Calling for a European Constituent Assembly

Submitted by the Political Commission 1: Institutions and Governance.
Adopted by the online Federal Committee on 5 April 2020. Re-adopted by the Federal Committee in Prague on 13 November 2022.

JEF Europe,

  • Empowered by the positive result of the European elections of May 2019, which witnessed a significant increase in turnout led by young voters, and confirmed a pro-European majority in the European Parliament;
  • Concerned, nonetheless, that many European citizens still question the benefits of European integration and the idea of an ever-closer union, that they do not feel represented by EU institutions or turn to Eurosceptic and nationalist parties;
  • Noting that the EU urgently needs a democratic renewal and to strengthen its internal and external abilities to meet current and future challenges, not least in light of the Covid-19 health crisis, the Russian war of aggression on Ukraine, the energy shortages and its economic and human rights consequences;
  • Aware that the Lisbon Treaty does not provide sufficient legal framework to progress towards political integration;
  • Deeply convinced that for the EU to deliver for citizens it needs to evolve into a fully-fledged federal Union;
  • Strongly condemning the increased use of the intergovernmental method in recent years, which has prevented the EU from acting efficiently on many challenges and has diminished the role of the European Parliament, the only directly elected institution of the EU, while contributing to the weakening of the citizens’ trust towards the European Union;
  • Recalling the JEF Europe Political Platform, last revised in 2017, which calls for a Constituent Assembly to elaborate a federal constitution and to put it to a vote in a pan-European referendum;
  • Aware that the EU commits itself to involving citizens and representative associations in all areas of EU action (Art. 11 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU));
  • Aware that the ordinary method for treaty revision requires the European Council to call a Convention (Art. 48(3) TEU), which can recommend amendments to the Treaties to be adopted by consensus by an intergovernmental conference (Art. 48(4) TEU);
  • Convinced that citizens should have a stronger voice in EU politics and that any treaty revision process should rest on broad public debate and closely involve civil society and young people in particular;
  • Convinced that the Constituent Assembly has the potential to strengthen the democratic legitimacy of the European integration process by involving citizens in the process of reviewing or renewing the European legal and constitutional framework, and illustrating the citizens’ responsibility for the future of Europe;
  • Convinced that the EU has to complete the economic, fiscal and political union outlined in the Blueprint for a deep and genuine Economic and Monetary Union (submitted by the European Commission in 2012), the Five Presidents’ Report: Completing Europe’s Economic and Monetary Union, the 2017 White Paper on the Future of Europe, the Reflection paper on the deepening of the EMU, and the Verhofstadt Report (2016);
  • Aware of the European Citizens Dialogues, which have been organised from 2018 onwards;
  • Happy that the Conference on the Future of Europe eventually took place;
  • However disappointed with the disinterest and lack of media coverage by national media of the Conference on the future of Europe;
  • Applauding the European Parliament for having adopted a resolution calling on the European Council to agree to start the process to revise the EU Treaties;
  • Applauding the Commission’s call for a European Convention during the September 2022 State of the Union address.
JEF Europe, therefore,

With regard to a future Constituent Assembly

  1. Calls for a new constitutional momentum to be fostered resulting in a newly formed European Constituent Assembly;
  2. Urges the European Parliament to initiate the process of drafting a European Constitution to be discussed during the newly formed European Constituent Assembly based on the concrete proposals from the Conference on the Future of Europe for completing the economic, social, fiscal and political union;
  3. Calls on the European Parliament to convene a Constituent Assembly to further develop the proposals of a European Constitution;
  4. Calls for the Constituent Assembly to be composed of directly elected citizens’ representatives, including a significant proportion of young people;
  5. Calls for the Constituent Assembly to also include representatives from civil society, including youth organisations;
  6. Calls for the Constituent Assembly to take into account the outcome of the Conference on the Future of Europe;
  7. Calls for the Constituent Assembly to be held in the most transparent and accessible way, so that citizens are properly informed on the process;
  8. Calls upon media in all Member States to closely follow the Constituent Assembly and continuously inform citizens on its work;
  9. Urges that the Constituent Assembly should elaborate a Constitution setting up a Federal Europe, and ensure sufficient democratic legitimacy and accountability;
  10. Demands, in any case, the new legal framework to be a milestone towards a genuine European federation.