In the era of Brexit does it still make sense to talk about a united Europe? How should we respond to widespread euro-skepticism that today, more than ever, is flourishing in many EU countries?
These and other questions are answered by The Rome Manifesto, an ambitious reform project of the European Union written by 18 young European academics and professionals, making its debut last Thursday 23rd March in Roma coinciding with the festivities for the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome. The authors, originating from seven different countries and ranging from 25 and 40 years old, are equally divided between the academic and corporate world, and were selected by two exceptional partners: Villa Vigoni, Italian-German center for European Excellence, and United Europe, pro-European organism based in Hamburg.
Amongst the signatories is Ca’ Foscari graduate Matteo Scotto, PhD student in Political Sciences at the University of Bonn, with a Master’s Degree in English and American Studies (specializing in International Relations) achieved in 2013 in Venice, followed by a Professional Master’s programme in Governance of the European Union.
“Over the 4 months writing the manifesto we did not start from the definition of European identity, because this by nature is plural and cosmopolitan, but we sought to define a common container, a set of values shared by the entire European population: democracy, right, freedom” Scotto explains.
“The European institutes are weak because they are excessively bureaucratic and incomprehensible” – he continues – “Furthermore, they are not able to respond to an economic crisis that is having serious consequences on the younger generation.” Thus at the centre of the manifesto is the proposal to transform the present European Union into a Federal European Union, with a profound redistribution of powers between the central government and the State members: the Union will determine the fields of foreign affairs and immigration, anti-terrorism and defence, the internal market, competition, trade and development; all other responsibilities (including, for example, those linked to agriculture) will instead be entrusted to Member States.
From the point of view of the institutions, the fusion of the European Council and the European Union Council in a unique organism called the European Senate is planned, that will act as a “higher” chamber of states and will share legislative power with European Parliament. The laws will be approved on a simple majority in the lower chamber and by a qualified majority in the higher chamber. “Therefore” – Scotto tells us – “the executive power will be entrusted in a unique European President, elected directly by the citizens”.
The Rome Manifesto will be presented with a series of visits in prestigious European universities: the first will be in Ca’ Foscari on 9th May 2017 where, in occasion of the Festival of the European Union, there will be a seminar organized by Professor Antonio Trampus, for the University Staff Training Week. At the end of these visits, it will be brought to the attention of some EU governments within the European Parliament.