The Constitution of the European Federation
At the core of the European Federation Constitution are Universal Values of Humanity and the principles of Consensual Presidential Democracy. Just to remind you, such a Constitution would come into force not right now, but by about 2030, when EF might become a single state. I would also like to stress that this is in not a draft of the future Constitution but rather a proposal for the content of key articles of that Constitution based on Consensual Presidential Democracy, as my input to a debate on such a Constitution.
I have summarized the principles of the Constitution in the chart below.
Therefore, the main articles of the Constitution of the European Federation laid out below are really just the headlines, proposing what such an article should contain, with some justification, rather than how it should be precisely formulated. My comments are in italics.
The foundations of this Constitution are based on Consensual Presidential Democracy. The Constitution takes into account the new challenges that Humanity faces and asserts:
- The predominance of twelve Universal Values of Humanity in all laws and decisions, which are: Freedom, Democracy, Equality, Justice & the rule of law, Human Dignity, Social Solidarity, Tolerance, Life, Peace, National Security, Family Safety and Nature & Beauty (those values have been defined in Part 2, Chapter 3)
- Human rights, based on the above values, must be balanced with citizens’ responsibilities
- A non-faith based system of governance, education and social activities is applied in all public domains
- A Judaeo-Christian culture is accepted as a unifying culture underpinning the culture of Humanity, while ensuring other cultures to flourish, as long as they do not undermine the homogeneity of the common culture. (To avoid even much bigger internal tensions than it has today, Europe cannot risk cultural tensions on a grand scale. That would be the worst outcome for everyone and I am writing about it in the last chapter. People change very slowly their mentality, and acceptability of entirely new norms of behaviour and inter-racial and multi-cultural relationships One generation would not be enough to achieve a reasonable social cohesion. Therefore, in such a difficult transitionary period, the EF must minimize social tensions and ensure that the its culture remains as homogenous as possible).
- Non- hereditary system of governance (so that all Constitutional Monarchies in Europe, such as in Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, or in the UK, if it stays in the EU, would have to be converted into Republics and the current monarchs given a special, non-constitutional role, e.g. National Hereditary Governor or a similar title, effectively as a permanent minister).
ARTICLES OF THE CONSTITUTION
- European Federation
The member states of the former European Union decide to become a federated state called the European Federation (EF). The system of governance applied in the EF is Consensual Presidential Democracy.
- European Federation organization
The member states agree for the EF to be set up on the following basis:
- Each member states remains sovereign to the extent that it can leave the EF at any time
- European Federation has its own constitution, legislature, parliament, government and courts
- Each member state has its own constitution, legislature, parliament, government and courts, which must be compliant with the EF constitution
- The EF Constitution has precedence above national constitutions
- The compliance of a member state’s constitutions with the EF Constitution is mandatory and is adjudicated by the European Constitutional Court
- A member state can be suspended or expelled from the EF
- Any EF nation or region has the right to secede from its current state. It can then immediately become a member of the EF, or secede from the EF altogether
- Each member state retains all powers and competencies not delegated to the EF by the EF’s Constitution. That includes the rights to own taxation, healthcare, welfare, education and law enforcement but with the exception of Federal Police, which will in certain cases be in charge on federal matters
- Each member state is represented in foreign affairs by the EF Foreign Affairs minister
- Each member state’s army is consolidated into the EF Army
- Each member state contributes a certain proportion of its GDP to the EF budget
- Economy of the EF is based on common currency, a common federal budget and key economic policies such as interest rate
- The Constitution of the EF promotes consensual politics and favours planning and implementing solutions from the perspective of at least one generation and not a parliamentary term
- English is the only official language used in the Federation
- Subsidiaries of the European Federation
- The member states agree for the EF to have the following subsidiaries (zones):
- European Federation Convergence Area (EFCA), which is also known as Zone 1
- European Federation Single Market Area (EFSM), which is also known as Zone 2
- European Federation Customs Union (EFCU), which is known as Zone 3
- European Federation Association Area (EFAA), which is also known as Zone 4.
- EF has a process of accepting member states from other EF’s zones into the EF itself, once they meet the required EF criteria
- The regulations applying to free movement of people, goods, services and capital are agreed between the EF and the members of the relative zone
- Any new member state, apart from the members of the EFCU and EFAA zones must have a constitution compliant with the Constitution of the European Federation
- For member states in Zones 1 and 2 there are Amendments and Exceptions to this Constitution
- The foundational principles of the European Federation
The European Federation adheres to the following Universal Values of Humanities (see Part 2, Chapter 3 for the full list – this is only a sample):
- Equality of all before the law is preserved in all domains
- Constitutionally guaranteed separation of Executive, Legislative and Judicial powers is further improved by a stricter separation of these powers as follows:
- Legislative powers are split into two Houses of the Parliament: the Lower House and the Senate. The Senate is split into two chambers: the Senators Chamber and the Sortition Chamber. (Ensures among others continuous verification that the laws are passed for the benefits of all and not just the majority and that the elected representatives are held to account not just during elections but throughout the whole term of the Parliament).
- The Executive powers are moved further away from the legislative powers by creating a government run exclusively by experts who cannot be MPs, apart from the Prime Minister, Foreign Affairs, Defence, Home Office and Finance ministers
- Judicial Power of the courts of justice of the EF and of the member states courts are continuously monitored by the European Constitutional Court on the legality of the judgments with the EF Constitution
- Laws can only be passed by the EF Parliament
- The government acts in the interest of all citizens and not just those one supporting the largest party. It achieves that by reaching consensus with the minority parties on decisions made (and thus ending the ‘tyranny of majority’).
- The EF has a written constitution and so do all members of the EF. Those members, which currently do not comply with this article, will have a period of one parliament term to align their constitution with the EF’s constitution. (In the EU, it is only the UK that does not have a written constitution. If the UK wished to change its mind, call off Brexit and continue its membership in the EU, it would be another challenge freshly after that country’s return to the EU to have a referendum on this subject in about 10 years’ time. That is unlikely, therefore, UK, would have to get another opt out for a certain period, if it decides to join the Federation after 2030.)
- Greater decentralisation of some powers. The EF repatriates some of the existing powers vested in the EU institutions back to regions and even to a lower local level, significantly strengthening the local democracy. (This is similar to the Swiss and Scandinavian models).
- Greater centralisation of some powers. The EF strengthens some key powers to enable effective operation of the EF as a federal state.
- The institutions of the European Federation
- International Constitutional Court, which would oversee the compliance of national constitutions with the EF Constitution
- European Federation Court of Justice
- European Federation Court of Human Rights and Responsibilities merging some competences of the current European Court of Justice and the European Court of Human Rights
- The Parliament of the European Federation
- The President of the Federation elected on a pan-European basis by all citizens of the EF
- Prime Minister selected from MPs by the President
- Defence Minister selected from MPs by the President. (This area would no longer be the competency of a member state joining the EF. However, over the first year, the member state’s Defence Minister will be an advisor on the former member state’s defence policy.)
- Foreign Affairs Minister selected from MPs by the President (The former EU members will no longer carry out their own foreign policy. However, to smoothen the transition period after joining the EF, over the first year of the EF membership, the EF’s Foreign Affairs Minister will be shadowed by the member state’s Foreign Affairs Minister).
- Internal Affairs (Home Office) Minister selected from MPs by the President. The main function of the Internal Affairs Minister will be to co-ordinate EF-wide policies, so that former EU member states will have almost the same powers as before federalization.
- Finance Minister selected from MPs by the President. (The EF will have its single Finance Minister with considerable powers. He will set the budgets, fiscal policies and interest rates for the whole EF. However, the process of transition to a full EF control of the former member state’s budgetary and fiscal function will be evolutionary and will happen over 5 years. Each year, an additional 10% of the former EU member state’s budget would be transferred to the EU budget to be managed centrally by the EF Finance Minister. Therefore, after 5 years only 50% of the former EU member state’s budget will be managed by its Finance Minister)
- All other existing EU Institutions and Agencies will perform its function largely as before.
- Parliament of the European Federation. The Parliament’s role covers passing the laws, approving the composition of the government, approving the budget, and any other decisions that would have to be voted in the parliament, e.g. in the area of defence, foreign affairs, recalling the President or MPs, etc.
- The EF Parliament consists of two Houses: the Lower House – the Citizens Chamber and the Senate (the Upper House), which is split into two chambers: the Representatives Chamber (50% of the Senators) and the Sortition Chamber (also 50% of the Senators).
- Candidates are elected for a maximum of two terms
- MPs and Senators can organise themselves into clubs and committees to propose new legislation.
- President of the European Federation
- The President has very strong executive powers and governs with two Vice-presidents from the opposing parties
- The President is elected for a fixed 5-year term and can serve a maximum of two terms
- The President makes most important decisions himself, e.g. selecting the Prime Minister, or on matters regarding defence or emergency. On other matters he needs to consult the two Vice-presidents
- The President can be recalled at any time by a qualified majority of the EF Parliament
- Continuity of governance is maintained, if the President is recalled in the middle of his term, by one of the two Vice-presidents replacing him by a qualified vote in the parliament.
- The Government
- The Prime Minister is selected by the President from within the EF’s MPs and approved by the Parliament
- Five other ministers are selected by the President; Minister of Defence, Foreign Affairs, Internal Affairs, Home Office and Finance from the MPs of the EF Parliament
- The remaining members of the Government consist of experts only. Ministers are selected by the Prime Ministers from a stand-by list of pre-approved and vetted experts.
- Other principles of governance
- Donations and loans to political parties cannot exceed €5,000 and can only be paid by individuals who appear on the electoral register
- Lobbying is allowed under strict transparency rules
- Political decisions should be devolved to the lowest governmental level capable of effectively implementing the decision
- MP’s salaries are linked to public sector wages, and should rise and fall in line with them, e.g. they could be set as 3 times the average public sector salary, the exact multiplier will be decided by an Independent Commission
- Serving MPs are not allowed to hold a second job, that is why their remuneration should be high enough to compensate for the potential loss of earnings from the job an MP had before being elected to Parliament
- All persons holding a public office are barred from standing as a candidate in any election
- Rules on MPs expenses must be transparent.
Next: EF Electoral System