European Movement Italy: What to do after the European elections

25 March 2024 | Members' Corner

The voluminous report, narrowly passed by the European Parliament on November 22, 2023, aiming to initiate, for the first time since 2009, the procedure for revising the treaties, has essentially disappeared from the European agenda.

It is not mentioned in the manifestos of the European parties in view of the European elections from June 6 to 9, 2024, approved by their congresses, or rather:

  • that of the People’s Party whose a majority of members finally opposed the report on November 22, forcing, however, the other groups to accept greatly reduced compromise amendments compared to the initial ambition of the Committee on Constitutional Affairs,
  • that of the Socialists, which articulates policies but not how to implement them, hiding the divergences between convinced Europeanists and tepid Europeanists if not euro-nationalists,
  • that of the Liberals, which expresses theoretical faith in an ever-closer union (dixi et salvavi animam meam) and remains silent on the method and timing to achieve it, thus betraying the commitment of the liberal Guy Verhofstadt, who advocated for the Convention as a provisional result of his Belgian Council presidency with the Laeken Declaration in December 2001, which collapsed first due to the decision of the governments to transform the already modest constitutional treaty into an indecipherable hermaphrodite and then with the French and Dutch referendums.
  • and then that of the Greens, who instead choose to exit the deadlock in which the European Parliament has found itself by calling for opening the doors of the Convention labyrinth, preferring the more direct path of the constituent process.

It is not worth talking about the manifesto of the European left paralyzed by the contrast between the majority of sovereigntists who reject, for ideological reasons, the past and present of the European Union, believing instead that the future of Europe should be entrusted to the unlikely victory of radical socialism at the national level, and a small minority of federalists faithful to the message of the Ventotene Manifesto.

Naturally, there is no talk of the never conceived and never born manifestos of the followers of the Confederal Europe united or rather disunited nations in the “Conservatives and – for some reasons – Reformists” and the hard-core sovereigntists with strong impulses of the far right, who belong in the European Parliament to the Identity (National) group, to which the word Democracy is grotesquely attached, knowing that both groups contest the supranational method of the Spitzenkandidaten for the presidency of the European Commission.

The communication of Ursula von der Leyen on March 20, 2024 on the consequences of enlargement for internal reforms, in which the now lead candidate of the EPP for her reconfirmation forgets her rhetorical “the time of the Convention has come,” launched in the hemicycle of Strasbourg on September 15, 2022, and also the commitment she made with the European Parliament in January 2024 to present a roadmap on the future of Europe by the end of February, having the Commission preferred to share the choice of the governments to ensure the effectiveness of the functioning of the enlarged European Union with constant treaties, does not speak of the report of November 22.

Finally, governments, now divided on almost everything as appeared in the inconclusive European Council of March 21 and 22, agree on the idea of preventing the opening of the Pandora’s box of treaty revision through the Convention because small states want to maintain the power of veto and one commissioner per country, the so-called frugals supported by Germany do not want to change the rules of the budget, the euro-nationalists do not want to entrust more competences to the European Union, and France does not want to give up its Gaullist force de frappe in foreign and defense policy.

Thus, the ministers of European affairs prepared the conclusions of the subsequent European Council of March 21 and 22 on March 19, repeating the formula written by diplomats and the Council secretariat, which definitively closes the door to the reform of the Lisbon Treaty.

It is necessary to prepare the ground, involving individual candidates and civil society networks, to denounce the risks of intergovernmental and diplomatic immobilism – which would be inevitable anyway if, for absurd hypothesis, a simple majority of heads of state or government in favor of the ordinary procedure of Article 48 TFEU were to be created in the European Council – and to establish the conditions for the start of a constituent process from below with a peaceful insurrection of assemblies of citizens and in national and European parliamentary institutions, promoting simultaneously the convening of a new Conference on the Future of Europe that has at its center a model of participatory democracy and interparliamentary assizes open to representatives of candidate countries and local and regional authorities.

In this context, it is necessary to convene two Counter-Summits – on the occasion of the fourth (July 18, 2024, United Kingdom) and the fifth (November 7-8, 2024, Hungary) meeting of the European Political Community – which have on the agenda the themes of peace, democracy, and social justice, urging the assembly of the Civil Society Forum in Marseille from April 25 to 27 to approve this proposal.

 Pier Virgilio Dastoli, Rome, March 25 (anniversary of the signing of the Treaties of Rome)