Federalism

WFM publishes many books pertaining to our work at the International Secretariat. Whether you want an overview of the history of World Federalism or an in depth analysis of the key issues pertaining to one of our projects, WFM’s publications make great references. The Center for UN Reform Education also has many relevant publications available for purchase.

UEF Press release: Learn from Scotland, relaunch federalism at European and national level

PRESS RELEASE
09-19-2014


LEARN FROM SCOTLAND, RELAUNCH FEDERALISM AT EUROPEAN AND NATIONAL LEVEL



The victory of the "NO" in the referendum on Scotland's independence saves the United Kingdom and it avoids the risk of triggering a process of subsequent secessions in other European countries that would be disruptive not only for such countries, but also for Europe's stability and integration.


The result of the referendum can't and won't put an end to the legitimate aspirations of Scotland and other European regions to self-government and their demands for political decisions close to the citizens and respectful of the diversity of European regions.

"European nation states are increasingly in crisis. They are too small, too weak and still too little integrated to play an effective role in a globalised world, deliver solutions for the economic crisis and contribute to solving the security challenges at Europe's borders. At the same time, some of them are too centralised and dysfunctional to manage the economic, political and cultural diversity of their regions and satisfy their demands for closer accountability of political decisions", declares Paolo Vacca, Secretary-General of the Union of European Federalists, in response to the results of the referendum.

"The creation of more 'micro-states', with their illusion of independence and sovereignty, is not the solution: it would bring only instability at national and European level. There is just a progressive answer: to relaunch federalism, both at national and at European level. The two trends must go together. Without progress to federalism at national level, member states will continue fostering frustration and separatism in Europe's regions. Without a progress to a federal Europe, particularly in the Euro-zone, EU members states would lack the economic and political stability necessary to face a debate on their constitutional re-organisation and they would ultimately fail the broader economic and political challenges they are facing."

Europe needs unity in diversity, strong central governments with strong local governments, at national and European level. This is exactly what federalism can offer to Europe today. 

END



PRESS CONTACT
+32 2 508 30 30 | news@federalists.eu

EDITOR'S NOTE

The Union of European Federalists (UEF), is a supranational political movement founded in 1946 dedicated to uniting Europe along federal lines.

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In Memory of Barbara Martin Walker, 1923-2016

Photo of Barbara Walker

Note by WFM-IGP Executive Director, Bill Pace, on the death of Barbara Martin Walker

Barbara Martin Walker, one of the long-time and finest members of WFM, passed away on Friday, March 25.  Barbara Walker and her husband Bob were “lifelong supporters” of world federalism and our peace movement.  She served on the WFM Executive Committee for many years, as Treasurer and advisor.  Barbara was 92 years old.

Barbara was tremendously dedicated to peace education and amongst her contributions was the excellent reference book, Uniting the Peoples and Nations.  Compiled by Barbara, it is perhaps the closest text I know of to an ‘International Federalists Papers’.

Hopefully, in celebrating Barbara’s life, WFM and others will reread this extraordinary collection of writings, more than 100, from Kant to Kennedy, Gorbachev to Boutros-Ghali, Hudson to Heinrich, Einstein to Falk. It remains one of the most important primers for peace and federalism.

Barbara also co-founded with Sally Swing Shelley, an important United Nations non-governmental organization, the Committee on Teaching about the United Nations (CTAUN). The annual CTAUN conference at the UN for educators continues to gain in importance.

My wife, Lydia Swart, and I loved Barbara and Bob.  Shortly after becoming WFM General Secretary/Executive Director in 1994, Lydia and I cherished house-sitting the Walkers beautiful home in Princeton, NJ while they vacationed at their island home in Menemsha, Massachusetts. Lydia and I will miss Barbara and celebrate the Walkers for the rest of our lives.

On behalf of WFM’s world-wide membership, we wish to send our deep condolences to Barbara’s children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren as they honor her memory.

 

William Pace

WFM-IGP International Secretariat

 

Barbara Walker's obituary can be found here

UEF celebrates 70th Anniversary at XXV European Congress

From 10-12 June 2016, the Union of European Federalists (UEF) held their XXV Congress in Strasbourg, France under the theme of “European Future or National Decline? – Time for a Federal Europe.” The event marked the 70th anniversary of the Federalist campaigns for a United Europe.

During the celebration of this momentous milestone, the need for international cooperation as the antidote for conflict and fragmentation was greatly emphasized. The event additionally highlighted the historic benefits of federalism, and the necessity to reinvigorate individuals across the globe to have faith in the democratic process.

WFM-IGP Executive Committee members in attendance were Mr. William Pace, Dr. James Arputharaj Williams, and Mr. Fernando Iglesias.

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Dr. James Arputharaj Williams (right)

Mr. Fernando Iglesias (center), and Mr. Bill Pace (right)

Global support for UN Parliamentary Assembly

By Till Kellerhoff

Within the last seven months, the Campaign for a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly (UNPA) has been gathering additional support from around the world.

As of November 2015, over 1,400 current and former lawmakers from more than 100 countries, and hundreds of renowned personalities from politics, science, cultural life and civil society, signed the campaign’s international appeal that urges the United Nations and its member states “to establish a Parliamentary Assembly at the United Nations.” The appeal and the list of endorsements was presented to the President of the 70th UN General Assembly, Mogens Lykketoft, in New York. On this occasion, the coordinator of the campaign, Andreas Bummel, said that a parliamentary assembly could help to revitalize the UN’s main body and could enhance the world organization’s democratic legitimacy.

An encouraging step was made on the African continent. The Pan-African Parliament called on the African Union and Africa's governments to support the creation of a UNPA. In a resolution adopted by consensus in May by the plenary, the parliamentary body of the African Union states that "a UNPA is necessary to strengthen democratic participation and representation of the world’s citizens in the UN." The president of the Pan-African Parliament, Nkodo Dang from Cameroon, added, "More than 70 years after the establishment of the United Nations, global interdependence has made us all world citizens. It is long overdue that 'We, the Peoples,' as the UN Charter begins, have more say in global affairs. For this purpose, a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly needs to be established. I am happy to confirm my personal support of the international campaign that works towards this goal."

At the European level, support was voiced by Federica Mogherini, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs. Speaking at an event in Rome in February, she said that a UNPA could be a very useful tool and would be able to “strengthen the link between a system of global governance, which is remote by definition, and a citizenship that includes a global dimension."

Progress has also been made in several individual countries.

In October 2015, the German Parliament adopted a joint motion of the coalition parties CDU/CSU and SPD, urging the government under Chancellor Angela Merkel to support efforts to reform the United Nations that aim at making the world organization more efficient and more transparent. The democratic legitimacy of the UN needs to be guaranteed through modernization, the motion says. "This includes to examine the establishment of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly," the parliament stated.

The proposal for a UNPA was also presented at an international conference on South-South cooperation, SSC, that was held in New Delhi in March. In a session on "One World Global Citizenship," the representative of the UNPA campaign in India, James Arputharaj, suggested that South-South politics should pursue the goal of democratizing global institutions.

Following the federal elections of October 2015, members of the Canadian House of Commons and the Canadian Senate came together in April in Ottawa to re-establish a joint all-party group that deals with UN matters. The purpose of the Canadian Parliamentary Friends of the United Nations is to “support the UN’s current mandate and Canada’s involvement in the UN.” As the group’s co-chair Don Davies, a parliamentarian from Vancouver, explained, the group intends to explore support for a UNPA.

In late April, around fifty students from Germany, Europe, and around the world came together in Halle (Germany) in order to simulate international negotiations on the establishment of UNPA. The chairman of Germany’s Green party and patron of the event, Cem Özdemir, wrote in a message to the participants that he supported the idea of a UNPA from the beginning. Another supportive note was received from Germany’s Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel.

Support for a UNPA also took a step forward in Sweden. At its national congress, the Swedish Green Party Miljöpartiet de gröna, which is part of the governing coalition, adopted a motion calling "for a democratic United Nations." The motion was accepted by an overwhelming majority of the congress delegates. It expresses the party's support of the UNPA campaign and calls on the Swedish government to advance the proposal at the UN.

Besides this news from parliaments and politicians around the world, positive developments also took place in the academic realm. In June, around twenty researchers and practitioners met for two days at Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia, to discuss "the practical politics of global integration." According to the convenors of the World Government Research Network, Luis Cabrera of Griffith University and James Thompson of Hiram College in Ohio, "over the past two decades, some of the world's leading International Relations theorists, normative political theorists, international law scholars, economists and sociologists have turned their attention to the concept of world government. They have assessed the prospects for full global integration, and in many cases identified reasons to support it." The establishment of a world parliament was one of the topics discussed at the workshop.

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Adoption of Resolution of the House of Councilors for World Federation

Left: Mr. Satsuki Eda, advisor to the Parliamentary Group for World Federation of Japan, former President of the House of Councilors. Right: Mr. Takahiro Yokomichi, Chairman of the Parliamentary Group for World Federation of Japan, former President of the House of Representatives.

Submitted by the World Federalist Movement of Japan

On its 60th anniversary, in 2005, the United Nations, adopted the House of Representatives resolution, endorsing a ‘search for a roadmap to World Federation.’ This year is the 60th anniversary of Japan’s membership at the United Nations, and it is marked by the adoption of the House of Councilors resolution!

In Japan, we have the Parliamentary Group for World Federation which works in conjunction with the World Federalist Movement Organization. The Parliamentary group was established in 1949 with the renowned politician Mr. Yukio Ozaki at the core of things. Today, it has approximately 100 members of the National Diet as Senators and members of the House of Councilors. These members include former Prime Ministers, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and former Chairmen of the National Diet etc.

The occasion calls for the Prime Minister and the Minister of Foreign Affairs to work towards developing the ‘International Criminal Court’ in order to implement ‘International Solidarity Levy’, Campaign of a United Nations Assembly’ and ‘Reform the United Nations,’ etc.

Resolution as follows:

Japan in the UN : 60th Anniversary
Resolution to Pledge Further Contribution to International Peace building

May 25, 2016
The plenary session of the House of Councilors

This year marks the 60th anniversary of Japan’s membership in the United Nations

Despite Japan’s and the world’s dearest wish to establish international peace, there are still conflicts and terrorist acts, including the November 2015 Paris attacks continue to exist in the world. Further, innumerable worldwide problems, such as development and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and missiles technology, refugees and poverty issues, increasing number of disasters resulting from global warming, and epidemics of infectious disease, must be solved at transnational level.

Facing such reality of the international society, the House of Councilors express our deepest respect for the United Nations for its wisdom and effort having built and maintained international peace over many years since its establishment. We declare that our country would continue to take the initiative and set examples for pursuing peace and cooperation among humankind.

Based on the principle of everlasting peace declared in the Constitution of Japan, the government should make utmost efforts to ensure peace in the future, by reinforcing the reform of international organizations, promoting the expansion of international law as well as disarmament diplomacy including total abolition of nuclear weapons, and pursuing to establish human security and the quest for roadmap to realization of the World Federation.

It was resolved that.

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