Appeal for a new European Reform Initiative – the Berlin Declaration
The UEF Federal Committee, meeting in Berlin on 21 April 2018,
called for the realization of a comprehensive reform agenda in Europe.
There is an urgent need for new initiatives in Europe. Multiple crises are still threatening the political project of peace and integration in Europe. Some EU countries still have not recovered from the prolonged economic and financial crisis, and the EU has not succeeded in successfully dealing with the refugee emergency and the problem of domestic security. For the first time in European history a member state is about to leave the Union. Moreover, the integration process is jeopardized by the rise of populist and anti-European parties all over the EU and by the violation of common values and basic rights in some of the Member States.
But at the same time there are important positive signs with regard to the future of Europe:
- After the Brexit decision the remaining 27 EU governments unanimously declared their commitment to continue the European integration process in Bratislava.
- President Macron was elected on the basis of an explicitly pro-European programme and offered far reaching reform proposals for the EU.
- Commission President Juncker initiated a new reform debate with the White Paper on the Future of Europe and listed some concrete reform proposals in his speech on the State of the Union in September 2017.
- In Germany the new CDU/CSU and SPD government gave top priority to the future of Europe in its coalition agreement.
Until the next European election in May 2019 there is a window of opportunity for decisive reform steps. The UEF is deeply convinced that only with an effective, democratic and accountable system of government at the European level can Europe become strong enough to guarantee European citizens’ future, both with regards to growth, employment and social welfare and in terms of internal and external security.