An outline of a Constitution

This outline of a Constitution is based on the principles of Consensual Presidential Democracy. Since this is an outline, it does not in anyway resembles a final shape of an actual Constitution. It only shows an example of what such a Consitution might contain, offering a range of possible implementations. In order to make it more specific, it takes the future European Federation as a kind of a strawman showing how such a Constitution could be applied. For further details please consult ‘Democracy for a Human Federation‘.

At the core of this proposed European Federation Constitution are the Universal Values of Humanity and the principles of Consensual Presidential Democracy. Just to remind you, such a Constitution might come into force not right now, but by about 2030, when EF might become a single state. I would also like to stress again 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. Therefore, the main articles of the Constitution as applied to the future European Federation laid out below are really just the headlines, proposing what such an article might contain, with some justification, rather than how it should be precisely formulated. My comments are in italics.

PREAMBLE

The foundations of this Constitution are based on Consensual Presidential Democracy. The Constitution takes into account the new challenges that Humanity faces and asserts:

  1. 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
  2. Human rights, based on the above values, must be balanced with citizens’ responsibilities
  3. A non-faith based system of governance, education and social activities is applied in all public domains
  4. A Judeo-Christian culture is accepted as a unifying culture underpinning the culture of Humanity, while ensuring other cultures can 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 (and the world) cannot risk cultural tensions on a grand scale. That would be the worst outcome for everyone. People change their mentality and acceptability of entirely new norms of behaviour, inter-racial and multi-cultural relationships, very slowly. One generation would not be enough to achieve a reasonable social cohesion. Therefore, in such a difficult transitionary period, the EF (and the world) must minimize social tensions and ensure that its culture remains as homogenous as possible, aligned with the most advanced and mature culture, and with a value system that originates from the Judeo-Christian relligion).
  5. Non- hereditary system of governance (so that all Constitutional Monarchies in Europe, such as in Spain, the UK, Belgium or the Netherlands, 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

  1. 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 based on Consensual Presidential Democracy (just an example).

  1. European Federation organization

The member states agree for the EF to be set up on the following basis:

  • Current member states become nations of the EF renouncing on behalf of the EF the main attributes of their sovereignty, i.e., its army, the freedom of carrying out their foreign policy, and affirming the Universal Values of Humanity that underpin the Federation
  • Current member states become nations of the EF renouncing on behalf of the EF the main attributes of their sovereignty, i.e., its army, the freedom of carrying out their foreign policy, and affirming the Universal Values of Humanity that underpin the Federation
  • Each member nation remains sovereign to the extent that it can leave the EF at any time but cannot join any other federation or merge with another state for a period of 10 years from the date of leaving the Federation
  • Any region withion a nation has the right to secede, subject to following the EF rule of seccession. It can then immediately become a member of the EF, or secede from the EF altogether
  • A member nation can be suspended or expelled from the EF and will not be able join any other federation or merge with another state for a period of 10 years from the date of leaving the Federation
  • EF has its own constitution, legislature, parliament, government and courts
  • Each member nation has its own constitution, legislature, parliament, government and courts, which must be compliant with the EF constitution
  • The EF Constitution has precedence over a national constitution
  • The compliance of a member nation’s constitution with the EF Constitution is mandatory and is adjudicated by the European Constitutional Court
  • Each member nation 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 the Federal Police, which will in certain cases be in charge on federal matters
  • Each member nation is represented in foreign affairs by the EF Foreign Affairs minister
  • Each member nation’s army is consolidated into the EF Army
  • Each member nation 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 the planning and implementing of the agreed decisions from a longer perspective, sometimes extending to one generation
  • English is the only official language used in the Federation

  1. Subsidiaries of the European Federation

The member nations 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 members 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, 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

  1. The foundational principles of the European Federation

The European Federation adheres to the following Universal Values of Humanities:

  • 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.
  • Judicial Power of the courts of justice of the EF and of the member nations’ courts are continuously monitored by the European Constitutional Court on the legality of the judgments with the EF Constitution
  • EF laws can only be passed by the EF Parliament
  • The government acts in the interest of all citizens and not just those ones supporting the largest party. It achieves that by reaching consensus with the minority parties on decisions made (and thus ending the ‘tyranny of majority’).

  1. 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.
  2. 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).
  3. Greater centralisation of some powers. The EF strengthens some key powers to enable effective operation of the EF as a federal state, such as the EF Army.
  4. 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 2% 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 10% of the former EU member state’s budget will be paid into the EF budget)
  • All other former EU Institutions and Agencies will perform its function largely as before.

  1. 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 Nations’ Chamber and the Senate (the Citizens’ Chamber)
  • Candidates are elected for a maximum of two terms
  • MPs and Senators can organise themselves into clubs and committees to propose new legislation.

  1. 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
  • If the President is recalled in the middle of his term, the continuity of governance is maintained by one of the two Vice-presidents replacing him by a qualified vote in the parliament.
  1. 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 Ministers are selected by the Prime Ministers.
  1. 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 are devolved to the lowest governance 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 is 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, which an MP had before being elected to the Parliament
  • Rules on MPs expenses must be transparent.

You can leave comments in the form below even if you have not registered or left your email address.

Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.