Treat the EU with treaty reform!

Brussels, 23.11.2023

  • The European Parliament stated it: we need Treaty Change. 
  • JEF calls for treaty change to be discussed and initiated by Member States now.  
  • The vote shows the need for an EU wide debate during the European elections to raise awareness and discuss the Union future. 

The Parliament has officially called for a Convention to reform the EU Treaties. This comes after years of work, from the Conference on the Future of Europe, up to the vote of yesterday, and thanks to the commitment of the co-rapporteurs of the resolution. 

This call seems however not loud enough and full of uncertainties, as too many MEPs and political groups raised questions about the right timing and the extent of reform needed. JEF therefore reiterates the urgency to have an open and wide public debate, to be held on the basis of the report voted by the Parliament. 

The EU needs treaty reform now. Member States have to find the courage to answer citizen demands of the Conference on the Future of Europe. The reform will increase the ability of the Union to answer today’s challenges and, among those, prepare for enlargement”, comments Christelle Savall, President of JEF Europe. 

It is disconcerting to observe the persistent resistance, even within the Parliament, towards eliminating vetoes and implementing democratic co-decision systems in vital areas such as shaping the European budget or foreign affairs. This concern is exacerbated by the fact that the majority of amendments addressing these issues have been omitted from the final report.

In any case, the goal yesterday in the plenary was to give a general direction of the reforms the EU should undergo, not to decide on the precise reforms. The EU needs to change. People and even politicians in the Member States understand that challenges that know no borders require European solutions, and for this we need better decision-making and action at the EU-level. 

The Spanish Presidency pledged to put treaty change on the agenda by year-end. It is time for the Member States to be brave and stop wasting time not deciding, that’s what the Council might try to do, it cannot happen again. 

The European Parliament needs to have the courage to bring this whole effort forward. This vote is a new beginning, which should enable us to publicly call out European governments if they fall short of supporting this process. 

Not triggering Article 48 and calling for a Convention to reform the EU treaties is refusing  to deepen democracy in the Union and ignoring the demands from people to reform. 

The EU elections are the right moment to open an inclusive and diverse debate on the topic to build consensus and awareness. The people of the Union deserve a better future in a Europe that can provide it. Their requests for concrete changes often require a reform of the treaties. 

About JEF Europe

The Young European Federalists (JEF Europe) is a political youth NGO advocating for the creation of a democratic European federation as a guarantee for peace, the rule of law and human rights. JEF Europe promotes true European citizenship, works for the widening and deepening of the European Union and strives for a more just and integrated society on the European continent. Established in 1972, the organisation has more than 10,000 activists organised in over 300 national, regional and local sections in 37 countries. The ideals and aims of JEF Europe are defined in the Manifesto of Ventotene, the Political Platform and resolutions adopted by its statutory bodies.


Christelle Savall

Young European Federalists (JEF Europe)