Greens/EFA want to revive the EU Constitution

Briefing of the Greens/EFA group leaders ahead of the plenary session
Benoit Bourgeois © European Union 2020 – Source : EP

On the occasion of Europe Day on May 9, the EU is kicking off the long-awaited and much-debated A year-long series of events and fora to discuss the future of the EU involving civil society, local, regional and national authorities, as well as policymakers. Concluded in May 2022. Conference on the Future of Europe. The events will give citizens a chance to become more involved in what is by many perceived as opaque and mysterious Brussels bubble politics. Current challenges and ideas for the future will be discussed in various formats, ranging from a multilingual dual platform through smaller decentralised events to large european citizens’ panels and conference plenaries. We are looking ahead at what the different party groups of the The EU’s directly elected legislative body comprised of 705 members. It is involved in policymaking but it does not have the power to propose new legislation. European Parliament (ultimately the EU’s most direct representation of its citizens) envision the EU’s future to look like. Every day this week, there will be a new article analysing another party group’s position and vision. 

Part 5: The Green/EFA group 

Our fifth European political group under scrutiny this week is actually the fifth largest group in the The EU’s directly elected legislative body comprised of 705 members. It is involved in policymaking but it does not have the power to propose new legislation. European Parliament with 73 seats together. The Green/EFA, where EFA stands for European Free Alliance, is a partnership between green parties and regionalist parties in Europe.

For the group, a ‘united Europe’ has historically fostered ‘peace, prosperity and security in our globalised world’. But today that hardly built democracy is said to be threatened by multinational companies. This look back at history and at present challenges helps to understand the Green/EFA answer to today’s challenges, a “solid basis for European democracy”. In other words, the vision of the future of Europe for the Green/EFA is that of a federal Europe and for that dream to come true the group argues for some important institutional changes. Here we gathered the predominant ones.  

A stronger Parliament

Green/EFA voice the lack of recognition of the The EU’s directly elected legislative body comprised of 705 members. It is involved in policymaking but it does not have the power to propose new legislation. European Parliament’s legitimacy and argue for the Parliament to become the EU’s main forum for political decisions as it is the only body directly elected by EU citizens.  

When it comes to its composition, the Green/EFA group disapproves of competition and contradictory national strategy within similar political groups. Therefore, they advocate for transnational lists when electing members of the The EU’s directly elected legislative body comprised of 705 members. It is involved in policymaking but it does not have the power to propose new legislation. European Parliament as European elections should not be so nationally embedded. According to their vision, members of parliament should be elected by all EU citizens resulting in a European Public Sphere. Of course, this will only be possible if the EU adopts a Common European Electoral Law harmonising its electoral rules.  

Moreover, the Green/EFA sees the virtues of parliamentary system also at national level. Greater parliamentary collaboration between the European and national parliaments is crucial for tackling common challenges. 

A An institution representing the Member States’ interests. Either comprised of the heads of government (European Council) or more frequently the ministers (Council of the EU) meeting in different constellations depending on the policy area. Involved in policy-making, often together with the European Parliament. Council representing the The 27 countries that are part of the EU. See the list of all members here. member states  

In fact, the group claims that the An institution representing the Member States’ interests. Either comprised of the heads of government (European Council) or more frequently the ministers (Council of the EU) meeting in different constellations depending on the policy area. Involved in policy-making, often together with the European Parliament. Council should look more like the The EU’s directly elected legislative body comprised of 705 members. It is involved in policymaking but it does not have the power to propose new legislation. European Parliament. It should be made ‘accountable, transparent and more democratic’: EU leaders should take public responsibility and stop blaming the EU. There should be no more A type of vote used by the Council. All members have to vote in favour or abstain for a decision to be adopted. unanimity rule which effectively gives states a veto power and therefore makes the An institution representing the Member States’ interests. Either comprised of the heads of government (European Council) or more frequently the ministers (Council of the EU) meeting in different constellations depending on the policy area. Involved in policy-making, often together with the European Parliament. Council ‘impotent’ by blocking advancements also in deepening EU integration, for instance in tax discussions. A type of vote used by the Council. At least 55% of Member States representing at least 65% of the EU’s population have to vote in favour for a decision to be adopted. Qualified Majority Voting, whereby 55% of The 27 countries that are part of the EU. See the list of all members here. Member States representing 65% of the EU population need to support a proposal, is said to be sufficient and even more efficient instead. Additionally, Members of the The EU’s directly elected legislative body comprised of 705 members. It is involved in policymaking but it does not have the power to propose new legislation. European Parliament should be able to attend An institution representing the Member States’ interests. Either comprised of the heads of government (European Council) or more frequently the ministers (Council of the EU) meeting in different constellations depending on the policy area. Involved in policy-making, often together with the European Parliament. Council meetings as observants.  

A European government, the Commission

The Commission should become the government of a Federal Europe. The President of the Commission should be the winning leader candidate of a transnational list. The European Union should elect the President of the Commission based on a majority in the parliament and a political agenda, just like they do it in England for instance. The Commission itself should be smaller and not based on The 27 countries that are part of the EU. See the list of all members here. Member States’ preferences but appointed by the The EU’s directly elected legislative body comprised of 705 members. It is involved in policymaking but it does not have the power to propose new legislation. European Parliament through hearings. Therefore, there will not be Commissioners from every member state anymore. 

Reviving the European Constitution

A long-awaited dream of the Green/EFA group is to revive the EU Constitution. In fact, Green/EFA advocate for a Constitution that would be written by citizens themselves. It is assumed that it is the best way to shape the society citizens want. This echoes pretty nicely the current A year-long series of events and fora to discuss the future of the EU involving civil society, local, regional and national authorities, as well as policymakers. Concluded in May 2022. Conference on the Future of Europe. Adoption of the new Constitution should be made possible through double voting referendum: A type of vote used by the Council. At least 55% of Member States representing at least 65% of the EU’s population have to vote in favour for a decision to be adopted. qualified majority of The 27 countries that are part of the EU. See the list of all members here. member states and majority of EU citizens. They believe it would strengthen democracy, guarantee citizens’ fundamental rights and organise the EU institutions and powers. Furthermore, a constitution would ensure that The 27 countries that are part of the EU. See the list of all members here. member states actually enforce what they agreed to, which remains a problem today. 

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