Toward the petition to the European Parliament

With this document the Organizations and the other proposing Partners intend to share a concrete perspective of political action: we want the European Parliament to open right now a new constitutional phase to make the European Union become that “Common Home” that we need, and we want to support this request through a formal petition that we will launch in February 2020. We commit ourselves to bringing the outputs of this action to the attention of the European Parliament and the Conference on the Future of Europe by next July 9th, when the 40th anniversary of the foundation of the Crocodile Club will occur.

It is indeed widely believed that this European Parliament is facing the biggest challenge of its whole history: reap the heritage left by Altiero Spinelli and by the Treaty project of 1984, build upon the failure of the Treaty-Constitution project elaborated by the Convention on the Future of Europe in 200 and restart without any further delay.

The return to nationalisms, divisions, regionalisms, small fatherlands, started strengthening again since the end of the 80s. The years of the fall of the Berlin Wall, the end of the Soviet Union, the Maastricht Treaty, the wars in former Yugoslavia.

We expect this Parliament to find the courage and the determination proper of those women and men who gave life to that Europe which brought us peace for the last 75 years.

Today, despite the efforts of part of European politics and its Institutions, the European Union seems run aground: it is no more the utopia of its peoples.

Is the United States of Europe the answer to this need? We believe that United States of Europe have been a great idea for many decades: an inspiring theme of hope, political culture, concrete action. Without the North Star that United States of Europe, we wouldn’t have made the EU. We wouldn’t have entered the path that after the single currency could have lead us to a European Constitution. Nevertheless, after the failure of that attempt, the nation states – that were, until that moment, the main positive interpreters of that prophecy – hit by the economic crisis, have been overwhelmed by the rising narrative of the new/old forces that took possession of the concept of “state-nation”. Today the category of “state nation” changed appearance, wearing the clothes of the new nationalisms, gritting its teeth, proclaiming its warlike primacies. We should have created the United States of Europe in 2005, now it’s more and more unlikely that we can make them anymore: there’s a time for everything.

For these reasons we believe that a paradigm shift is needed, a new good idea which can capitalize the best of the pro-European path, revitalizing it under a different perspective, unprecedented, triggering: the Republic of Europe, indeed. Because the concept of Republic on the one hand makes central again the idea of a public space meant as a common good to be governed together through liberal democracy. On the other hand, the concept of Republic demand the protagonism of European citizens, rather than their Governments. Luckily European Union already has in its Parliament, elected through universal suffrage, the most extraordinary and forward looking demonstration of this spirit. Whatever nationalists might think of it: the European “demos” does exist.

Making Europe a Republic means to place at the heart the value of equality in front of the law for all the European citizens: same rights, same duties. Making Europe a Republic, a federal Republic, means having common laws and therefore a homogenous fiscal system, a harmonised social welfare system, a single foreign policy, a single defense policy, a single environmental policy, keeping valid the other fundamental civic value, which is pluralism of individual and collective identities.

Law will make us equal, culture will keep us different and in dialogue.

For these reasons, we want to launch a petition to ask to the European Parliament to open a new constitutional phase: the European Union can become a Republic but it needs a Constitution which describes the common set of values and commits European Institutions to translate this set in the equality of rights and duties, which founds and protects freedom, justice, peace.

We will all gather in the Rogers Auditorium, in Piazza della Resistenza in Scandicci (FI) by February 2020, with the social, economic, political forces that will endorse this appeal. In Scandicci, because it is a city that expresses some fundamental values of our Europeanness, through daily concrete actions by its local administration, and also because it is home to a school dedicated to Altiero Spinelli.

At the end of the meeting, the first signature gathering banquet will be opened.

Davide Mattiello, President of Fondazione Benvenuti in Italia

Sandro Fallani, Major of Scandicci

Eric Jozsef, President of EuropaNow

Gerardo Santomauro, Major of Ventotene

Virgilio Dastoli, Movimento Europeo

Diego Montemagno, President of ACMOS

Ulrike Guérot, Director of European Democracy Lab