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Les prises de position


THE CONVENTION OF EUROPEAN STUDENTS
TAKES A STANCE ON THE UNION'S IDENTITY
(CONV 724/03)

 


After meeting in Paris for the First Assembly in January 2003, the Convention of European Students expressed its positions on the Franco-German contribution on the institutional structure of the Union (CONTRIB 192), on the proposal to adopt the European Constitution by means of a referendum (CONTRIB 291), and on the articles put forward by the Presidium concerning the institutions (CONV 691/03).

In continuation of these three stances taken and before gathering in Rome for the Second Assembly in July 2003, the Convention of European Students has decided to participate in the debate provoked by the Presidium's draft articles concerning the Union's Identity.

 

THE CONVENTION OF EUROPEAN STUDENTS
GATHERING 20 PARTNER UNIVERSITIES IN EUROPE

 

> Regarding the Union's Values and Objectives (Part I, Titles I and II)

1) Recommends the insertion of an article I-1.1. bis. declaring that "The Union's capitals are Brussels, Luxembourg and Strasbourg, that the Union's flag is a circle of twelve golden stars on a blue ground, that the currency shall be the Euro, that the anthem shall be the Ode of Joy from the Ninth Symphony by Ludwig van Beethoven, and that the 9th may is the Union's commemoration day".

2) Suggests the addition of the "fundamental liberties" to the Union's values in art. I-2.

3) Welcomes the recognition of the principle of "equality" as one of the Union's values and recommends the addition, more specifically, of "equality between sexes" as an extra value of the E.U.

4) Suggests that "ever higher standards of education", "non-discrimination due to religious, ethnic, physical, social, age or sexual orientation" be incorporated as objectives in art. I-3.3.

5) Recommends that art. I-3.4. be limited to stating that the Union shall uphold and promote its values in the wider world by the means of unified external relations policies.

6) Suggests that the constitution, in art. I-8.2., confer the right to citizens of the Union present in non-member states to seek protection in the embassies of any member state, even if their own country is already represented by its own embassy.


> Regarding the Democratic Life of the Union (Part I, Title VI)

1) Recommends that, for better coherence, every citizen's right to participate in the democratic life of the Union (art. I-45.3) be transferred to art. I-46 (participatory democracy)

2) Suggests that art. I-46.1. guarantee citizen's and representative association's participation not only in the public debate, but also in the actual decision-making process.

3) Recommends the insertion, in art. I-48, of an obligation for the European Ombudsman to produce and transmit an annual report on his activities to the European Court of Justice, to the European Parliament, to the Commission and to the Council.

4) Suggests that the adjective "transparently" be added to "openly" in art I-49 concerning the conduct of the Union's institutions', bodies' and agencies' work.

5) Recommends the deletion of art. I-51, this article should be part of the Union's values or objectives.

6) Suggests, in order to avoid unnecessary debate, that the annual meeting of the European and national parliaments be endorsed in art. X without, however, attributing a name to this meeting.

> Regarding Union membership (Part I, Title IX)

1) Suggests that art. I-57.2. require a qualified majority vote in the European Parliament before a new State may become a member of the Union.

2) Recommends that the Council be allowed in art. I-58.3. to inflict financial sanctions as well as the suspension of rights on a state having been declared in breach of the Unions values.

> Regarding Voluntary Withdrawal (Part I, Title IX, art. I-59)

The working group on European identity considers that art. I-59 on voluntary withdrawal does not guarantee the stability of the future Union, is incompatible with the integration objective shared by all member states of creating an ever closer union between the peoples of Europe, and contradicts the idea of a Union which is based on the solidarity of citizens and states and therefore suggests that the following cumulative conditions be implemented:

1) A member state may ask to withdraw from the Union only in the case of a reform of the Constitution or a substantial modification of the composition of the Union to which it is opposed.

2) This request, notified to the Commission, should require an agreement concluded on behalf of the Union by the council, acting by a qualified majority of four fifths, after obtaining the assent of the European parliament also acting by a qualified majority.

3) A state having withdrawn from the Union may not apply for new membership for at least twenty years.

> Regarding Union policies (Part III, Title III, Chapter V)

The working group on European Identity strongly suggests the institution of a new policy allowing the Commission to craft and co-ordinate strategies in the fields of communication and information in order to confer visibility to the Union's actions.
This new action would be inscribed in Part III, Title III, Chapter V as a seventh section entitled: "Communication and Information".

 

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