14 April, 2021

Open Letter to President von der Leyen on Europe's Democratic Future

 

Open Letter to President von der Leyen on Europe’s Democratic Future

Schuman Project

schuman.info

David H Price

Editor

9 April 2021

 

Dear President von der Leyen,

It is 70 years since the signature on 18 April 1951 of Europe’s founding document for peace, the Treaty of Paris. This created the European Community. It changed the destiny of Europeans who had gone to war every generation for more than two thousand years.

 

As the European Commission and the other institutions ponder the Future of post-‘Brexit’ Europe in the Conference to be opened on 9 May, I have one request to the leaders, the media and the public.

 

It is necessary to recall the founding principles of that peace and prosperity. This is not hidden. It is not something that can be changed by our generation. It was written in a document, signed by the plenipotentiary representatives of the Six founding States: France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany.

 

What seems shocking to me is that the European Commission and the other institutions have not published this document. Schuman, a life-long student of democracy, called this the ‘Charter of the Community’ (Pour l’Europe, p146). It describes the Community method and the democratic principles that Europe must build on, in the same way as the United States applied the same eternal laws of human nature and worldly politics.

 

Schuman’s use of the term ‘Charter’ reflects that of the Magna Carta as a foundational document for British democracy. It distinguishes democratic Europe from the fraudulent ‘People’s Democracies’ of the Soviet eastern bloc. It is the litmus test of true democracy.

 

About a decade ago I spoke to the French Minister for Europe about publishing this ‘Charter’. He kindly supplied me with a copy from the French Archives. It was published on my website, schuman.info in 2012.

 

Although I pointed out this remarkable and important document to the Commission President at the time, the full text of the Schuman Declaration and the Charter of the Community has still not been published on the Commission’s own website. The lack of full information about the beginnings of European democracy is a disservice both to the general public, academics, the press and political leaders.

 

Secondly, while the European Commission has published the ‘full text’ of the Schuman Proposal, a governmental instrument, it has not published the text of his oral Declaration. The Commission website confuses the two: the governmental Proposal is aimed at other governments. The Schuman Declaration includes the explanation of the Minister of Foreign Affairs. The Declaration includes far-reaching clarification of the original proposal agreed by the French Cabinet and signalled simultaneously to other European States via French diplomats or Schuman’s meetings with ambassadors and parliament in Paris on 9 May 1950.

 

It would be fitting that the foundational documents should be fully published on official websites and recorded in the Official Journal.

 

Madame President, I am therefore requesting that these historic texts about the Future of Europe be published before the opening of the Conference on Europe on 9 May this year.

 

Thanking you in advance for your attention to this matter, I remain,

 

Yours sincerely,

 

David Heilbron Price

 

 

 

Annexes

1.

On 18 April 1951 the great Charter of Europe, as Schuman called it, was signed by all the representatives of the six founding Member State Governments. It was then placed in the archives of the French Foreign Ministry at the Quai d’Orsay.

It is the pledge of European Governments that all European Community future Treaties founding new Community organizations, all Acts and Laws arising from them would follow certain principles. This included such things as supranational values, like honesty, justice and truth. It pledged that all citizens would have to give full democratic agreement to any developments.

After being hidden in the archives of the Quai d’Orsay for sixty years, ignored and kept secret from the public by politicians, this Foundational Declaration was released by the French Government, following a request by the Schuman Project.

 

 

Charter of the Community

Declaration of Inter-dependence Charter of the Community

Déclaration de l’Europe Paris le 18 avril 1951

CHARTE DE LA COMMUNAUTE

(Pour l’Europe, p146)

Statue Foundatrice de l’ Europe

basant sa construction sur les Principes Supranationaux et le libre choix de ses citoyens

 

 

 

 

Déclaration commune des Ministres représentant les Gouvernements signataires du Traité

Le gouvernement de la République fédérale d’Allemagne, le gouvernement belge, le gouvernement français, le gouvernement italien, le gouvernement luxembourgeois et le gouvernement des Pays-Bas :

Considérant que la paix mondiale ne peut être sauvegardée que par des efforts créateurs à la mesure des dangers qui la menacent;

Convaincus que la contribution qu’une Europe organisée et vivante peut apporter à la civilisation est indispensable au maintien de relations pacifiques;

Conscients que l’Europe ne se construira que par des réalisations concrètes créant d’abord une solidarité de fait et par l’établissement de bases communes de développement économique;

Soucieux de concourir par l’expansion de leurs productions fondamentales au relèvement du niveau de vie et au progrès des oeuvres de paix;

Résolus à substituer aux rivalités séculaires une fusion de leurs intérêts essentiels, à fonder par l’instauration d’une communauté économique les premières assises d’une communauté plus large et plus profonde entre des peuples longtemps opposés par des divisions sanglantes, et à jeter les bases d’institutions capables d’orienter un destin désormais partagé,

Ont décidé de créer une Communauté européenne du charbon et de l’acier.

L’œuvre que nous venons de consacrer par notre signature est due à l’intelligence et à la ténacité de nos délégations et de nos experts; nous leur disons notre très grande gratitude.

Avant même d’être entrée en action, cette oeuvre a déjà, par la vertu de l’idée qui l’inspire, créé dans nos pays et au-delà de leurs frontières des espérances et une confiance tout-à-fait exceptionnelles.

En signant le traité qui institue la Communauté européenne du charbon et de l’acier, communauté de cent soixante millions d’habitants européens, les parties contractantes ont marqué leur résolution de créer la première institution supranationale et de fonder ainsi les assises réelles d’une Europe organisée.

Cette Europe est ouverte à tous les pays européens libres de leur choix. Nous espérons fermement que d’autres pays s’associeront à notre effort.

Pleinement conscients de la nécessité de donner tout son sens à ce premier pas par une action continue et du même ordre dans d’autres domaines, nous avons l’espoir et la volonté de mener à bien, dans l’esprit qui a présidé à l’élaboration de ce traité, les projets qui sont actuellement en préparation. Les travaux se poursuivront en liaison avec les organismes européens existants.

Ces initiatives, dont chacune est limitée dans son objet, devront rapidement s’inscrire dans le cadre d’une communauté politique, dont l’idée s’élabore au Conseil de l’Europe. II devra en résulter une coordination et une simplification de l’ensemble des institutions européennes.

Tous ces efforts sont guidés par la conviction croissante que les pays de l’Europe libre sont solidaires les uns des autres, participent à une destinée commune. Nous consoliderons ce sentiment en associant nos énergies et nos volontés, en harmonisant notre action par des consultations fréquentes et des contacts toujours plus confiants.

Telle est la signification de cette journée. Elle sera comprise, nous n’en doutions pas, par nos opinions publiques et par les Parlements qui seront appelés à se prononcer sur le traité. Les gouvernements ici représentés seront auprès d’eux les interprètes de notre volonté commune de construire et de servir ensemble une Europe pacifique et prospère. »

 

 

2.

 

Schuman Declaration – What Schuman declared

 

 

This is followed by the Schuman Proposal agreed by the French Government of Georges Bidault.

It starts “World peace cannot be safeguarded if constructive efforts are not made commensurate with the dangers that threaten it. …”

Full text at https://schuman.info/9May1950.htm

 

NOTE: What distinguishes Democracies — Free Choice (nations libres de leur choix)

The articulation of the ‘Free Choice’ of the Member States distinguishes them from fraudulent ‘People’s Democracies’ and dictatorships. Free societies decide their Community governance according to the most democratic procedures. A Community is created by the will of free people. It is not imposed like the constitutions of the Communist bloc by a party or parties. The Community, as manager of common resources and guardian against war between members, must be more democratic, fairer and more honest than its Member States. It should be a model of democracy for Europe and the world.

The Charter of the Community declares that all Member States

  • must safeguard the rights of their citizens before the Council of Europe according to the Convention of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.
  • No national State that does not adhere to these Fundamental Rights may be admitted to ‘Europe’ whose very definition depends on this Convention of Freedom of Speech, Assembly etc
  • The voice of the nation must be respected. For example, Lisbon Treaty and its earlier redaction as the Constitutional Treaty were rejected in national referendums.
  • The free will of the people has not been given to the designation of the Commission President or the Commissioners who by law should be independent of political parties, lobbies and outside interests. The original fair system has been replaced by a closed-door horse-trading meeting of politicians.
  • Elections have not been held for the Consultative Committees (Economic and Social Committee and Committee of Regions) as assemblies of organised civil society,
  • Europe-wide election to the European Parliament (not 27 national elections) under a single statute as repeatedly included in all treaties since 1951 must be held,
  • The Court system should be fully independent of governments and outside interests.

 

How the Founding Fathers designed European democracy,

see https://schuman.info/supra5.htm

Why Brexit? and why do the other, oldest and strongest of Europe’s democracies like Switzerland, Iceland, Norway, not wish to join the ‘EU’? see

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3tcJKfuMYCk

Schuman speaks on Europe’s democratic principles for political union at the signing of the Treaty of Paris 18 April 1951.

 

 

Signatories of Europe’s founding treaty, 18 April 1951

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