The #RomeManifesto: A New Vision for Europe presented during #EU60 celebrations

23-03-2017

Rome, March 23rd, 2017

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With the Rome Manifesto, a group of leading young European scholars and professionals, including Yes for Europe past President Dimitris Tsingos, has put forward an ambitious proposal for the renewal of the European project. The 18 authors present their plan today, March 23, 2017 at the Residence of the German Ambassador in Rome as part of the official celebrations for the 60th anniversary of the signing of Treaty of Rome. They propose the founding of a European Federal Union based on more democratic and transparent institutions as well as a clear definition of competences.

“We propose a European Federal Union that can effectively address challenges that are beyond the scope of individual nations: defence for instance, but also safeguarding the single market and the common currency,” said Claudia Schmidt, a European affairs specialist in Frankfurt and co-author of the manifesto. “Some competences can be given back to the national level. We do not want a European super state.”

The manifesto project was organised by the German-Italian Centre for European Excellence Villa Vigoni and the non-profit association United Europe, a pro-European initiative headquartered in Hamburg. The authors from Italy, Germany, Croatia, the Netherlands, Britain, Austria, Greece and other European countries, all in their twenties and thirties, were chosen by both organisations for their intellectual strength and their commitment to the European idea.

“We, the young generation, see it as our duty to not only uphold Europe’s legacy, but to strive for its urgent renewal,” the manifesto says. “We have experienced open borders and easy traveling, a single currency and common citizenship, education exchanges and new technologies, all of which have allowed us to meet other Europeans and concretely enhanced our conviction of belonging together.”

The Federal Union would be headed by a single European President with an executive branch evolved from today’s European Commission, the group said. In contrast to the current system, all legislation would follow the same voting rules: a simple majority in the European Parliament as the house of the people, and a qualified majority in the European Senate as the house of the states.

For the implementation of their plan, the authors of the Rome Manifesto propose a new procedure. Delegates from all European countries should assemble in Rome as early as 2017 and draw up a constitution for the European Federal Union. This constitution will enter into force as soon as soon as it has been ratified by a majority of today’s EU countries.

“This is how the United States were founded,” said Federico Fabbrini, law professor in Dublin and co-author of the proposals. “By following their example, we create a completely different dynamic from today’s treaty changes. Countries lose the power to block the entire process; instead they will need to ask themselves whether they want to be in or out.”

“Entrepreneurs know better than anyone else that when why gets strong, how gets easy” says Dimitris Tsingos, one of the signatories of the Manifesto. “Evolving to a Federal Union is the natural yet necessary step in the course of European integration, both living up to the expectations of the generations before us and creating the most fertile ground for creating a bright future for the generations of Europeans that will follow us. Also, on a personal note, having grown up in a family who lived the tragedy of WW2 and fought for freedom, equality, justice and prosperity in Europe, now that the living memories of the tragedy are fading away, I can only stand up and speak out with a loud and clear voice for the ultimate necessity of European integration. We have to unite Europe and we are actually doing it” he concludes.

“The #romemanifesto helps building a new positive narrative around European Union” says Luca Donelli, 2016 President of Yes for Europe also attending the signing cerimony today. “We at Yes for Europe fully support it and intend to promote its content to collect ideas and comments usuful to define an effective implementation plan. A key role is to be played by socio-economic integration, an area where young entrepreneurs play a pivotal role and Yes for Europe is there just to facilitate this process!”

Supporters of the proposals can sign the Rome Manifesto online at www.romemanifesto.eu

Together with cooperation partners in several European countries – universities, think tanks and foundations including Yes for Europe – the Rome Manifesto will be presented to a wider public in the coming months, including at 7th European Youth Entrepreneurship Conference – #EYEC7 in Stockholm in May 2017. For twitter updates, please follow #RomeManifesto.

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About Villa Vigoni: Villa Vigoni, the German-Italian Centre for European Excellence, is a bilateral association founded by the German Federal Republic and the Italian Republic. Its aim is to strengthen the relationship between Italy and Germany in the fields of scientific research, higher education, culture, politics and economy. Villa Vigoni fosters the Italian-German dialogue in a European and international context. www.villavigoni.it

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About United Europe: United Europe is a pro-European initiative set up by business leaders, political personalities and analysts in Hamburg in 2013. It is dedicated to the idea of a strong and competitive Europe which can defend its common interests yet respects the diversity of its people. Its goal is a Europe that can ensure peace, liberty and prosperity for the next generation of Europeans. www.united-europe.eu
About the financing: The Rome Manifesto was made possible through donations from the Friedrich Stiftung, the Jaakko Pöyry Holding Oy and the Stiftung Mercator. www.united-europe.eu www.villavigoni.eu