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P6 Constitution task force

Pillar 6: Democratic European Constitution: Proposals for


the Greenbook by Berlin DSC P6 Constitution task force
Berlin, August 14th, 2017

Equality beyond Nationality


Towards a Republican and Parliamentary Democracy in
the European Union

It is the constituting people who are responsible historically for the constitution..
(Pettit 2012)

Our discussions took place at a Cafe at Oranienburger Str. 67, 10117 Berlin, in July/
August 2017, a house, where Alexander von Humboldt (*1769) lived from 1843 until his
death in 1859:
Nature is a republic of freedom
(Humboldt 2004) (Kosmos, Bd 1, 1845-1850)

We believe that we as European citizens are the sovereign of Europe (the EU just being a
temporal phenomenon), and not the members states. A true European democracy cannot
exist without recognising the principle of equality of all its citizens before the law.
Therefore, we seek to transform the EU into a European Republic that is based on the
belief that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. The EU should
become a Parliamentary democracy in which a European Government is elected and hold
accountable to by the European Parliament.

The discussion of a new constitution has to keep in mind the long European history from
classical ancient greek cities, the roman republic, the Italian cities during the renaissance,
the English, the American, the French revolution, the socialist movement, the fight for
women rights, the Russian revolution, the international fights for independence after WW II
until the wide range of actual movements from rebel cities to autonomy in Rojava.

These discussions have to be three-dimensional:

1. a critique of political philosophy

2. a critique of political culture


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3. a critique of political economy

Regarding 1. a critique of political philosophy we closely follow the main ideas in the
republican tradition, which are:

- Freedom as non-domination

We must make sure that you have the required resources, guarding against vitiation.
And we must protect you against invasion, guarding against anyone else s domination.

- Mixed constitution

Justice requires the state to establish a proper balance between the competing claims of
citizens in the social order it establishes.
The state should be expressively egalitarian.
It is possible to be as free as a full and meaningful life requires and yet only to be as free
as your fellow citizens.
The assembly has to be responsive and electoral.
Embodying a generate-and-test methodology, it should eliminate both the false
negatives and false positives that can misdirect public policy.
The acceptability game is clearly present in the operation of private associations like a
condominium of apartment owners.

- Contestatory citizenry

This is that the citizenry control the interference of the state,...,then that interference will
not count as dominating and the state will not deprive people of freedom.
There are three distinct and important requirements: the popular control exercised has to
be suitably individualized, unconditioned and efficacious.

The people in this sense just is the state. (Pettit 2012, 2014)

Citizenry, we define in the meaning of Marcus Tullius Cicero: The polity is the task of the
people, people hereby is not any association of persons, which are randomly
conglomerate, but a federation connected by an accordance to a common law and aligned
to commonwealth. (Cicero 1979)

Philip Pettit (2014) sums up his claims:

Let people enjoy freedom as non-domination in their relationship with one another and
they will enjoy a genuine form of justice.

Let people enjoy freedom as non-domination in their relationship with their state and
they will enjoy a demanding variety of democracy.

And let the different peoples of the world enjoy freedom as non-domination in their
relationships with one another, and with other multinational and international bodies, and
they will enjoy a proper form of sovereignty.
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Our discussions about 2. a critique of political culture (e.g. Caccia 2016: Nowadays
metropolises play a similar role as the factory during the preceding fordistic epoch) and 3.
a citique of political economy (e.g. Pettit see White 2014: Taking back the economy: the
market as a res publica") are still on the way.

The implementation of political philosophy into political practice is exemplarily illustrated in


the years 2004-2008 when Jos Zapatero was prime minister of Spain (Marti, Pettit 2010).
We have to build a link from grassroot movements to movements like the municipal
manifesto (Mlaga 2016) on our way to the European republic of sovereign cities and
sovereign regions.

European Constitution requirements

Subjects of a democratic European constitution are all men living in Europe, with special
consideration of children and nature (flora and fauna)(Latour 2015). The principle of
equality encompasses all Europeans and Non-Europeans, whose living space is in
Europe.

Objectives of a democratic European constitution are:

Protection of the individual (health, food, accommodation, personal data, etc.)

Prosperity of the individual (right on employment, minimal and maximal wages, capital
dividend, etc.)

Justice (end of exploitation, solidarity, passive and active voting rights, etc.)

Free development of the individual (education, culture including religion, self-


determination, etc.)

The wealth of the individual always has to be in accordance with the commonwealth

International privity of contract always has to be in accordance to UN legislation

Main principles for the international policy (part of the preamble of the constitution):

Human rights are universal and not just confined to Europe or its citizens;
Unconditional respect for and support of the principles, organs, decisions (or non-
decisions!) and campaigns of the UN, especially in questions regarding
interventions and wars in other countries;
Active support of the UN Human Rights Convention (https://
www.menschenrechtserklaerung.de/) and
the International Court of Justice from the UN (https://
www.menschenrechtsabkommen.de/der-internationale-gerichtshof-1147/)
Support of the Geneva Convention for Refugees (https://
www.fluechtlingskonvention.de/text/) ;
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Active support of the UN 2030 agenda for sustainable development (http://


www.bmz.de/de/ministerium/ziele/2030_agenda/index.html):
1. No poverty / 2. No hunger / 3. Good health care / 4. Quality education / 5.
Equality of genders / 6. Clean water and sanitation for all / 7. Renewable energy / 8.
Good jobs and economic grow / 9. Innovation and infrastructure / 10. Reduced
inequalities / 11. Sustainable cities and communities / 12. Responsible consumption
/ 13. Climate protection / 14. Life under water / 15. Life on land / 16. Peace and
justice / 17. Partnerships to achieve these goals;
Support for the idea of a UNPA, a kind of democratically and direct elected World
Parliament the UN (http://de.unpacampaign.org/10062/europaparlament-fordert-eu-
auf-eine-debatte-ueber-die-etablierung-einer-un-parlamentarierversammlung-
anzutreiben/);
Not only the EU itself, but also each individual State within the EU must respect
these principles of the foreign policy!

The following figures illustrate our proposals for the way to a European republic from the
current status, changes to be achieved in near future, medium-term future and long-term
future:

currently, citizens do not really have democratic control of the EU:

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Transforming the EU council into a European senate, making the European commission
eligible for election by the European parliament and the European senate, and eliminate
the function of a president of the council should be the next step:

Ideas for the 2 Chambers in Europe:


EU citizens are all people living in the EU territory for at least 2-3 years, including
also foreigners!
Principle of equality: in Europe all citizens have the same rights, including freedom
of movement, freedom to choose a work, and freedom to elect or be elected at all
levels (local, regional/national, european);
The election laws shall not have any %-minimal fences for a candidate or a party to
be elected;
All EU regions/countries should use, as far as possible, the same electoral laws for
the EU parliament and the EU Senate, and their seats should always be
proportional to the respective size of the population; elected representatives
(European Parliament, Senate, Commission) should not exercise their job longer
then 2x4 years in a row, but after a break they can be elected again;
In a first step we should implement a series of measures to fix and democratize the
existent system:
The European Parliament should have the power to approve their own laws and to
elect/confirm and to vote out each single member of the EU Commission;
The top candidate of the most elected group of the Parliament should be
automatically chosen as the President of the Commission and get real executive
power;
The European Council should be transformed into a 2nd Chamber (as a Draft-
Senate representing the different countries).
The currently existing EU-President can be abolished without substitution;

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In the medium term, the Commission should be empowered with all executive rights;
and the Senate should be elected directly by the citizens according to the principle 1
Senator for each 5 million voters (at least 1 per country or region);
finally, the independent Democratic Control Agencies should be implemented;

A new 4th a Power in the EU: Democratic Control Agencies (DCA):


The currently existing European Observatories and Agencies do only provide
informations and have analytical and consultative functions. But they have a lot of
expertise. Therefore they should be expanded to true Supervisor Bodies of the
political, economic and social powers and to be put under public control
Without compromising the rights of the opposition and the civil society, should exist
a DCA for each main key social area (like the safety, health, education, social
justice, work, sustainable development culture, combat of the poverty, freedom of
press, corruption, environmental protection, animal welfare, data and consumer
protection, internet, human rights, discrimination and racism, foreign policy, etc.) in
order to control the executive power, the economy and the civil society, based on
the constitutional principles and the existing laws These Agencies can put pressure
on the competent commissionars and on the members of the Parliament, they can
make proposals for the Cambers, facultate informations to the civilian organisations
and NGOs, and also serve as experts in court processes, etc. They work is public,
every year they should publish a report assessing the good and the bad things in
their respective area and submit proposals for improvements;
The DCA can also make interpellations and even claim rights on all levels, including
put the Commission on trial. In the DCA, under contact, should work independent
experts and scientists, but nor representatives of the State nor of the lobby
organizations. Their budget should depend not on the executive but only on the
legislative power;
The DCA should have a public status, in other words they should be led by
representants of all relevant social forces. These representants should be
constituted by citizens randomly chosen among the population in order to reflect all
relevant social forces. Each year, for example, 25% of these representants can be
new sorted-out in order to get all of them replaced after 4 years.

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P6 Constitution task force

In the long term, the Senate will consist of representatives of regions rather than
countries, in order to push back the influence of the nation-States;
The Senate should also have fixed representatives of the Nature, of the Animals and the
Children;
The EU Constitution is intended to strengthening not only the regions but also the local
authorities, in order to delegate as much power as possible to the lower levels (radical
implementation of the subsidiarity principle);
The power of the EU Parliament should accordingly be limited to european issues as a
whole and the power of the Commission limited to general coordinating activities;
Finally, the nation States are to be completely abolished, because they are the source
of ethnic boundaries, racism and wars!

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To promote our thoughts we recommend:

Ideas for campaigns or EU citizens initiatives that DIEM25 could start or support:

Citizen initiatives at the EU level require: 1 million signatures in at least 5 countries within
12 months. But they should not include any changes of the Constitution or of the treaties
and only have recommendatory character!
Convening a constituent Assembly of the EU.
Respect all UN resolutions, especially in matters of peace and war.
Implement the principle of equality for all people living in the EU territory, also
foreigners, giving them also all rights related to electing and being elected.

Literature references:
US Constitution of the USA
Constitution of Germany
EU Treaty of Lisbon (current Constitution of the EU)

Equal Vote Initiative

The Equal Vote Initiative is our proposal to move a step closer to a genuine European
Democracy by demanding that every vote during the election for the European parliament
carries the same weight, regardless of the nationality of the European citizen.

Our life is increasingly internationalized and takes place on a European scale. For many in
the Erasmus generation national boarders do not reflect their everyday reality anymore.
Their daily routines and social interactions stretch from Portugal to France, from Poland to
England, from Spain to Denmark, etc.. Until 2014 about 1Mio Erasmus-Babies have
already been born and this is just one sign of a growing European bond1. For us, as
citizens of this continent, we face more and more the dilemma between the physical space
we consider home and the space we have political power and influence on. Even for
people that do not share this sentiment, there are many political aspects that can not be
dealt with anymore on a local level, like climate and unemployment politics, but have to be
tackled on a European level.

1 https://www.welt.de/politik/deutschland/article132514835/Es-gibt-eine-Million-Austausch-Babys.html
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Yet, In the current European Union politics is made with a focus on the national interest by
the European Council, which is lead by the national leaders. As stated by the German
constitutional court, even though many important decisions are already made on the
European level, there is no real separation of power, because the European parliament is
lacking legitimation to represent the European citizens2. As a consequence the European
parliament can not be granted the required power to constitute the legitimate legislative of
the European Union3 .
The constitutional courts fundamental criticism about the European parliament is that the
European citizens are treated unequally. Based on the nationality of the European citizen,
his/her vote carries more or less weight. However, the principle of equality is one of the
main pillars of a democratic system.
Based on the idea of Ulrike Gurot4, we propose therefore an Equal Vote Initiative in
order to establish the fundamental requirement of a democratic European Union by
demanding that every European citizens vote carries the same weight in the election for
the European parliament. This Initiative would, one the one hand, bring us closer to a
European Republic, with a separation of power and a European government with
European parties that could push topics and policies that transcend the national ones. One
the other hand, by demanding equality we gain a pro European and pro democratic
narrative, that will create a growing sentiment of a vivid European society and opens the
door to a broad coalition with other groups.
The Equal Vote Initiative can be realized in a campaign where we initiate for example a
European Citizens Initiative, a national referendum or even both.

2 http://www.bverfg.de/entscheidungen/es20090630_2bve000208.html
3 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=weKiAl5zWgU&t=840s
4 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=weKiAl5zWgU&t=840s
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References:

Arendt, Hannah. What freedom and revolution really mean. The New England Review Vol
38 No 2, June 19, 2017

Caccia, Giuseppe. Europa der Kommunen. Von Brgerplattformen zu rebellischen


Stdten. LuXemburg 2/2016: 68-73

Cicero, Marcus Tullius. De re publica. Reclam Stuttgart, 1979

Das munizipalistische Manifest. 2016 Diagonal: www.diagonalperiodico.net, auch:


eipcp.net/policies/mac1/de

Entwurf einer republikanischen Verfassungsurkunde, wie sie in Deutschland taugen


mchte. Im 7. Jahr der Mutterrepublik. Basel 1799. In: Dippel, Horst (Hrsg.). Die Anfnge
des Konstitutionalismus in Deutschland. Frankfurt am Mai 1991, S. 177-234

Gurot, Ulrike. Warum Europa eine Republik werden mu. Dietz Berlin 2016

Harman, Chris. A People`s History of the World.Verso London 2008

Harvey, David. Rebellische Stdte. Suhrkamp Verlag Berlin, 2014

Heinrich, Michael. Kritik der politische konomie. Schmetterling Verlag Stuttgart, 2005

Humboldt, Alexander von. (Kosmos. Bd 1, S. 385, 1845-1850) Kosmos-Vortrge 1827/28.


Insel Verlag Frankfurt am Main und Leipzig 2004

Kant, Immanuel. Zum ewigen Frieden. Reclam Stuttgart, 1973, 2013


Kant, Immanuel. Perpetual Peace. Penguin Books London, 2009

Lefebvre, Henri. Die Revolution der Stdte. Europische Verlagsanstalt Hamburg, 2014

Mart, Jos Luis, Pettit, Philip. A political philosophy in public life. Civic Republicanism in
Zapatero`s Spain. Princeton University Press, Princeton 2010

Mbembe, Achille. Kritik der schwarzen Vernunft. Suhrkamp Verlag Berlin, 2014

Merkel, Wolfgang. Volksabstimmungen: Illusion und Realitt. APuZ 44-45/2011, 47-55

Latour, Bruno. Wir sind nie modern gewesen. Suhrkamp Frankfurt am Main 2015

Nanz, Patricia, Leggewie, Claus. Die Konsultative. Verlag Klaus Wagenbach Berlin, 2016

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Nida-Rmelin, Julia. ber menschliche Freiheit. Reclam Stuttgart 2005

Ober, Josiah. The rise and fall of classical Greece. Princeton University Press, Princeton
2015

Paine, Thomas. rights of Man. Wordsworth Editions Limited Ware 1996

Peter, Urs B.. Europa. Warum wir sind, was wir sind. Wagner Gelnhausen 2011

Pettit, Philip. Just freedom. W.W. Norton New York London, 2014
Pettit, Philip. Gerechte Freiheit. Suhrkamp Verlag Berlin, 2015
Pettit, Philip. On the peoples terms. Cambridge University Press, 2012
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Polybios. Die Verfassung der rmischen Republik. Historien VI. Buch. Reclam Stuttgart,
1973, 2012

Rockstrm, Johan, Klum, Matthias. Big World Small Planet. Ullstein Berlin 2016
Rockstrm, Johan et al. A safe operating space for humanity. Nature 461,2009: 472-475

Schleicher, Regina. Vom Munizipalismus zur solidarischen Stadt. Forum Wissenschaft


2/2017, 30-32

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openDemocracy 2014: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/416267

https://www.menschenrechtserklaerung.de

https://www.menschenrechtsabkommen.de/der-internationale-gerichtshof-1147

https://www.fluechtlingskonvention.de/text

https://www.bmz.de/de/ministerium/ziele/2030_agenda/index.html

https://de.unpacampaign.org/10062/europaparlament-fordert-eu-auf-eine-debatte-ueber-
die-etablierung-einer-un-parlamentarierversammlung-anzutreiben

Authors:

Canning, Gerald
Eis, Sebastian
Esteves, Vasco
Kellermann, Thomas
Rojas, Manuel
Wall, Alexander

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P6 Constitution task force

Disclosure of potential conflicts of interest: None

Address reprint requests to: thomas.kellermann@berlin.de

Presented to Berlin DSC: 2017.08.08


Submission Date: Berlin, 2017.08.27

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