Don’t Stop EU Now - EP agreement for a European Convention

, by JEF Europe

Don't Stop EU Now - EP agreement for a European Convention
Credits: JEF-Europe.

Press release from JEF-Europe. Original here.

  • JEF cheers the agreement on Treaty Reform among the parliamentary groups in the European Parliament. We call for the process to move on quickly through the Parliament and then the Council.
  • Reforming the EU is in the best interest, in particular of young people. It is in fact the best way to face the global challenges ahead and to foster European values.
  • Working to a treaty change needs to be connected with the enlargement process towards Eastern Partnership countries and the Western Balkans.

More than a year after the end of the Conference on the Future of Europe where citizens gave a clear mandate for EU Treaty reform, parliamentary groups in the European Parliament have finally agreed on convening a Convention to reform the Treaties. This is good news for all Europeans, especially young people. The agreement on the Convention brings together the five European parties that have in fact driven the work of the European Parliament in recent years and only finds opposition from the European Conservatives (ECR) and Identity and Democracy (ID).

“Working on reforming the Union and progressing towards a federal structure is in the best interest of all citizens and member states. Those who claim to be defenders of their nation while opposing it are jeopardising their country’s future and the well-being of their citizens”, says Antonio Argenziano, JEF Europe President.

“Reforming the Union is not a mere technical exercise; it conveys a message of hope for everyone’s future, especially the younger generation”, adds Argenziano.

Now it is up to the Council and governments to make sure that once the agreement is approved in plenary, probably in October, a quick green light is given to convene the Convention. A simple majority in the European Council is enough to do this, so this time the vetoes of a few states cannot be an excuse for anyone.

In any case, with this agreement, the Parliament and the parties madea and should make the EU reform the pivotal topic for an open and participatory debate ahead of the 2024 European elections. In 2024, European citizens will not just elect the Parliament, but a de facto Constitutional Assembly who needs to take the lead on this reform, even beyond the possible indecisions of the Council.

Climate, welfare state, health, defence and foreign policy, energy, industrial policy, democracy and rule of law will be just some of the issues to be addressed. Every day, war, crises and great power politics demonstrate the urgent need to strengthen European institutions and better respond to global challenges and the needs of citizens.

As JEF has long stated, Europe is not just the European Union. It will be crucial, then, that the Convention faces historical institutional issues concerning future enlargement to Ukraine and the Eastern Partnership countries, as well as to the Western Balkans, are also addressed.

“EU reform and enlargement must go hand in hand since they are interconnected processes. Both are instrumental in meeting the needs of all Europeans and revitalising the values underlying the integration project”, says Christelle Savall, JEF Europe Vice President.

The Parliament is fulfilling its role as the primary representative of European citizens. Now it is up to the Council. Don’t stop EU now and overcome shortsighted selfishness to work together on the best possible future, for Europe, for all of us.

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