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1.5.4.  For a Political European Union

    The solution to the unanimity problem of European treaties, which is preventing a real common foreign and security policy, is conceptually easy. It would suffice that a paragraph be entered into the final Article of the new treaty saying that ''This Treaty shall enter into force after three fourths of the High Contracting Parties have deposited their instruments of ratification''. A second paragraph should be added saying: ''Immediately after the coming into force of this Treaty, the High Contracting Parties shall convene an Intergovernmental Conference with the task of drafting a connecting treaty determining the transitional provisions governing the relations between the High Contracting Parties having ratified this Treaty and the other signatories of the Treaty on the European Union. It would be implied by this drafting that any Member State(s) that had not ratified on time the new treaty could do so at a later day and in the meantime provisional solutions would be applied to the common institutions and policies. These solutions could imitate the existing provisions applying to the ''opt out'' provisions for Member States not participating in the final stage of the economic and monetary union and/or in the Schengen cooperation agreement.

    It should be noted that the proposed method for the ratification of the amendments to European treaties is very similar to the American constitutional law . Under Article Five of the United States Constitution, Congress can propose an amendment to this Constitution by a two-thirds vote (of a quorum, not necessarily of the entire body) of the Senate and of the House of Representatives. Amendments must then be ratified by three-fourths of the states to take effect. Article Five gives Congress the option of requiring ratification by state legislatures or by special conventions assembled in the states. The convention method of ratification has been used only once (to approve the 21st Amendment repealing Prohibition). The USA could not have become the superpower that we know today, if any state of the federation - say Texas or Alaska - could veto a foreign policy decision of the Congress.

    Hence, in order to exit the imbroglio of the ratification by unanimity, a new treaty would be needed, democratically elaborated and adopted, which would engage only the Member States which would have signed and ratified it. This could be the treaty on Political European Union. If some pioneers, notably France and Germany, showed the way, others would follow on their steps. This has happened several times in the history of the European unification. The common market for coal and steel products and then for all products and services was initiated by six countries. The others followed, when the experiment proved to be a success. The economic and monetary union started with twelve countries and now others are hastening to join the Eurozone. The same happened with the Schengen arrangements for the abolition of border controls, which were adopted even by countries outside the EU, like Norway and Iceland. Some pioneers have again to show the way towards the political union of Europe, by adopting a new treaty, which would not replace the treaties on the European Union and on the functioning of the European Union, but would coexist with them.

    The treaty on the Political European Union would allow the European integration process to step into the stage of the political union, comporting a really common foreign and security policy. A real CFSP should, it too, as the treaty, be based on qualified majority voting, but the vital interests of each one of the participating Member States should be taken into consideration and guaranteed. A provision, similar to the Luxembourg compromise, should block any decision of the Council, if a Member State could demonstrate that it countered its vital national interests. Moreover the mutual defence clause already inserted in the Treaty of Lisbon would assert that, if a Member State was the victim of armed aggression on its territory, the other Member States would have towards it an obligation of aid and assistance by all the means in their power [see section 8.2.3]. These clauses would incite many Member States, which feel insecure in the present geopolitical situation, to participate in the making of a European Political Union.

    The Treaty on Political Union would engage the States which would have ratified it and them only to establish a foreign and security policy managed by qualified (three-fourths) majority voting. There would thus come into being in Europe a core of States pursuing their economic, monetary and political integration with the method of integration provided in the Treaties on the European Union and on the European Political Union. This would be the first of three concentric circles grouping the European countries - the circle of the European Political Union. A truly common foreign and security policy, which would be an attribute of the political union of Europe, would certainly entail new transfers of national sovereignties to the Union [see section 3.2], but would not mean the loss of the political independence of the participating states. These states would not necessarily form a federation. In fact, the very concept of the common policy [see section 1.1.2] excludes the concept of the single policy, which is an attribute of a federation of states. It means that a policy is built up and implemented in common by the common institutions and the governments of the Member States [see section 3.2].

    Each member of the group participating in a real CFSP, whether by enhanced cooperation or by a Treaty on political union, would keep intact its legal personality and sovereignty in all areas not placed under the common competence of the group. It could sign international agreements not conflicting with Community competence. It could keep its diplomatic representations in third countries and in international institutions. The representations of the members of the group would simply have instructions to follow the positions agreed in common, a fact that would enhance the position of the participating states in world affairs [see section 25.9]. In the field of defence as well, each member of the inner group would keep its own army, its armaments and its defence budget. The willing states would only place them under an integrated command, which would be responsible for their coordinated actions. This would not prevent separate actions, compatible with the CFSP, in case of non-agreement by the partners on a common action.

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    Your roadmap in the maze of the European Union.

    Based on the book of Nicholas Moussis:
    Access to European Union law, economics, policies
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