Letter to EUCO: Stand for an ever closer union, European sovereignty is the solution


Letter sent by the President of The Spinelli Group , Andrew Duff, to the President of the European Council, Mr. Donald Tusk, on 12th February 2018 

Dear Mr Tusk,

I write on behalf of the Board of the Spinelli Group in advance of the informal meeting of the European Council on 23 February. As you will be aware, the aim of the Spinelli Group is to work by stages towards a federal constitution of the European Union based on the values of liberal democracy.

We warmly welcome your decision to return, for the first time for quite a while, to reflections on some of the constitutional issues faced by the European Union. In view of current difficulties, both domestic and international, we urge a restatement of the leaders’ commitment to ever closer union and for confirmation that all twenty-seven governments recognize their mutual interdependence within the common framework of the Union.

We hope that the meeting will prepare the ground for some decisive steps. It is very likely that during the next mandate of the Parliament and Commission the treaties will be opened up again for general revision. All EU institutions and national parliaments need to prepare themselves well for this complex exercise. And none of our institutions is immune from the need of reform.

The elections to the European Parliament in May next year, and the appointment of the new Commission thereafter are important occasions to heighten public debate about the future of Europe. Over the next months, the Spinelli Group will develop its analysis, consult widely and make recommendations. Our aim is to encourage the political parties and candidates to address the questions of EU governance and sovereignty in an informed, realistic but ambitious fashion. We hope to have an opportunity to share our reflections with you on publication, probably in September.

If the Union is to gain a greater capacity to act effectively and democratically, its system of governance must be rationalised and strengthened, and the distribution of competences reviewed. Further deliberation is necessary, in particular, about the electoral reform and composition of the Parliament, the method of appointing the Commission, the size of the Commission, the cohesion and efficiency of the Council, the separation of the legislative and executive branches, and the relationship between the two executive arms of Commission and Council. The Union also needs the financial autonomy and resources necessary to consolidate economic recovery and ensure the stability of the eurozone.

The Spinelli Group remains at your disposal as you develop with the heads of state and government your thinking on how a more united Europe might best be governed.

Yours sincerely,


Andrew Duff


Also on behalf of the members of the Board of The Spinelli Group: Jan Albrecht, Brando Benifei, Mercedes Bresso, Elmar Brok, Monica Frassoni, Danuta Hübner, Jo Leinen, Marietje Schaake, Tom Vandenkendelaere, Guy Verhofstadt.