The Times 04.10.2013

British MEP calls for EU federation

The European Union should deepen into a true federation, with a central government, supreme court and shared finances, according to a treaty drafted by a British MEP and like-minded members of the European Parliament.
True democracy and prosperity will only come to Europe if it pools its powers and resources much more than at present, the federalist Spinelli Group said yesterday as it launched its proposal to revise the basic European Treaty.
“People grumble about the EU’s democratic deficit — when what it really suffers fromis a deficit of government," said Andrew Duff, Liberal Democrat MEP for Eastern England and Guy Verhofstadt, a former Belgian Prime Minister.
The document from the cross-party group of influential left, green and centre party MEPs is aimed at countering the return to national thinking which they believe has undermined Europe in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis. Its ideas, sketched as Europe enters the campaign for its parliamentary elections next spring, run completely counter to British Government thinking and that of much of northern Europe.
The treaty draft for federal union proposes elevating the European Court of Justice to an EU Supreme Court and giving full executive power to the Commisison. “It transforms the Commission from an overblown secretariat into a democratic constitutional government, “ said Mr Duff and Mr Verhofstadt, who heads the Liberal group in the European Parliament.
The signatories also included Daniel Cohn-Bendit, the former 1960s student revolutionary, a Franco-German activist who is a co-leader of the European Greens.
The federalists acknowledge that there is not much public appetite for their scheme, but they hope that European voters can be stirred into realising the merits of the original EU project for creating one European entity.
David Cameron want to rewrite the EU treaty in the opposite direction to enable Britain to regain powers transferred to Brussels. He has some support from the Netherlands but the rest of the EU is resisting moves to reopen treaty negotiations, with all the strife they bring with vetoes and national referenda.