Towards a federal Europe

Europe will be a federation, or will not be

Towards a federal Europe

Leo Klinkers ©

Co-author of the European Federalist Papers

The Hague, April 2018



     1.1 What is happening?

     1.2 What do EU Citizens think?

     1.3 What should we do?


     2.1 Johannes Althusius

     2.2 Corsica: Pasquale Paoli, Montesquieu and Jean Jacques Rousseau

     2.3 Declaration of Independence in 1776: Thomas Jefferson

     2.4 Convention of Philadelphia 1787

     2.5 Federalist Papers: James Madison, Alexander Hamilton and John Jay

     2.6 United Kingdom: 140 years attempts to federalise the British Empire

     2.7 Vatican: Pope Leo XIII

     2.8 The Netherlands: Abraham Kuyper

     2.9 Interbellum: Aristide Briand and Gustav Stresemann

     2.10 Ventotene Manifesto: Altiero Spinelli and Ernesto Rossi

     2.11 Congress of Europe in The Hague in 1948

     2.12 Unites States of Indonesia: The Hague 1949

     2.13 Schuman Declaration: Robert Schuman and Jean Monnet

     2.14 Treaty of Maastricht in 1992

     2.15 European Federalist Papers: Leo Klinkers and Herbert Tombeur


     3.1 Introduction

     3.2 Stage 1: launching a Europe-wide information and education campaign

     3.3 Stage 2: federating the federalists

     3.4 Stage 3: one dedicated Citizens Convention

     3.5 Stage 4: the ratification of the Federal Constitution

     3.6 Stage 5: the implementation process

1. Background and motivation

1.1 What is happening?

28 European countries are united within the European Union. The legal status of this form of unity is called intergovernmental administrating, based on a Treaty. In this case the Treaty of Lisbon, which is composed of two sub-treaties.

Intergovernmental administrating means cooperation between countries on fields of policies. They create agreements on policies on coal and steel (the birth of this type of European cooperation in 1951), on agriculture and cattle breeding, on telecom, on a common currency, on immigration and on many other policy-issues.

By its nature intergovernmental administrating has severe flaws. The decision-making procedures operate top-down by government leaders whose national agenda’s are leading the outcome of the decisions. Decisions arrive by applying unanimity voting, which grants the decision-makers a concealed veto-right: if a decision might harm specific national(istic) interests of one country its government leader can block the decision. The lamentable effects of unanimity-based voting are obvious within the UN’s Security Council: countries blocking decisions for the whole world when they feel that their national interests are threatened. In the EU it is not otherwise. The decision-making process by the European Council (the 28 government leaders and heads of state) is driven by an accumulation of national agendas, not by a shared notion of common European interests. Decision-making from the perspective of common European interests would require a system of voting by majority.

Almost any intergovernmental system lacks thorough democratic control, which is also the case with respect to the European Parliament. The principle of subsidiarity (“Let the member states do what they can do better than ‘Brussels’”) does not work because article 352 of the sub-Treaty on the working of the EU allows the European Council to take any decision that serves – in their opinion - the goals of the EU. This leaves the respective 28 national parliaments empty handed.

The combination of increasing the number of EU member states on the one hand, and the top-down manner of decision-making, breaking through the principle of subsidiarity – thus being no less than centrally imposed uniformity – caused gradually growing resistance by national governments, parliaments and citizens. Though the European Union is meant to unite, its actual output is felt like forced assimilation, taking down the sovereignty and the specific identity, culture and way of life of member states. External occurrences – like for instance the recently worldwide economic crisis and the refugee crisis – exposed the fragile character of intergovernmental administrating as soon as ‘Brussels’ ordered EU-wide austerity to master the economic crisis and a EU-wide immigration agreement to accept quota of refugees. Some member states openly revolt and appear even not afraid to establish blocks of groups of Member States within the EU against ‘Brussels’. Which provokes on the other hand blocks by EU-countries that want to enforce rules and agreements against the wishes of the opposing groups. Brexit being only one of the inevitable resistances against centrally imposed uniformity.

This picture – being an extremely brief description of the present litigious scenery within the EU – exposes the disintegrating effects of the intergovernmental system that has reached the end of its political life cycle. Saying that the European Union is a Union has gradually become an exaggeration. The name ‘European Union’ as such is not the problem. It is the evident symbol of the age-old need for European togetherness, brotherhood, cooperation and unity. But the EU’s weak and even destructive aspect is its intergovernmental administrating system. With the Treaty of Lisbon as its foundation - being the worst legal monster, ever written in Europe’s history - the intergovernmental system as an accumulation of national(istic) interests breaks down any attempt to create and uphold real unity throughout the Member States. If one scrutinizes the Treaty of Lisbon along principles of just law-making and of system theory, one can only conclude that this Treaty is filled with system errors, causing the EU-system to implode, step by step.

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Let me compare these observations with opinions by EU Citizens.

1.2 What do eu citizens think?

The Citizen's opinions about Europe are divided. Some find unity within Europe indispensable. They understand that cooperation between member states is necessary, because

  • Many political and societal problems, or questions, transcend their own country borders.
  • The EU is here to stay; turning 180 degrees back to the 18th and 19th centuries’ war-waging prone anarchy of nation-states is no option.
  • The predominant observation pro uniting Europe is based on the knowledge that European cooperation prevented – so far – a new world war.

Others do not see any added value in uniting Europe, and

  • Find Europe a ‘toothless tiger’: the European Parliament does not cover a fully representative democracy, lobbyists have too much influence on decision-making, member states bluntly ignore or even fight general agreements by the absence of enforcement by ‘Brussels’, the wheeling and dealing between member states and ‘Brussels’ to scrape as many as possible advantages for the own country to grease the unanimous decision-making machine.
  • The money-absorbing regularly travelling of the European Parliament from Brussels to Strasbourg and back; grabbling and fraud practising Members of the European Parliament; the absence of a credible financial accountability system; the many frauds with respect to EU-subsidies.
  • No secure foundation of the Euro, making it vulnerable in case of a new world wide economic crisis.

Some observations are factual correct. Other findings are only emotional or hard to prove. This mixture of partly true and partly not true opinions makes discussing Europe’s future very difficult.

We can divide the pro-Europe group into:

Federalists: they see a bright future if the need for uniting Europe will be organised federally, like the currently existing 28 federalist states in the whole world, housing 40% of the world population.

Non-federalists: they opt for maintaining the present intergovernmental EU, however better organised, less bureaucratic, less expensive, while rejecting a federal Europe because of the misconception that a European federation would be a super state that destroys the sovereignty, identity and culture of the member states.

The anti-Europe group is divided in two parties:

‘Decimate the European Union’: cut powers of the European Council, install again country-borders within the EU, keeping them only slightly open. 

‘Down with the EU all the way’: stop immediately and completely the European cooperation and close the borders hermetically.

Now we can observe a strange phenomenon. If my above-mentioned observations are correct we should accept the statement that only a very small portion of the European Citizens would vote for a federal Europe. If my observations are not wholly mistaken we should acknowledge that maybe 90% rejects a federal Europe.

However, what do we see if we would ask each individual European Citizen the following 4 questions?

  • Do you want your country to be sovereign? The answer will undoubtedly be 99% yes, 1% don’t know and 0% no.
  • Do you think that there are societal and political challenges, which we can resolve only by cooperating with other countries? So, common interests that an individual country cannot take care of on its own, but only by united efforts? The answer might be: 85% yes, 5% don’t know and 5% no.
  • Do you think that a unity, in whatever form, should have enforcement powers? I think that the answers will be: 95% yes, 4% don’t know and 1% no.
  • Do you think that a unity, in whatever form, should be democratically legitimised? Would we be surprised if the answer would be: 95% yes, 4% don’t know and 1% no?

This confronts us with a strange contradiction: if we ask Europeans if they would like to have a federal Europe undoubtedly 90% will strongly oppose. If we ask them the latter four questions their answers go straight into the direction of opting for a federal Europe, since those answers are exactly what a federation offers.

There is only one reason to explain this strange contradiction:

IGNORANCE about the true nature of constitutional federalism

In general the people of Europe do not know the conceptual framework of the true nature of a federation. They are ignorant about its specific values with respect to shared sovereignty and caring for common interests. They fear losing national sovereignty while in reality they do not lose a bit of sovereignty and – instead – get some extras in the context of the federal caring for their common interests.

There are of course exceptions. In Europe some hundred thousands federalists have a body of knowledge of federalism. But the general public is ignorant about it. Partly because they are not interested in this subject, or without means to acquire the required knowledge by themselves. Partly because of false prophets, whose interests are in maintaining the status quo by intoxicating – as contemporary Pied Pipers of Hamelin – the public with the claim that a federation destroys the countries’ sovereignty, its cultural identity and other false claims. This group is small but powerful and determinative with respect to influencing the public opinion.  

1.3 What should we do?

The vast majority of the people of Europe should be freed from its ignorance about the true nature of federalism. They do not know what a federation is. If we, federalists, want the people of Europe to endorse the need for creating a Federal Europe, then we should inform and educate them. The people of Europe are not stupid. The people are defenceless. Citizens cannot defend themselves against false and misleading statements about federalism, whether these statements are deliberately deceiving, or stemming from a lack of conceptual knowledge from their leaders.

In discussions with an audience that resists federalism I give them examples of unexpected federal organisations. For instance the way of living in an apartment building. In a building of about 100 apartment owners, each of them is sovereign with respect to hundreds of decisions. Three times a week a vegetarian meal? No problem. Buying furniture from IKEA? Go ahead. Apartment owners can make very many decisions without someone else’s top-down interference. However, no apartment owner can – individually - take care of maintaining the roof of the building. Nor can he clean the staircases weekly, maintain the elevators monthly and paint the outside of the building every five years. These are some common interests of all owners jointly. Therefore this type of housing has the legal status of a condominium. All owners are member; they elect a board to take care of their common interests; they pay a monthly service fee and keep on minding their own sovereign/autonomous businesses. This is a federal organisation.

Not everybody in the audience knows what a condominium-based apartment building is. So, I add another example by asking them: what is the largest federal organisation in Europe? Hardly anyone knows the answer.

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In short, the key is in the hands of those who are able and prepared to bring the required knowledge of federalism to the people. Before dealing with this in Chapter 3, I shall firstly walk briefly through some previous endeavours to federalise Europe.

2. previous endeavours to federalise europe

Throughout the centuries the need to unite Europe has been the goal of many endeavours. They all failed, until the creation of an intergovernmental administrating system resulted in a kind of European unity, though weak and disintegrating-prone: the European Union.

I shall present a short list of occurrences that play a role in this quest for uniting Europe

2.1 johannes althusius

In 1603 the German born philosopher Johannes Althusius (Latin for his original name Johannes Althaus) published the famous Politica methodice digesta, atque exemplis sacris et profanes illustrate. With convincing constitutional observations he melted the ideas of European philosophers like Aristotle, Socrates and Plato about democracy into a methodology to create a state from the bottom-up. We might say: a method for grass-root institutionalising a form of state. He invented the concept of vertical division of powers, resulting in shared sovereignty between organised groups of people and their representatives, one of the corner stones of thinking in terms of federalism. His methodology is seen as the first well-thought concept of the component elements of federalism.

William of Orange, the founding father of the Netherlands, was impressed by Althusius’ constitutional-federalist ideas and got him in 1584 (the year in which he was killed himself) a tenure as professor at the university of Herborn (Germany). We might say that William of Orange was a federalist-driven government leader avant la lettre.

Althusius’ Politica methodice … is considered an academic justification of the Plakkaat van Verlatinghe (1581), the declaration of independence through which the territories of the Netherlands no longer obeyed to the Spanish King.

2.2 Corsica: Pasquale paoli, montesqieu, jean jacques rousseau

Having been a part of the Republic of Genoa from the 13th through the 18th century Corsica has got a brief period of (a kind of) independence in the mid 18th century, until the Treaty of Versailles (Genoa sold Corsica to France in 1768) brought the island under French government. From 1755 until 1769 Pasquale Paoli – leader of the resistance against Genoa – controlled Corsica, assisted by the father of Napoleon Bonaparte. Paoli was an educated man who founded a democracy, based on the trias politica by Montesquieu and Rousseau’s concept of the sovereignty of the people. Rousseau supported him in writing the draft Corsican constitution.

Though this short-lived Corsican democratic adventure constitutes no direct link to federalism it should be recognised as a stepping-stone within the increasing awareness of the importance of establishing democratic states, based on undisputable principles and inalienable rights. So, food for the French Revolution in 1789, but – in our case – food for the Declaration of Independence in North America.

2.3 declaration of independence in 1776: thomas jefferson

Fed up with the increasingly harsh taxation measures by the English government its 13 American colonies decided to declare themselves independent. Primarily Thomas Jefferson has written their famous Declaration of Independence in 1776. This token of absolute separation equals the Magna Carta of 1215, compulsory signed by King John Lackland to grant the English people freedom and justice and it also equals the aforementioned Plakkaat van Verlatinghe of The Netherlands in 1581, abolishing the Spanish King Philip II for its dictatorial behaviour.

The American Declaration of Independence introduced concepts like:

  • all sovereignty rests with the people,
  • all men are created equal,
  • the people have inalienable rights as life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,
  • governments derive their power from the people
  • it is the right of the people to abolish governments whenever a government becomes destructive with respect to these rights.

2.4 convention of philadelphia in 1787

After the 1776 independence the 13 states, loosely united under a Treaty called the ‘Articles of Confederation’, began to establish their constitutional and institutional infrastructure. Each on its own. It became a mess. The Confederation suffered from the same disintegrating movements, as is the case in the present European Union. Some states threatened to leave the Confederation. Due to mutual hostility three blocks were created: North, South and Middle, ready to fight each other. How differently is the case, currently, within our Treaty-based EU?

Then James Madison intervened. He asked and got permission by George Washington to convene the Convention of Philadelphia in 1787. This Convention of 55 representatives of the 13 confederal states was charged by confederal law to improve the ‘Articles of Confederation’ in order to create some order within the Confederation. Instead, after ten days they threw the Treaty in the waste paper basket and created the first Federal Constitution of only 7 articles. A piece of work, based on the conceptual knowledge of European philosophers, which has never been equalled.

Why is this constitution brilliant? Because of the absence of political folklore, driven by national(istic) interests, which is soiling correct constitutional law-making by inserting exceptions to general binding rules: the deadly disease of the present Treaty of Lisbon.

Later on the 7 articles of this Federal Constitution have been improved by 27 Amendments, but it is still the briefest Federal Constitution I know, holding no less than 50 states united, while these states remain sovereign: they have their own legislative, executive and judicial branches, their own laws and policies, their own cultural identities.

The fact that it is a very brief Constitution is also a strong principle of federalism: one creates a federation to take care of a small list of only common interests of the federation’s members. This principle of federal law making is:

  • the more members, the larger the variety of wishes,
  • so the less common interests,
  • so the need for less general binding rules to be made.

Intergovernmental governing, based on the two treaties which together form the Treaty of Lisbon, is exactly the opposite: a combination of two separate treaties, over 400 articles and a lot of protocols, operating as exceptions to the general rules in order to accommodate national(istic) interests of member states.

In September 1787 – about five months after its inauguration – the Convention finalized the fine-tuning of this Federal Constitution and sent it to the people of the 13 states to have them ratify the draft. By doing this the Convention disobeyed not only its assignment by creating a Federal Constitution instead of improving the Treaty of The Articles of Confederation, they also disobeyed the Confederal Congress by sending the draft Constitution to the people to have them ratify the draft, instead of putting the draft before the Congress, risking complete rejection. Moreover, the Convention had decided unilaterally that the Federal Constitution would go into force as soon as the people of 9 of the13 states would have ratified it. Unheard stepping out of the box and outright disobedience, only understandable if one internalizes the essence of the aforementioned Declaration of Independence: “All sovereignty rests with the people”.

2.5 federalist papers: James madison, alexander hamilton and john jay

The ratification process did not go smoothly. There were factions pro and contra federalising the 13 states. In order to inform and educate the people about the advantages of an uniting Federal Constitution, instead of the disintegrating Confederal Treaty, three men began explaining what the Convention of Philadelphia had accomplished: James Madison, Alexander Hamilton and John Jay. During several months they published under pseudonym 85 articles in newspapers. Which in turn provoked reactions by people who supported or fought these articles. Later on these 85 articles were called the Federalist Papers, educational material of the highest order with respect to the essence of constitutional law making and its institutional requirements when thinking in terms of federalism.

The core of the Federal Constitution are the brilliant Checks and Balances, which accomplish Montesquieu’s concept of the Trias Politica, the horizontal division of the three branches of government. Thanks to these Checks and Balances, both on the level of the 50 states and of the federal body, combined with the vertical division of powers between the 50 states and the federal body, no American President will ever acquire absolute supremacy over the legislating and the judicial branches of the federal government. Nor over the 50 states, unless by staging a coup.

Do not confuse the quality of the American federal constitution with the quality of its leader(s). A €150.000 car is certainly a perfect car, but when you cannot drive, you cause accidents. 

2.6 united kingdom: 140 years attempts to federalise the british empire

From 1803 until June 1940 England undertook many attempts to federalize the whole British Empire, at its height the largest empire in the world. Only a few years after having lost the 13 North American colonies, they understood that this might lead to a chain of secessions by their dominions, colonies, protectorates and other territories. Throughout 140 years strong attempts in favour of federalizing the Empire, together with parts of the European continent and even the United States of America – supported political as well by civil movements – have been endeavoured, but all fail.

One of the most remarkable occurrences has been the tirelessly efforts by Philip Kerr, the 11th Marques of Lothian, better known as Lord Lothian. Kerr, private secretary of Prime Minister David Lloyd between 1916 and 1921, played an important role in co-drafting the documents of the Paris Peace Conference that ended World War I. However, soon he began to understand that the harsh retaliation measures against Germany by the Treaty of Versailles might trigger a new war and that this should be prevented by federalising Europe. The anarchy of nation-states (anarchy in the sense of the lack of cross border government to avoid or resolve conflicts peacefully) should be replaced by a federal form of Europe. The League of Nations, initiated by the US President Woodrow Wilson, would be too weak to serve that purpose. He managed to raise enormous political and civil support, but also this initiative became extinct after a while.

The final British endeavour in the context of federalising Europe came from Winston Churchill, assisted by the Frenchmen Jean Monnet and Charles de Gaulle. In June 1940 he offered – by telephone - the French Prime Minister Paul Reynaud, a British-French Federation, provided that France would not surrender. Unfortunately, while Churchill and Attlee were already sitting in the train to Southampton, traveling to a location on the Atlantic to undersign that Federation, the French war-cabinet had decided to surrender in order to prevent German troops destroying Paris.

From that moment on only Winston Churchill delivered after World War II some remarkable speeches to promote the concept of a Federal Europe, though confined to the continental countries, without the United Kingdom. Britain being head of the Commonwealth would be sufficient. At present we know better.

This raises the question: how many Brexiteers know about their own one-and-a-half century of continuous attempts to federalize the Empire? Or maybe better: how many British media – many of which published year in year out false information about the EU – are aware of this history? Media are the shield that defends the people against false information. Journalists get their diploma only after they have learned that the core of their business is: checking the facts, over and over again.

The reality in 2018 is: there is no British Empire anymore. The component parts of that Empire acquired each their own independence by bloody fights (except for Malaya), many in the form of a federal state. The former colony India is the largest democratic federation in the world, covering hundreds of different cultures and acknowledging no less than 22 official languages in the federal Indian Constitution, while federal Canada recognises two official languages. The Commonwealth is creaking since federal Australia announced to leave the Commonwealth within two years. Due to Brexit – driven by false prophets about the EU – the United Kingdom is not united anymore since two of its four regions (Scotland and North Ireland) resist Brexit. Currently, in fact Britain is down to a two regions-Kingdom, though still proudly possessing the Falklands, a handful of other islands and Gibraltar.

2.7 vatican: pope leo xiii

Let’s go back to the end of the 19th century. Pope Leo XIII published 11 encyclicals. Rerum Novarum (‘Of new developments’) in 1891 is the best known one. Mainly driven by observations about the social aspects of labour (the industrial revolution was going on) he borrowed elements of Althusius’ concepts of federalism. The Pope introduced notions of political and natural sciences into the doctrines of the Catholic Church. He mixed in Rerum Novarum the doctrine of the (catholic) family as the grass root centre of life with the federalist notion that federalism is based on grass root level building up a state.

2.8 the netherlands: abraham kuyper

And then we see an interesting jump. The Dutch calvinist theologian, preacher and statesman Abraham Kuyper, founder of the Free University in Amsterdam, borrowed from Althusius (also calvinist) and from Rerum Novarum (catholic) ideas about merging calvinist-driven premises with political-driven premises on governing the people. He invented the concept of ‘sovereignty within one’s own circle’. Herewith is meant that each organised circle of people, beginning with the family, possesses its own sovereign and independent authority, not subjected to another circle. This is exactly the first and most important cornerstone of the method of federalism, designed by Althusius and splendidly implemented by the American Federal Constitution with respect to constituting a federal state.

2.9 interbellum: aristide briand and gustav stresemann

Between World War I and II, the so-called Interbellum, not only the British Lord Lothian was tirelessly busy with trying to federalize Europe in order to prevent a new war, but also the French statesman Aristide Briand and his German colleague Gustav Stresemann. They tried to federalize both countries by setting up cooperation with respect to some fields of policy. Though they called this way of operating ‘federalisation’ it was, strictly speaking, only an attempt to set up intergovernmental administrating. Their endeavours failed due to the rise of Hitler and Mussolini, and their own funeral.

2.10 ventotene manifesto: altierro spinelli and ernesto rossi

And then we see an interesting jump. The Dutch calvinist theologian, preacher and statesman Abraham Kuyper, founder of the Free University in Amsterdam, borrowed from Althusius (also calvinist) and from Rerum Novarum (catholic) ideas about merging calvinist-driven premises with political-driven premises on governing the people. He invented the concept of ‘sovereignty within one’s own circle’. Herewith is meant that each organised circle of people, beginning with the family, possesses its own sovereign and independent authority, not subjected to another circle. This is exactly the first and most important cornerstone of the method of federalism, designed by Althusius and splendidly implemented by the American Federal Constitution with respect to constituting a federal state.

2.11 congress of europe in the hague in 1948

Between 1945 and 1950 Europe has been flooded by conferences and plans on uniting the countries of Europe. One important meeting has been the Congress of Europe in The Hague, in the Netherlands, from May 7th until 11th in 1948. It is widely considered the first federal occurrence in European history, but that is of course an exaggeration in view of the fact that there had been already multiple endeavours between 1800 and 1940 to federalise Europe.

Anyhow, more than 750 representatives from 26 European countries, even observers from Canada and the USA, gathered in The Hague, among which Winston Churchill, Konrad Adenauer, Harold Macmillan, Anthony Eden, François Mitterand, Paul Reynaud, Paul-Henri Spaak, Altiero Spinelli, Jean Monnet and also philosophers like Bertrand Russell and Raymon Aron. Even religious leaders, artists, entrepreneurs and historians were present.

The Congress discussed the future structure and role of a Council of Europe (1949), which in 1950 designed the European Treaty to Protect Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms in Europe. The 1948 Congress of Europe in The Hague called for a political, economical and monetary union, which resulted in 1951 in establishing the European Community of Coal and Steel (ECSC), the first example of intergovernmental administrating in Europe by six countries.

This kind of operating has been prolonged by the European Economic Community (EEC), through the present European Union (EU). So, as from 1800 again and again, each attempt to unite Europe through federalism has always ended up in intergovernmental governing.

2.12 united states of indonesia: the hague 1949

The Congress of Europe in 1948 in The Hague has not been the only Dutch endeavour in the field of federalisation. In December 1949, in the same location of the Congress of Europe called The Hall of Knights, (part of the House of Parliament) the Dutch government signed an agreement with the leaders of its former colony Indonesia. This agreement finally granted independence to Indonesia after five post-war years of failing negotiations and fighting.

The Dutch government at that time was fully aware of the principles of federalism and acted according to that knowledge by insisting that this independent Indonesia should be the federal United States of Indonesia. Why? Because the South East part of this realm, the Moluccas, had been fighting alongside the Dutch army against the rebelling Indonesians between 1945 and 1949. One of the most important – though the least known – principles of federalism is the fact that a federation is composed by member states, each keeping their own sovereignty within the federation. So, in order to save the Moluccas’ sovereignty The Netherlands convinced the leaders of Indonesia to sign an agreement that would establish a federal state.

However, immediately after having signed this agreement, Indonesia’s leader Sukarno began destroying the federation in January 1950. He only wanted a Unitarian Republic of Indonesia and had his friend Hatta signing the agreement in The Hague in December 1949, meanwhile preparing in Indonesia the downfall of the federation as soon as possible. He acted so rapidly that the Moluccas leaders – understanding that oppression was underway - decided to declare their own independence in April 1950. After 8 months, in August 1950, Sukarno abolished the United States of Indonesia completely. He fought the Moluccas’ guerrillas and won this fight after executing their leader dr. Chris Soumokil in 1966. This is one sad example of a handful of failed federations.

2.13 schuman declaration: robert schuman and jean monnet

Driven by the many post-war conferences and plans to unite Europe, and under the influence of Jean Monnet who had been Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s advisor to back up England in the war against Germany and also Churchill’s advisor to phone Paul Reynaud to offer him the aforementioned British-French federation, Robert Schuman, French Minister of Foreign Affairs, came up with the famous Schuman Plan or Schuman Declaration in May 1950. This document of hardly two pages contains twice the unconditional claim that Europe should become a federation. Though, at the end of his speech, he made a terrible mistake by requiring the leaders of governments to take care of accomplishing this urgent need.

Well, government leaders do not have the powers to create a federation. They only have the powers to forge cooperative efforts (like Briand and Stresemann did in the Interbellum) on certain fields of policy. Which led in 1951 to the aforementioned European Community of Coal and Steel, the first intergovernmental administrating system in Europe by six countries.

In several writings I have explained why this mistake is a system error, acting as the root cause of the present disintegrating phenomena within the European Union. So, I refer to these writings for further details. You will find them through a link – later on in this document – that gives access to the ‘7-Routes towards a body of knowledge of federalism’.

2.14 treaty of maastricht in 1992

On February 7th 1992, the twelve member states of the European Economic Community (EEC) signed the Treaty of Maastricht (The Netherlands) as the foundation of the present European Union (EU) and also the basis of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU), which produced the Euro currency in 2002.

The Dutch government tried to make this Maastricht meeting a federalist-oriented happening. This failed dramatically, due to personal tensions between some government leaders and due to Germany’s need for strong cooperation with France to implement successfully the reunion of West and East Germany into one German federal republic.

This failure to boost European unity with a federal impetus came as a shock in The Netherlands. From that moment on, the employees of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs are afraid of using the F-word anymore. And the present Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte utilizes any occasion to loathe publicly the idea of a federal Europe, which would be in his view a super state. This is a note like ‘the earth is flat’. If he would be the next-door neighbour, it would not do much harm. But being Prime Minister, uttering false claims about federalism, influences the people thoroughly.

As said before: the people are not stupid. But the people are defenceless against wrong statements by conceptual ignorant, but influential politicians when there are no political journalists around to refute those statements by presenting the facts about federalism.

2.15 european federalist papers: leo klinkers and herbert tombeur

The lack of a federal foundation of the aforementioned Economic and Monetary Union has been subject of many commentaries. One spicy commentary came from Robert A. Levine, top-official in the American federal government. In a January 1999 article in The New York Times he said – among other warnings about the too weak political foundation of the forthcoming Euro currency – that Europe should write its own Federalist Papers to understand the importance of a federal organisation for monetary safety between cooperating countries. Well, no one responded to this call. No politicians, no scientists, no philosophers picked up this signal to ‘inform and educate’ the people of Europe - and especially its political leaders – on the principles of federalism. Just as Madison, Hamilton and Jay had done in 1787-1788.

So, we took up this job, my Flemish colleague Herbert Tombeur and I. Between August 2012 and May 2013 we wrote the 26 European Federalist Papers, using the same writing technique as done by Madison and his co-authors by interactively exchanging observations about the fundamentals of federalism. Our Papers are roughly divided in three parts: one part explains the weakness of the European Union due to the system error of the Schuman Declaration, severely added by a multitude of system errors in the present Treaty of Lisbon. Another group of Papers deals with the reasons of creating the federation of the USA, its fundamental constitutional and institutional principles, and the strength of federalism by the vertical division of powers and the brilliant checks and balances. A third group of Papers is devoted to the design of a European Constitution of only ten articles. Three articles more than the original US-Constitution, but dedicated to the present European societal and political culture. We inserted also some principles of direct democracy, an aspect that does not exist in the US Constitution.

Having finished this work, we set up the infrastructure for a Citizens Convention like the 1787 Convention of Philadelphia. Supported by the Jean Monnet Association in Bucharest we decided to have this Convention in Bucharest in November 2013, as a signal to the recently democratized (but strongly clinging to their newly fought independence) East European countries that federalism would be their best option within a united Europe. At present we see how EU-countries like Poland, Hungary, Romania and the Czech Republic try to resist the typically intergovernmental flaw of compulsory top-down decision-making, ending up in fighting an up-hill battle against ‘Brussels’. This would never have occurred when Europe would be a federation.

The goal of our Convention was: about 50 European federalists should improve our draft federal Constitution of ten articles. Thereafter we would disseminate this draft Constitution to the people of Europe, asking them to ratify it, just like the Convention of Philadelphia had done. When the people of 9 countries would have ratified the draft, we would declare the federation established, provided that the respective 9 governments would endorse their people’s decision. This aspect of 9 countries comes from the Treaty of Lisbon that warrants the legal justification of establishing a form of an enhanced cooperation between 9 EU-countries within the intergovernmental EU-system. I come back to that item in Paragraph 3.6.

However, at a crucial moment we failed to get enough funds to establish the Convention in Bucharest 2013. From that moment on I devoted my time to prepare again a Citizens Convention, aiming at the design of a federal Constitution for Europe by improving the draft, designed by Herbert Tombeur and I, having it ratified by the people of at least 9 EU countries.

The next Chapter 3 deals with this new attempt. However, the word ‘new’ is only partly appropriate. It is new when compared with the very many endeavours since 1800 to federalise Europe. But it is not new in view of the process that has been undertaken in America between 1787 and 1789: the Convention of Philadelphia > the Federalist Papers > the Ratification > the birth of the USA. Our attempt is new in the sense that this approach has never been done since 1800.

That is why it might succeed this time. By copying as good as possible the process of federalising the United States we act like soldiers who (hope to) walk safely through a minefield by stepping carefully in the footsteps of the soldier in front of them. By ignoring the fundamentals of the process of federalising the US at the end of the 18th century, each attempt by European political leaders after 1800 to federalise Europe blew up in their face. The Americans pulled it off at the end of the 18th century by applying exactly what federalism is all about: a bottom-up grass root citizen’s approach. That is what should be done, finally, after wasting two centuries of idle beating around the European bush. How it will be done is explained in Chapter 3.

3. actions: a scenario that has not been done yet

3.1 introduction

Let me be clear about the ultimate goal of this approach: making a fair contribution to establishing the United States of Europe by applying a methodology that resembles as much as possible the way in which the Americans created their federal republic between 1787 and 1789. The component elements of their approach, leading to their success, were:

  • getting together a small group of people, anxious about their disintegrating confederation, determined to let their 13 governments survive and to keep their newly acquired freedom;
  • troubled by the question “How do we safe our freedom from a predominant ruler, while establishing in the meantime a kind of cross-border government that should never be able to grab the power to suppress us again”, they invented the vertical division of powers, leading to the so-called shared sovereignty: all member states keep their sovereignty and a federal, cross border operating organ is sovereign with respect to a handful of common interests that cannot be taken care of by single states;
  • they stepped completely out of the box by ignoring and disobeying their assignment (being: improve the Treaty of the Confederation), and replaced unilaterally that Treaty by designing a Federal Constitution, the first one in political history;
  • they also disobeyed their assignment by putting the draft Federal Constitution before the people of the 13 confederal states instead of asking approval by the Confederal Congress; this disobedience even being more remarkable by their unilateral decision that the Federation would go into force if the people of 9 of the 13 states would have ratified;
  • the ratification process was supported by the 85 Federalist Papers by Madison, Hamilton and Jay, informing, explaining and educating the people about the values of a federal form of state;
  • by the summer of 1788 the people of 9 countries had ratified the Federal Constitution, the other 4 completed the list through 1789.

Copying this American process as close as possible, it might be clear that this is a grass root, bottom up process, without the involvement of political leaders, either from the EU, or from the 28 national governments/parliaments. It is not a referendum, nor a European Citizen’s Initiative.

I like the European Union as a symbol of the need for European unity, but there are many reasons to loathe its intergovernmental administrating system that appears to destruct and disintegrate that necessary unity. Having reached the end of its political life cycle, this system is clinically dead. Throughout some decades European leaders have had ample time, advice and opportunities to replace it by a European Federation. It is time to show how it should have been done.

Instigated by the saying ‘persistence pays off’ the new – grass root bottom-up approach - consists of five stages.

3.2 stage 1: launching a europe-wide information and education campaign

3.2.1 The need of filling up the knowledge gap

In Chapter 1 I have showed the strange contradiction that maybe 90% of the European people is against a federal Europe, while the same 90% endorses values that only can be produced by a federal organisation. This stems from a severe lack of information and education about the true nature of a federation. I dare to say that this lack of people’s knowledge stems largely from false political prophets and lazy political journalists.

This lack of knowledge is an inexhaustible source for national(istic) politicians to continue misleading people with fear for losing sovereignty by being member of the cross border administrating EU-system. It should be acknowledged that it is true that the EU-intergovernmental administrating system is operating by centrally imposed uniformity and as such is interfering in the Member States’ sovereignty indeed. The problem - though – is that those politicians do not (want to) know that their country’s sovereignty is save within a federation, while getting even extras by the federal value of taking care of common interests.

In order to keep and even strengthen their personal power they enhance the people’s fear for ‘foreign enemies’, until the people understands that it is fooled. It might take some time but as the saying goes: “You can fool some people some of the time, but you cannot fool all people all of the time.”

3.2.2 Composing the ‘7-Routes towards a body of knowledge of federalism’

With the help of federalist friends (Holland: Sterk Leren Academy/SamenWereld; Italy: former U.S.E. Now/Stand Up for Europe) I have composed a ‘7-Routes body of knowledge of federalism.

The 7 Routes are:

  • Route 1 leads to the 26 European Federalist Papers, each paper separately,
  • Route 2 contains the 26 Papers in the form of an E-book,
  • Route 3 has the answers on about 50 Frequently Asked Questions,
  • Route 4 leads to a set of educational videos about federalism,
  • Route 5 offers ten advantages of federalism,
  • Route 6 comprises some in-depth reviews of important writings on federalism,
  • Route 7 is a challenging video about the importance to attract (by a federal Europe) no less than 500 million (500.000.000) immigrants from all over the world, between now and the end of the century.

Actually, the present document plus the 7-Routes form jointly a 1 + 7 formula. The 1 is standing for the drive of this the document to stimulate people to open the eyes about the true nature of federalism, and the 7-Routes are standing for a variety of options to acquire the necessary knowledge about this phenomenon.

3.2.3 Launching the ‘7-Routes towards a body of knowledge of federalism’

The launching of this body of knowledge starts in April 2018. It will be done through the following media:

  • Online publishing in Europe Today,
  • Social media,
  • Sending the link to the headquarters and specific parts of federalist-oriented European movements, and pro-Europe Institutes and NGO’s,
  • Sending the link to individuals in our personal network and to regular news media throughout Europe and beyond.

This launching will be repeated through May 2018. Thereafter we publish 50 very brief videos on Questions and Answers on federalism to keep the informing and educating process going on.

3.2.4 The second objective of this launching process

The first objective is of course providing the people of Europe with a variety of options to acquire basic knowledge about federalism. However, there is a second objective as well. This body of knowledge arrives in federalist circles, as well as in the circles of people in general. The point is that the federalists should understand their responsibility to pick up the ‘information and educating motive’ by setting up strategic plans to spread this body of knowledge as wide as possible within their own environments. This leads to the next paragraph.

3.3 stage 2: federating the federalists

3.3.1 The absence of federal unity between federal movements

There are a lot of pro-Europe movements, the majority of which aim more or less at federalising Europe. They have one problem, though: they are not federally united; they all are single, unitarian organisations. Each with its their own goals, drives and cultural identities. Though some of them are huge, for instance the Union of European Federalists (UEF) and the Young European Federalists (YEF/JEF), and therefore perfectly decentralized, they still are single, unitarian organisations.

This aspect is posing a particular problem: even within federalist movements many sincere federalists lack sufficient knowledge of the component elements of a federation. When I say to an individual member of UEF, or JEF, or Stand Up for Europe, or DiEM25, or any other federalist-oriented movement that the time has come to establish a Federation of Federalists, they answer bewildered or irritated: “We are already a federation of federalists”. By replying, “No, you are not”, their bewildering and irritation increase. I have to explain that all present federalist movements are unitarian movements. They all have local/regional/national groups throughout Europe, which makes them decentralized unitarian movements.

A Federation of Federalists – on the other hand - would show an organisation that is composed by those unitarian movements jointly. So: UEF, JEF, Stand Up for Europe, DiEM 25, Volt, Pulse of Europe, European Federation, Vision Europe, Strength Europe, Italian Radicals, Ventotene Committee, Europe Young Democrats, Spinelli Group, +Europe and many other federalist-oriented movements that want to join a Federation of Federalists. Within that federation all members (being the movements themselves) remain their sovereignty, autonomy, independence and cultural identity, but share at least one common interest: trying to establish the United States of Europe. 

There is no objection at all to have a lot of single federalist-oriented unitarian movements. On the contrary. The variety of their specific goals and cultures should be considered a sound foundation for creativity: diversity breeds innovation. However, their level/degree/rate of organisation, their desire to close ranks and build up joint power, is practically zero. A low degree of union-density is a well-known phenomenon of weakness. A high union-density degree is a powerful instrument to accomplish fundamental innovations

Whatever street-actions by Pulse of Europe, whatever striving by the European Federalist Party, Diem25 or Vision Europe to create a transnational political party to acquire seats in the European Parliament, whatever plans by Volt to change present EP-policies, whatever the fine efforts by Stand Up for Europe to mobilize grass root City Teams to involve bottom-up the general people in federalist thoughts, whatever workshops and seminars by JEF, whatever conferences by UEF and the Spinelli Group, and many more sincere endeavours by other movements, they are primarily preaching for the own parish, not reaching out (sufficiently) to the federalist-ignorant people of Europe, and therefore neglected – as ‘une quantité négliable’ - by the European Council, the European Commission and the European Parliament.

There is a large group of federalist-oriented members in the European Parliament, but until today they cling to the false assumption that it would be possible to create a European Federation through changing (once again) the incredibly bad Treaty of Lisbon. Their drive to change the Treaty of Lisbon in such a way that the EU might become a Federation is also based on the misconception that the present European Union is already looking – a bit – like a federation.

Watch here my reply

3.3.2 Federating the federalists is a must

So, it is a strange and sad thing that there is no federation of federalist movements. How on earth can one make constructive steps towards European federalism if the single unitarian federal movements cannot prove that they are able to federalise themselves? Proving that each of them can be an autonomous, a sovereign member within a Federal Organisation that will take care of important common interests like making considerable contributions to creating the United States of Europe, by implementing strategic plans with respect to informing and educating the general public about federalism: fertilizing the grass roots.

What we need is an organisational quantum leap. The time is ripe to federate the single federalist movements into a Federal Organisation, operating as an umbrella to protect ánd to further the single movement’s desire for a European Federation, based on a Federal Constitution, ratified by the people of Europe, while keeping intact their own organisational sovereignty.

Therefore, we have to resuscitate the slogan that has been the foundation of the Italian based federalist movement U.S.E. Now: ‘federate the federalists’. Unfortunately, when this movement merged in December 2016 with Stand Up for the United States of Europe and with a part of the European Federal Party, the merger resulted into one more unitarian movement instead of a Federal Organisation of three autonomous movements under a federal umbrella. However, there are signals that the tide is turning. A process of elementary ‘federating the federalists’ is already dawning in Milan.

3.3.3 The organisational structure of federating the federalists

One should make a distinction between the legal and the organisational basis of this urgently needed Federal Organisation of federalist movements. The legal basis for such a federation of federalists might be very light: a Covenant. The legal status of an Association – which involves notary deed, statutes, board, et cetera – would not be necessary. The weight of this type of organisation should be laid at the bottom, the members of the Covenant, the single, unitarian movements.

I would like to call this federation of federalists: Federal Alliance of European Federalists (FAEF).

It should be clear for any unitarian movement that joins this Federal Alliance of European Federalists that it has the objective to join forces to set up and implement a Europe-wide plan to inform and educate the people of Europe about federalism as an instrument to make the people of Europe ready to ratify a federal Constitution.

This is necessary for what I am explaining in paragraph 3.4: establishing a Convention to design a Federal Constitution to be ratified by the people of Europe. It is the Federal Alliance of European Federalists’ task to ‘cultivate the soil’, to fill the heart and the brains of the European people with knowledge about federalism. If this cultivating of the human soil is not carried out, the ratification of the Federal Constitution will not work. 

By my experience as consultant in public administration in several countries I have learned that complicated innovation processes are best served by organising the required workforce in a satellite-structure. This means: the Federal Alliance of European Federalists should operate as a centrally project-team, while the decentralized groups of the respective movements should operate as their satellites: project teams, scattered throughout Europe, doing the actual information and education work. These satellite project teams need to be organised, instructed and equipped with the tools to do the job. This calls for a large fund of euros: ‘no mun, no fun’.

This simple drawing shows a satellite structure:

3.3.4 Now we are talking money 

There is a growing sense of urgency between single federalist movements that the inevitable further crumbling of the EU-intergovernmental system offers an impetus to become allies, closing the ranks within a Federal Alliance of European Federalists to break through towards a realistic European Federation.

However, we run up against the limited energy, time and finances of the volunteers who keep these movements operating. All work since writing the European Federalist Papers (2012-2013) until designing the ‘7-Routes towards a body of knowledge of federalism’, including the recording of the videos and the launching of this part of the process, have been financed by private means. Federating the federalists - and thereafter establishing the Citizens Convention of the next Stage 3 - cannot by done by private resources.

While volunteers will be indispensable for the rest of the process, they need to be supported by professional experts and tools. This comes with a cost. We need money to set up strategic plans on informing and educating the people of Europe, and to implement them by the thousands individual members of the movements, united within the Federal Alliance of European Federalists.

Carrying out this part, as well as the Convention, will cost at least 5 million euros. While this document is being published consultations with people who might be prepared to finance this whole project are taking place. However, it is too soon to assume that this will be a piece of cake.

3.4 stage 3: one dedicated citizens convention

3.4.1 Preliminary remarks

In order to follow as closely as possible our benchmark, the successful US-federalisation process, at the end of the 18th century, we organise a Citizens Convention. Because we have done already a lot of preparations it is not necessary to imitate exactly the Convention of Philadelphia. So, we do not need several months to create a brand new Federal Constitution because Herbert Tombeur and I have designed already the draft within our European Federalist Papers. There is also no need for creating a group of three writers like Madison, Hamilton and Jay, because Herbert and I have done this work already. It is up to others to judge if the quality of our 26 European Federalist Papers matches the American ones.

3.4.2 The Convention of The Hague

As mentioned before, Herbert Tombeur and I tried to organise such a Convention in November 2013 in Bucharest, supported by the Jean Monnet Association in Bucharest. We failed, due to lack of funds.

I prefer to organise this second attempt in The Netherlands, in The Hague, the residence of the Dutch parliament. The Hague is well known as the legal capital in the world. It houses several international Tribunals, The International Criminal Court and the International Court of Justice where countries seek their conflicts to be resolved. Another reason refers to the aforementioned federal Congress of The Hague in 1948, the venue of all influential Europeans to open the doors towards European federalism. Unfortunately, history shows that their influence did not reach beyond establishing an intergovernmental administrating system. So, we should have a second try, breaking through the walls of intergovernmental obstacles to reach the European Federation that is dawning at the horizon.

Let me be clear: at this moment organising the Convention in The Hague is still just an intention. Fulfilling this endeavour depends on a variety of challenges to overcome. But in the end all comes down to getting a fund that enables us to organise a professionally operating Convention.

3.4.3 The 56 participants of the Convention of The Hague

The Convention of Philadelphia consisted of 55 people. They proved to be able to create the first federal Constitution, a wonderful piece of work by transforming ideas of European philosophers into a general binding set of only 7 rules. It is nonsense to think that one needs hundreds or even thousands of people to design a perfect federal Constitution.

It suffices to remember the fate of the draft constitution by Valéry Giscard d’Estaign’s European Convention between February 2002 and July 2003: input by 217 representatives of members states, national parliaments, the European Parliament, the European Commission, representatives from countries on the waiting list to become EU-member state, European Institutes and NGO’s. The draft was put before an Intergovernmental Conference from October 4th 2003 until June 18th 2004. Result: a) a Constitution overburdened with national(istic) folklore, b) neglecting to inform and educate the European people beforehand, c) allowing leaders of the intergovernmental system to downplay the need for uniting Europe by a Constitution, d) leading to veto-referenda in France and The Netherland in 2005, e) ending up in the legal monster called the Treaty of Lisbon in 2007-2009.

For a high-quality Citizens Convention we only need participants who know the conceptual framework of federalism, who have studied the process of the Convention of Philadelphia, who have read the European Federalist Papers and who understand that constitutional federal-law making for a heterogeneous group of member states – each fond of their own sovereignty, autonomy and cultural identity – requires the utmost constraint with respect to making rules. As the saying goes: “The more rules, the more fools”. That is the reason why there will be no politicians from national governments or from the EU-system among the participants of the proposed Convention in The Hague.

To equal the number of participants of the Convention of Philadelphia the Convention of The Hague will have 56 participants: two of each EU-country, so still including the UK. Making a short list of participants will be done in close cooperation with federalist friends. We know exactly who should be the Convention’s participants. Also taking into consideration a balance between women and men, young and old, experts in constitutional law making and experts in specific policy fields.

Besides the formal 56 Participants a number of Observers will be invited, persons from countries on the waiting list to become member of the EU (Montenegro, Albania, Serbia, Macedonia, Turkey, Kosovo, Bosnia-Herzegovina) and countries that have special relations with the EU, for instance Switzerland, Norway, Iceland. It might be a matter of consideration if regions should be invited - as Observers - as well. For instance Scotland, Catalonia, Andorra, Corsica and other regions which would like to become member of the United States of Europe as an independent country.

3.4.4 The goal of the Convention of The Hague

The goal of the Convention is threefold:

  • Improving the draft federal Constitution, designed by Herbert Tombeur and I.
  • Diffusing the improved draft Constitution to the people of Europe.
  • Asking the people of Europe to ratify this draft.

3.4.5 Timeline, agenda, preparatory activities and order of the meeting

The Convention is from on Monday afternoon until Friday afternoon. The timeline is:

On Monday the 56 participants arrive in The Hague, get their hotel rooms and will be informed, during a jointly dinner, of the latest news about the Convention.

On Tuesday the participants decide by majority voting on the articles of the draft federal Constitution, taking into consideration that the articles may not extend the number of ten, being the number of the present draft. There will be no room for inserting specific national(istic) interests, nor for exceptions to the general binding constitutional ruling, being one of the many system errors of the Treaty of Lisbon that provoke the increasing amount of internal conflicts and therefore its disintegrating nature.

On Wednesday the participants decide by majority voting on the text of the Explanatory Memorandum that goes with the ten articles of the draft Constitution.

On Thursday the participants decide by majority voting on matters with respect to diffusing the draft Constitution and its Explanatory Memorandum to the people of Europe.

On Friday politicians and representatives of pro-Europe institutes and NGO’s are invited to be informed of the results. There will also be some speeches by keynote speakers and a panel discussion.

This mars order makes it clear that from Tuesday through Thursday the Convention is not a Conference where participants deliver speeches, statements and declarations. We have had enough of that in the last 70 years. They discuss the final text of the ten articles of the Constitution, its Explanatory Memorandum and the plan to diffuse the results to the people of Europe, deciding upon this material with one intention only: does it serve the common European interest? An independent chairperson, assisted by Herbert Tombeur and I, will chair the Convention.

The preparatory activities are as follows:

  • The participants receive about five months before the Convention a set of material about federalism; their personal archive.
  • They receive also the draft federal Constitution of ten articles written by Herbert and I, along with the draft Explanatory Memorandum and proposals with respect to diffusing the draft Constitution to the people of Europe.
  • The participants – being teams of two per EU-country – study carefully these three documents, design innovations or alterations, provided that they do not extend the number of the present ten articles of the draft Constitution, sending their observations regarding the three documents at least two months before the Convention to Herbert Tombeur and I. We, Herbert and I, check this input and create an improved draft Constitution, Explanatory Memorandum and diffusion Plan, based on their input, provided that Herbert and I consider the participant’s input to be improvements indeed.
  • It is up to the 28 two-persons teams to decide if they want to be supported by experts or even want to organize within their circles group discussions, workshops or seminars to acquire opinions from people who have been informed and educated by the teams of the satellite-structure of paragraph 3.3.3. If there will be a fund of at least 5 million Euros they will get financial means to organise the support they need.

3.4.6 The organisational basis of the Convention

There will be established a temporarily Foundation, according to Dutch law, to organise each and every aspect with respect to this Convention. The fund is a) necessary to establish the Convention, b) to provide the 56 participants with financial means to prepare their contribution for the general meeting of the Convention and c) to support the grass root satellite-teams, which are informing and educating the people of Europe. The fund will be accounted for by the Foundation. This entity will have a board of only three individuals, a professional staff of about ten persons, among which an experienced lawyer, accountant and communication expert. The Foundation expirers after fulfilling the subject that I am dealing with in the next paragraph 3.5.

3.5 stage 4: the ratification of the federal constitution

3.5.1 Diffusing the results of the Convention

Through a variety of channels the results of the Convention will be disseminated throughout Europe. The satellite-structure of the Federal Alliance of European Federalists will play an important role with respect to reaching out to as many as possible Europeans.

3.5.2 The ratification process by blockchain technology

We are currently investigating the option to base the ratification (in the simple terms ‘yes’ or ‘no’) on blockchain technology. It is impossible to commit fraud or to hack a blockchain structure. At present there are already some experiments underway in several countries, projects to test the usefulness of blockchain technology with respect to voting processes that are privacy-proof and not hackable. 

Creating a blockchain voting system for the whole of Europe – provided that there is enough money to finance it – would be an innovation of the first order.

3.6 stage 5: the implementation process

The outcome of the ratification is simply ‘yes’ or ‘no’. In case of ‘no’, we wipe our tears and carry on. In case of ‘yes’ a period of transformation begins. In what way which activities should be done to replace the intergovernmental EU-system with a federal EU-system by the name the United States of Europe is uncertain.

In case the people of all 28 countries vote ‘yes’ the articles of our European Constitution show the way to install the United States of Europe. In case less than 28 countries say ‘yes’ we have to fall back on article 20 of the Treaty of the European Union juncto the articles 326-334 of the Treaty on the functioning of the European Union. These articles jointly allow 9 EU-countries to construct an enhanced form of cooperation, without dictating a restricted number of issues to enhance. Thus, the enhanced cooperation might be a federal structure of 9 countries that can be inserted as 1 federal member state within the present EU-context. Just as Belgium, Austria and Germany already operate as federations within the intergovernmental EU-system.

Leo Klinkers ©

Acknowledging Herbert Tombeur, Peter Hovens, Mauro Casarotto, Lorenzo Sparviero, Francesco Paulo Sgarlata, Nino Florenziano, David Zühlke, Inge Klinkers, Ivan Sporkslede, David West, Milo West, Gaël Girard and Stand Up for Europe’s City Teams in Greece, Germany, France, Italy, Portugal, Spain, The Netherlands and the UK.

The Hague, April 2018