Year XLV, 2003, Number 1, Page 59
Conscious of the historical necessity and gravity of the task of putting an end to the age of national states in opposition to one another, and of giving rise to a single people of the European nations;
taking into account the extraordinary difficulties deriving from extensive opposition to the unification of isolated states by a national and nationalistic policy into a higher entity, that being a European federal state;
determined to construct the United States of Europe on the basis of that which has already been acquired in the framework of European unification,
European federalists have decided to set aside their differences and, during the Congress of Nancy of 8-9 April 1972, re-unite their organizations: the Action Européenne Fédéraliste (AEF) and the European Federalist Movement (MFE).
They shall organize their future political activity on the basis of the following declaration:
1. European federalists who, after 1945, reacting to the horrors of the second world war and totalitarian regimes, became convinced of the need to create a federal Europe, view with satisfaction, but also with impatience and concern, the results achieved so far.
2. The Council of Europe offers evidence of the possibilities and limitations of cooperation between democratic European states. For the first time, through the creation of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), the politics and interests of six states were reduced to a common denominator in a limited field, but with the intention of creating a European Federation. Common institutions were created: the first core of sovereign rights up to that date belonging to the national states was transferred to common institutions.
3. Following the creation of the European economic community and its consequent economic expansion, the importance of the process of European unification in world politics can no longer be disregarded. The enlargement of the European community with the entry of Great Britain, Ireland and Denmark — a community open to all of the continent’s democratic states — marks a significant milestone in this evolution. The community must constitute the starting point for writing a new chapter in European history, leading not only to economic and monetary union, but also to the need for political unification, including foreign and defence policy and the democratization of community institutions against the resistance posed by nationalism.
4. The creation of European institutions, which must permit Europe to speak with one voice and act with one will, can no longer be delayed. A new world filled with dangers but also hopes, is arising from the victories of yesterday. Though the United States are still an economic and military superpower, they can no longer function as the regulators of world monetary policy. While irreplaceable in the short term for ensuring European security, there is now uncertainty over the military presence of the United States in Europe. Relations between the United States and the other world superpower, the Soviet Union, and China, are regulated without the involvement of the Europeans. The security of the Mediterranean region, which is of vital importance for Europe from the standpoint of military and energy policy, has become a source of concern. Tensions are growing between the rich industrialized nations and the non-industrialized poor nations. China has entered the world scene as an important actor, though we are as yet unable to measure her strength.
5. Europeans stand divided before this world in turmoil. Divisions hamper the coordinated development of justice and social progress. Though Europeans created the civilized world as we know it and constitute an entity more powerful than the United States and the Soviet Union in terms of numbers, culture and international trade, the status of their international relations, defence, armaments and currency has changed little over the last century.
6. European governments, often blinded by egotism and entrapped by an outmoded view of their own prestige, refuse to acknowledge that in the world of today the sovereignty of small countries is a pure and simple illusion. They cling to a power whose insubstantiality they refuse to recognize and often limit themselves to bullying communities weaker than themselves. Far from driving historical progress, they are holding it back.
7. European Federation is the only response to the challenge of contemporary history. It is the only realistic design that has been put forward to the European people in the last twenty-five years, and at the same time it is ambitious enough to enable them to reconstruct in peacetime the democratic society to which they aspire. European Federation, created by the free decision of its peoples, will be an example to other peoples and a milestone on the road towards world Federation.
8. The task is immense. It calls for:
an acceleration in economic and social development and a better
quality of life in Europe;
quality of life in Europe;
a gradual reduction in disparities between different European regions;
the development of European research and technology in order to avert the risk of dependence on other powerful nations;
the creation of a single European currency;
the organization of security in Europe on a community basis as a contribution to world peace and a fairer universal order among peoples;
the establishment of relations on an equal footing with the great powers;
cooperation with developing countries and the provision of more effective community aid to those countries.
9. Such a political action, in Europe and throughout the world, implies something quite unlike agreements between governments that can be revoked at any time, or the powerless phantom of a confederation. It calls for the attribution of limited but real powers to a European federal government, without veto rights.
10. European federalists do not want a unitary, centralized European state.
Anything in the Federal constitution that can be regulated effectively by a lower authority, starting from the smallest town council to the European government itself, must be attributed to that authority according to the principle of subsidiarity. Only that which must be regulated at a higher level should be attributed to the higher authority.
11. The nations and historic regions of Europe, with their peculiarities, languages, literature and cultural heritage, constitute the beauty and wealth of Europe. They will be protected and nurtured in the European Federation.
12. Every level of federal organization must be founded on democratic and social rights and must envisage the broadest participation of the citizens to regulate their social, economic and political issues at every level. There is no space for dictatorship of any kind in the Federation. A supreme court will administer law.
13. Whatever form the federal government assumes, it must be designated democratically and controlled by a European federal parliament comprised of two Houses, one elected directly and freely by European citizens, and the other representing their states and perhaps also their regions. This goal must be pursued relentlessly until the governments fulfil the commitment they assumed with the Treaties of Rome, and call the election of the European parliament by universal suffrage in all member states.
14. Only the European Federation can fully reconcile democracy with its social content:
acceptable living conditions for the weakest members of society;
equal access to all levels of education and vocational training;
better quality of life starting from public health, livable cities, the protection of the environment.
15. European federalists realize that the creation of a European Federation is a challenging and ambitious task. In day to day politics, they will never cease to propose and demand appropriate measures for achieving this goal. They will resist all plans, often covert, that seek to perpetuate the existence of the sovereign national state. They will strenuously oppose the resistance of governments and their delaying tactics, and demand bold initiatives.
16. It is this Europe — peaceful, free, and capable of ensuring social progress in federal unity — that federalists want. They appeal to all European citizens to join them in the struggle.
* This Political Declaration was adopted by the 1st Congress of the European Federalist Union in Brussels on 13-15 April 1973. It sanctioned the birth of a new organization that arose from the fusion of the European Federalist Movement and the Action européenne des fédéralistes. The declaration was published in French in Le Fédéraliste (XV), 1973.