German French Plans for a New Federal Europe

 

The next step for Brexit is to choose a new Prime Minister for Britain  and then for the parliament to pass a law declaring departure from the EU. After that they must inform the EU and then begin a negotiating untangling period which must be completed within two years after the Article 50 letter of intent is filed.

EU leaders have rejected Scotland’s appeals and EU leaders at this week’s summit have agreed that Britain will get no special treatment, and agree that she cannot benefit from the EU without shouldering the responsibilities of membership and have agreed that they want Britain out as soon as possible so that plans for more European integration can move forward.  

Despite public statements by EU leaders about keeping the EU together, there is a strong effort underway to build a CORE Federal Europe outside of those countries resistant to further moves towards closer unity, in order to facilitate a final big push for a united Federal Europe centered on Germany and France.

 

Behind the scenes: The French, German plan for a New Core EU around which other like minded nations can gather.   

This document lays out the French German concept of a New Federal Europe.  Germany and France have been working on this aided by the Catholic controlled “Christian” parties in Europe and strong help from the Vatican Secretary of State.

Ultimately those countries not willing to give up any more sovereignty will not approve the new deal bringing a final crisis in the EU, and a miracle working pope will intervene using his influence to bring ten nations into the system.  I caution that as time passes there may be some changes in the details but the big goal is a united Federal Europe.

 

A Strong Europe in a World of Uncertainties
by Jean-Marc Ayrault and Frank-Walter Steinmeier

The decision of the British people marks a watershed moment in the history of Eu- rope. The European Union is losing not only a member state, but a host of history, tradition and experience, with which we shared our journey throughout the past dec- ades. France and Germany therefore take note of this decision with regret. This cre- ates a new situation and will entail consequences both for the United Kingdom and for the EU. The Treaty of Lisbon sets out the procedures for the orderly departure of a Member State (article 50). Once the British Government has activated these pro- cedures, we will stand ready to assist the institutions in the negotiations clarifying the future relationship between the EU and the UK.

The British case is unique. But we must also acknowledge that support and passion for our common project has faded over the last decade in parts of our societies. Nei- ther a simple call for more Europe nor a phase of mere reflection can be an adequate answer. To prevent the silent creeping erosion of our European project we have to be more focused on essentials and on meeting the concrete expectations of our citizens. We are convinced that it is not the existence of the Union that they object to but the way it functions. Our task is twofold: we have to strictly focus our joints efforts on those challenges that can only be addressed by common European answers, while leaving others to national or regional decision making and variation. And we must deliver better on
those issues we have chosen to focus on.

France and Germany remain most firmly of the belief that the European Union pro- vides a unique and indispensable framework for the pursuit of freedom, prosperity and security in Europe, for shaping peaceful and mutually beneficial relationships amongst its people and for contributing to peace and stability in the world. Our two countries share a common destiny and a common set of values that provide the foundation for an ever closer union between our peoples. We will therefore move further towards political union in Europe and invite the other Europeans to join us in this endeavour.

France and Germany recognise their responsibility to reinforce solidarity and cohe- sion within the European Union. To that end, we need to recognise that member states differ in their levels of ambition member state when it comes to the project of European integration. While not stepping back from what we have achieved, we have to find better ways of dealing with different levels of ambition so as to ensure that Eu- rope delivers better on the expectations of all European
citizens.

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We believe the EU can and needs to develop common answers to today’s challenges abroad and at home. In a context of rising global challenges and opportunities, we see the European Union as more necessary than ever and as the only framework capable of providing appropriate collective answers to the changing international en- vironment. France and Germany will therefore promote a more coherent and a more assertive Europe on the world stage. To deliver better, Europe must focus on today’s main challenges – ensure the security of our citizens confronted with growing external and internal threats; establish a stable cooperative framework for dealing with migration and refugee flows; boost the European economy by promoting convergence and sustainable and job-creating growth and advancing towards the completion of the Economic and Monetary Union.

We are seeing the European Union being severely put to the test. It is challenged by
a series of crises in its southern and eastern environment. It is recovering slowly on
the path of economic growth. Looking back at the history of the European edifice, we
strongly believe in the strength of the EU and its ability to overcome these situations.
But something is new in these critical times, namely the perception that these crises
jeopardise the very fabric of our societies, our values, our way of life. We see terrorists
attempting to spread fear and division in our societies. We have to face increasingly
interwoven internal and external challenges. We see the need to preserve the
combination of growth, competitiveness and social cohesion which lies at the heart of
our European model, while preserving our common values both internally and vis-àvis
the outside world.

We know there are no quick solutions to these very demanding problems. But we are
determined to address them, working to deal with current challenges while remaining
focused on important long-term issues. In this spirit, we have agreed on the following
proposals.
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A European Security Compact
The EU has to face a deteriorating security environment and an unprecedented level
of threat. External crises have become more numerous, closer to Europe – both east
and south of its borders – and more likely to have immediate consequences for European
territory and the security of EU citizens. Power politics are back on the world
stage and conflict is being imported into our continent. The terrorist threat is growing,
feeding on complex networks in and outside Europe and stemming from crisis zones
and unstable, war-torn regions all over the world. Europe’s role as a credible force for
peace is more important than ever.

The security of EU member states is deeply interconnected, as these threats now
affect the continent as a whole: any threat to one member state is also a threat to
others. We therefore regard our security as one and indivisible. We consider the European
Union and the European security order to be part of our core interests and
will safeguard them in any circumstances.

In this context, France and Germany recommit to a shared vision of Europe as a security
union, based on solidarity and mutual assistance between member states in
support of common security and defence policy. Providing security for Europe as well
as contributing to peace and stability globally is at the heart of the European project.

We see the EU as a key power in its neighbourhood but also as an actor for peace
and stability with global reach. An actor able to make a decisive contribution to tackling
global challenges and to support a rules-based international order underpinned
by strategic stability, based on a peaceful balance of interests. We have considerable
achievements that deserve recognition and can provide inspiration. The historic
agreement on Iran’s nuclear programme was only possible because of the EU’s determined
and persistent commitment. European engagement in the Minsk process
has helped to contain a military confrontation in eastern Ukraine that could have easily
spiralled out of control. Our diplomatic efforts have paved the way for a political
settlement to the conflict which we will continue to pursue. In Libya, we support the
emerging government of national accord endeavouring to address the risks posed by
state fragility and instability in the Southern Mediterranean. Beyond the crises, we
are convinced that Africa needs also a continuous commitment, being a continent of
great challenges and opportunities.

One of the main features of today’s security environment is the interdependence between
internal and external security, since the most dangerous and destabilising
risks emanate from the interaction between external threats and internal weaknesses.
To respond to this challenge, Germany and France propose a European Security
Compact which encompasses all aspects of security and defence dealt with at the
European level and thus delivers on the EU’s promise to strengthen security for its
citizens.

A first step is to share a common analysis of our strategic environment and common
understanding of our interests. France and Germany propose that the EU conduct
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regular reviews of its strategic environment, to be submitted and discussed at the
Foreign Affairs Council and at the European Council. These reviews will be supported
by an independent situation assessment capability, based on the EU intelligence
and situation centre and expertise from outside European institutions, with production
of strategic and intelligence analysis approved at European level.

– On the basis of this common understanding, the European Union should establish
agreed strategic priorities for its foreign and security policy, in accordance
with European interests.

– The European Union Global Strategy is a first step in that direction. But we need
to push further: on a more contested and competitive international scene, France
and Germany will promote the EU as an independent and global actor able to
leverage its unique array of expertise and tools, civilian and military, in order to
defend and promote the interests of its citizens. France and Germany will promote
integrated EU foreign and security policy bringing together all EU policy instruments.

– The EU will need to take action more often in order to manage crises that directly
affect its own security. We therefore need stronger and more flexible crisis prevention
and crisis management capabilities. The EU should be able to plan and
conduct civil and military operations more effectively, with the support of a permanent
civil-military chain of command. The EU should be able to rely on employable
high-readiness forces and provide common financing for its operations.
Within the framework of the EU, member states willing to establish permanent
structured cooperation in the field of defence or to push ahead to launch operations
should be able to do so in a flexible manner. If needed, EU member states
should consider establishing standing maritime forces or acquiring EU-owned
capabilities in other key areas.

– In order to live up to the growing security challenges, Europeans need to step up
their defence efforts. European member states should reaffirm and abide by the
commitments made collectively on defence budgets and the portion of spending
dedicated to the procurement of equipment and to research and technology
(R&T). Within the EU, France and Germany propose the establishment of a European
semester on defence capabilities. Through this process, the EU will support
efforts by member states by ensuring the coherence of defence and capability-
building processes and encourage member states to discuss the priorities of
their respective military spending plans. The establishment of a European defence
research programme will support an innovative European industry.

– The European Union must invest more in preventing conflict, in promoting human
security and in stabilising its neighbourhood and regions affected by crisis all
over the world. The EU should help its partners and neighbours develop their capacity
and governance structures, to strengthen their crisis resilience and their
ability to prevent and control emerging crisis as well as terrorist threats. France
and Germany will conduct joint initiatives in stabilisation, development and re5
construction in Syria and Iraq when the situation allows. Together, France and
Germany will strengthen their civilian crisis management tools and reaffirm their
commitment to support and sustain political processes of conflict resolution.

– In order to ensure our internal security, the immediate challenges are primarily
operational. The objectives are to implement and monitor EU decisions and
make the best use of existing frameworks: PNR; Europol and its counterterrorism
centre; the fight against terrorist financing; and EU action plans against trafficking
of weapons and explosives. A special emphasis should be put on strengthening
transport safety. We want also to increase our dialogue and cooperation with
third countries in North Africa, the Sahel strip, the Lake Chad Basin, West Africa,
the horn of Africa and the Middle East, as well as regional and sub-regional organisations
(African Union, G5).

– In order to address the root causes of terrorism, France and Germany will develop
a European platform to share experience and best practice in preventing and
counteracting radicalisation.

– In the medium term, we should work towards a more integrated approach for EU
internal security, based on the following measures: creation of a European platform
for intelligence cooperation, fully respecting national prerogatives and using
the current frameworks (e.g. CTG); improvement of data exchange; European
contingency planning for major crisis scenarios affecting several member states;
creation of a European response capability; establishment of a European civil
protection corps.

– In the longer term, it would make sense to enlarge the scope of the European
public prosecutor’s office in future (currently limited to prosecuting offenses concerning
the EU’s financial interests) to include fighting terrorism and organised
crime. This would require harmonisation of criminal law among the member
states.

In order to drive this effort, France and Germany propose that the European Council
should meet once a year as a European Security Council, in order to address internal
and external security and defence issues facing the EU. This European Security
Council should be prepared by a meeting of Foreign Affairs, Defence and Interior
Ministers.

Common European asylum and migration policy
Large-scale migration towards Europe will be the key challenge for Europe’s future.

There shall be no unilateral national answers to the migration challenge, which is a
truly European challenge of the 21th century. Our citizens expect that we firmly regain
control on our external borders while preserving our European values. We have to
act jointly to live up to this expectation. Germany and France are convinced that it is
high time to work towards establishing truly integrated European asylum, refugee and
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migration policy. Given the urgency of the matter, we should not rule out the possibility
of a group of member states that share a sense of common responsibility making
progress on common policies.

– Securing our external border is no longer exclusively a national task but also a
common responsibility. We are determined that the EU should establish the
world’s first multinational border and coast guard. In the short term, FRONTEX
will be manned by mean of secondments from member states. France and Germany
should propose a joint contribution to that end. Over the medium term
FRONTEX should be scaled up not only in terms of having its own permanent
staff but also with adequate technical equipment to fulfil this task.

– We also propose the creation of a European ESTA for visa-exempt third country
nationals as a useful instrument to reinforce our borders and security.

– It is our common duty to protect those fleeing from war or political persecution. In
our efforts we strive to allow refugees to find shelter as close to their homeland
as possible.

– Asylum seekers reaching Europe have a right to be treated according to the Geneva
Convention no matter where they reach our shores. To this end we must
further harmonise and simplify our standards and procedures in specific areas.
We shall stand ready to grant EU support for the establishment of efficient asylum
systems where needed. Over the medium term the European Asylum Office
should be transformed into a European Asylum Agency to support this process of
standardisation and host joint databases to prevent the misuse of differences in
standards as well as multiple registrations and discourage secondary movements.
This European Asylum Agency would help reinforce convergence in the
way applications for international protection are assessed, with due regard to the
Dublin basic principles such as the responsibility of the member state of first entry
to deal with an asylum application.

– Solidarity remains a cornerstone of our European project. Citizens expect that
the benefits and burdens of EU membership be evenly shared among member
states. A situation in which the burden of migration is unevenly carried by a limited
number of member states is unsustainable. As a first step, the Dublin system
has to be improved to deal with exceptional circumstances by means of a permanent
and binding mechanism which foresees burden sharing among all member
states. If necessary, Germany and France stand ready to proceed on this
matter with a group of like-minded partners.

– The EU must find a common answer to the rising number of migrants seeking to
enter the EU for economic reasons. The asylum system is a misleading entry
point for them to use. Europe should stay open to what migration and mobility
can contribute to our societies in the fields of the economy, culture and diversity.
We need to work towards a European Immigration Act that clearly states what
the legal options are when it comes to working in Europe, taking into account the
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different states of national labour markets in the EU. At the same time, we have
to improve EU tools and support in the field of return policy, underpinned by EU
funds to finance the deportation of those who entered the EU illegally.

– In our relations with key countries of origin and transit, we will work to reduce
push factors for irregular migration, for example by generating economic and social
opportunities, particularly for young people. We expect constructive cooperation
in crucial fields such as return and readmission, border management and
control and the fight against migrant smuggling. Germany and France have already
held high-level migration dialogues with a number of African states on behalf
of the EU and will extend this dialogue to other countries. Root causes of migration,
such as poverty, lack of security and political instability should also be
addressed by the EU.
Finally, hosting and, in some cases, integrating refugees and migrants poses a challenge
to all European societies that must be dealt with in a spirit of responsibility and
solidarity. Germany and France do not share the same historical experience of immigration
and integration but are committed to learning from each other. Through dialogue,
exchange and cooperation, we intend to foster a more objective debate about
the challenges and opportunities of immigration and integration for our societies. We
hope thus to use the lessons we have learned to benefit other European states that
are confronted with similar challenges.

Fostering growth and completing the Economic and Monetary Union

To this day, our common currency constitutes the most visible and ambitious undertaking
of European unification. The euro has helped protect its member states from
international speculation and contributed to building a common economic area. The
euro reflects our commitment to the irreversibility of European integration.

However, we must admit that the crisis and its aftermath have shown up deficiencies
that make citizens question whether the common currency delivers on its promises
and even casts doubt on the sustainability of the project itself. We therefore intend to
proceed on three fronts simultaneously: strengthening economic convergence, enhancing
social justice and democratic accountability and improving shock resistance
to safeguard the irreversibility of the euro. France and Germany have always seen it
as their major responsibility to build a robust Eurozone able to assert its model in a
more and more competitive world.

We believe we urgently need to revive this spirit to carry the debate forward. And it is
the responsibility of our two countries to bilaterally proceed beyond that. We have to
acknowledge that the requirements of membership and the fiscal implications stemming
from the common currency have been higher than one could have expected
when the euro was founded. We must therefore respect the wish of others to decide
on their own when to join the euro.
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– To overcome the crisis, the euro area has to enter into a renewed phase of economic
convergence. To this end, France and Germany will shoulder the main responsibility
of organising a process of economic convergence and political governance
which balances obligations and solidarity to accompany the process.
Surplus and deficit countries will have to move, as a one-sided alignment is politically
unfeasible.

– Growth potential has been severely hampered by the crisis. Europe urgently
needs to unlock the untapped potential inherent in the completion of the single
market in specific sectors of strategic interest. France and Germany remain
committed to bilateral initiatives to rapidly harmonise regulation and oversight as
well as corporate tax schemes. To unlock growth and to increase the productivity
of the European economy, a renewed effort for more investment, both private
and public, is necessary. France and Germany reiterate their commitment to
structural reforms to attract international investment and to further enhance the
competiveness of their economies.

– In that respect, specific initiatives should be taken in order to foster growth and
convergence between member states in strategic sectors such as energy, the
digital sector, research and innovation or professional training. In the short term,
common targets could be set, linked to regulatory objectives and investment
means based on the amplification of the European Fund for Strategic Investment.
Over the medium term, those strategic sectors should evolve towards a common
regulatory framework and even a shared supervisory authority, and benefit from
a structured European investment capability to foster convergence through
cross-border investment. Bilateral initiatives by Germany and France should be
undertaken within that framework.

– The current architecture of the euro is not sufficiently resilient to external shocks
or internal imbalances. Leaving the EMU incomplete jeopardises the survival of
our common currency in the long term. Completing the EMU will involve the continuous
intensification of political governance as well as fiscal burden sharing. In
light of existing imbalances a deepening of the EMU will not come as a big bang
but as the result of a pragmatic and gradual evolution taking into account the
necessary results in terms of growth and employment. These results are indispensable
to reinforce confidence in the European Union among member states
and citizens and create the appropriate political conditions for new steps of integration
towards completing the EMU.

– We should acknowledge that EMU member states share different traditions of
economic policy making, which have to be balanced out for the euro to function
properly. A future architecture of the euro will neither be solely rules based nor
prone to mere political decision making nor will it be steered exclusively by market
forces. Every step in deepening the EMU will encompass all of these aspects.

– Since economic policy-making in the EMU is increasingly a domain of shared
decisions, citizens rightly expect to regain control via supranational institutions
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accountable to them. In the short term a full time president of the Eurogroup
should be accountable to a Eurozone subcommittee in the European Parliament.
In the longer term, the Eurogroup and its president should be accountable to a
parliamentary body comprising members of the European Parliament with the
participation of members of national parliaments. This chamber should have full
authority on any matters regarding fiscal and macroeconomic oversight.

– In this context we should develop the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) into
a fully-fledged European Monetary Fund subject to parliamentary control.

– A fiscal capacity – a common feature of any successful monetary union around
the globe – remains a missing keystone in the EMU architecture. In the long run
it should provide macroeconomic stabilisation at the eurozone level while avoiding
permanent unidirectional transfers. Whereas these capabilities should be built
up over time and in line with progress on common decision making regarding fiscal
and economic policy, it should start by 2018 at the latest to support investment
in the member states most severely hit by the crisis. Germany and France
should form a group prepared to lead on this matter.

– Public support for the euro is undermined by a lack of progress on its social dimension
and fair taxation among its member states. Hence, as a general principle,
any step to further deepen the EMU should be accompanied by progress in
the field of common taxation, in particular with regard to transnational corporations,
as well as the development of a social union underpinned by common social
minimum standards.

 

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