountable and democratically elected supranational institutions are created to replace the anarchy currently reigning in international relations.

Since the Second World War the EU has moved a long way towards becoming a federal state. We now have a common market, a single currency, an elected European Parliament… but we still lack a common foreign and security policy, a European government able to implement a political program, an economic and fiscal governance able to complement and balance the monetary policy… being a federalist in the 21st century means struggle to improve the European governance in order to be able to deliver more to the citizens’ hopes and needs.

European federalism is the perfect complement to the local, regional and national institutions

European federalism is the perfect complement to the local, regional and national institutions. By delegating the competencies that can’t be delivered to the appropriate level the citizens don’t lose power, they gain it. Keeping competencies at the level where institutions can’t deliver is only damaging the credibility of the same institutions, and hence of the whole system.

Being a federalist doesn’t stop at EU borders. European federalism is the first step towards world federalism as the best way to achieve world peace and fair and equitable relations. UEF membership to the World Federalist Movement is the result of this global ideal; democracy at all levels and for everyone is the meaning of being a federalist in the 21st century.

democracy at all levels and for everyone is the meaning of being a federalist in the 21st century.

TNF and the Young European Federalists - JEF - support the campaign “Who is your candidate.eu”. Can you present us the campaign and its goals?

The campaign « Who is your candidate » is a European-wide campaign aiming at bringing democracy to the selection of President of the European Commission. So far, the Commission President is selected behind close doors by the European Council. UEF together with all the partner organisations in the campaign asks the European Political parties to nominate their candidate for President of the European Commission and link his election to the results of the European Parliament elections of June 2009.

The low turnout in the last EP elections shows that EU citizens don’t see the reason why they should vote in the EP elections because their vote doesn’t have an impact on the political direction of the Union. It is important that the party winning the elections of European Parliament has the chance to implement a political program with an executive able to do so. This can only be done with a European Commission with a political profile and with a face that citizens elect. For this reason we ask the European Parties to answer the question “Who is your candidate”.

Images:
- logo of UEF
- Joan Marc Simon, Secretary General of UEF

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