The Spinelli Group

A new federalist adventure in the European Parliament

, by Translated by Peter Matjašič, Pierre-Jean Verrando

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

The Spinelli Group

Yesterday, 15th September 2010, federalism was at the core of the European Parliament (EP) again. Thanks to the initiative of Guy Verhofstadt (President of the ALDE Group), Daniel Cohn-Bendit (President of the Greens), Isabelle Durant (Vice-President of the European Parliament) and Sylvie Goulard (MEP) a federalist campaign is emerging at the heart of the Union’s only directly elected institution.

A “manifesto” for a renewed federalism, present in policy initiatives

They are Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) and leaders of party-political groups, they are in their forties and want to inject a federalist momentum into the political decisions and policies of the Union. Through a "manifesto" – in a similar fashion as Altiero Spinelli - they call upon fellow MEPs and European personalities to join them. They already enjoy the support of some experienced personalities from the world of European politics, such as Joschka Fischer, Elie Barnavi or Mario Monti, who all agree to adopt a federalist approach in response to the numerous crises and revive the European spirit.

The European interest must prevail!

Guy Verhofstadt, President of the ALDE group in the EP, said that the Spinelli group should transcend political and national boundaries and that the European interest should prevail in future decisions. It’s all about creating a network of federalist influence within the EP.

Sylvie Goulard considers that this initiative will address the egoism and selfishness shown by member states. This group will respond to any impulses expressed by European capitals against EU institutions in an uninhibited and calm way. The MEP insists that it is not about stigmatising the Member States but a questions of taking the heat out of the debates.

If you understand French listen to the interview Le Taurillon made with MEP Sylvie Goulard in the following video:

Le groupe Spinelli rénove le fédéralisme au Parlement
envoyé par LeTaurillon. - L’info video en direct.

And the European citizens in all this?

A common criticism against the champions of Union’s initiatives is that the European citizen is ever more confused. The Spinelli group will seek to reach out to civil society and include them through ambitious and fearless themes such as an EU budget with its own resources, a European army, a common cultural and educational policy etc. In accordance with the British tradition, the Spinelli group has selected a so-called “shadow council" to provide alternative views on European issues; moreover, the group will also decide on the eve of meetings of Heads of States and European governments to put pressure on them; in short, no more room for ugly little secrets in the chancellery.

The group already calls on EU citizens to join them through the establishment of a network via the internet. Sylvie Goulard calls upon European Movement and JEF sections to support the initiative and participate in this endeavour. The success of this project will depend on the support and the revival of a proactive European civil society.

Image: Altiero Spinelli in the European Parliament, source: European Parliament

Read more about this:

* Welcome back, Spinelli!, Press Release of the Young European Federalists (JEF-Europe)

* Brussels targets growing nationalism, source: Financial Times

* MEPs to set up anti-intergovernmentalism group, source: EUobserver

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