Future of Europe

Sarkozy and the Future of Europe: good, but can do better

JEF-Europe Press Release

, by JEF Europe

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

Sarkozy and the Future of Europe: good, but can do better

In his Brussels speech delivered on Friday 8th September 2006 Nicolas Sarkozy has presented his views on Europe and called for a “mini-treaty” to get out of the current stalemate. Jan Seifert, president of JEF-Europe (the Young European Federalists), and Pauline Gessant, president of JEF-France, welcome his speech as a positive step to bring Europe back into the French political discourse.

The presidents of JEF Europe and JEF France agree with many of the views expressed by Mr Sarkozy (urgent need of a political Europe, a democratic debate that does away with discussions behind closed doors, a drastic overhaul of the Commission’s nomination procedure effectively turning it into a genuine European government, genuine Europe-wide party lists for European elections, the end of unanimity in all policy fields).

“Why does Mr Sarkozy propose these reforms for some time in the future instead of supporting them for more than a minimalist mini-treaty now,” Seifert and Gessant wondered.

“Many ideas put forward by Mr Sarkozy meet the demands of European federalists, but Mr Sarkozy still falls short of making all the proposals Europe needs to overcome its current stalemate,” Seifert and Gessant added.

“We are more sceptical about the mini-treaty that Mr Sarkozy proposed for adoption in the meantime. Its ratification through national parliaments looks like an entry into force of the rejected Constitutional Treaty by the back door. By implementing immediately the most urgent reforms, it may act as a disincentive for a wider constitutional reform as described above.”

Seifert and Gessant believe that “In order to put pressure on the countries that rejected the Constitutional Treaty a clear roadmap needs to be drawn up that leads to a ratification of a new Constitutional settlement in 2009. The final text should then be ratified by a Europe-wide referendum.”

Jan Seifert and Pauline Gessant also remain dubious of Mr Sarkozy’s praise of an “open vanguard and ad hoc groups of countries concerned by a specific issue”. “If that means co-operation outside the Treaties or setting up additional structures, we believe that this will not bring the legitimacy and the transparency the EU needs. It would make Europe even more complicated and unnecessarily alienate the small member states” they said.

"We all know that Europe will not wait for France to find its way out of the current deadlock. It is therefore unfortunate that Mr. Sarkozy was not able to commit the government he has been a member of for this kind of reform steps," Seifert and Gessant insisted.

We are still waiting for similar proposals by all the French candidates to the presidential elections and we hope that Mr. Sarkozy’s speech will encourage his opponents to take an even more ambitious stand on the future of Europe,” they finished.

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  • On 20 September 2006 at 01:29, by David Neuwirth Replying to: Bad, and can do much worse

    Let us refer also to the elections, that took place in Mecklenburg - Vorpommern, in which The National Democratic Party (NPD) won 7.2 percent of the vote, making it the the fourth German regional legislature where an extreme right party is represented. The party’s chairman Udo Voigt is openly calling his party “a follower of the Deutsche Reichspartei”, neverthless the party has got a raising success. Although the economic depression is surely one of the reasons, I would appreciate to drew our federalist attention to this recent development and also to the fact, that the voters of this party can no longer be dismissed as misguided, but essentially decent people. The threat one of the strongest states in Europe face is the NPD is on the way to become a legitimate political force.

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