Only a few can remember the historical endeavours made by the United Kingdom to become part of the European Union (EU).
In the construction of an integration process, there is a constant struggle between holding power or leaving it. Consequently, states are important and powerful actors when starting a negotiation, but as the process evolves, regional institution and transnational actors start playing an essential role.
The guarantee of Peace has always been a fundamental premise under which the EU has performed in order to achieve a harmonic coexistence in the continent.
For Italian leader Altiero Spinelli ( 1907 – 1986), one of the most known forefathers of the Union, the European Federation is the key which guarantees integration. The view of a “United States of Europe” finds its raison d'être in the writing of the Ventotene Declaration (1941), a text which was written during the second world war at the Isle of Ventotene, where he was imprisoned together with Ernesto Rossi, due to their opposition to Italian fascism. The text proposes the formation of a supranational European Federation, whose main purpose would be to join the European States to the point of preventing a new war.
by Notre Europe
Schengen stands for border-free travel and has been a European success story. But the agreement from 1995 has come under considerable pressure from two sides: the unprecedented influx of refugees and the threat of terrorism. A number of countries in the Schengen area have introduced temporary border controls. While it is unclear how these measures would solve the two challenges and whether or not a better European solution to the problem could be found, it is certain that border checks would impose economic costs.
Today, the role of NATO in the international system is unclear. The suggestion is that NATO should be enlarged to include Russia, and be reformed to become an "Equal Partnership" association. Europe has the key to end the USA-Russia conflict, to bring peace in the Mediterranean region and to further a radical reform of the UN.
Tommy Tomescu is a Romanian dentist living and working in London. A passionate fighter for European citizenship rights, he ran for the European Parliament in the 2014 elections for his Europeans Party (you can watch him here as he defies anti-Romanian prejudices in Nigel Farage’s town). The struggle he is engaged in now deserves to be called heroic without fear of contradiction: he has mounted a legal challenge to the European Union Referendum Act 2015, which states that in the Brexit referendum only UK residents who are British, Irish and Commonwealth citizens will have the right to vote. As if suffering from a bad post-Empire hangover, MPs excluded EU citizens residing in Britain as well as Britons residing abroad for over 15 years: in other words, the people whose life will be most affected by Brexit, nationals of EU countries residing in UK and long-term British residents in EU countries, are denied the right to vote, but their fate may well be decided with the contribution of Bermudans, Canadians, and Falkland Islanders.
Tommy lost the first round and below he tells us what happened. We stand by him and wish him eventual success. Because we are shown the way to a breakthrough in transnational democracy and full-fledged citizenship rights – ultimately, a European Union of the citizens and for the citizens, if we think that’s something worth fighting for.
Thank you, Tommy!