31 December 2012

Form of the executive power of the European federation

In this post, I will describe my idea about who should be a holder of the executive power of the European federation. Readers know already that my idea is a committee or a body that I call the Council of Chancellors. I wrote however nothing more about it, maybe most readers will expect that it is actually only my different name for a standard state government which commonly is formed in European states. But my view is different not only in the question of the name – it fundamentally differs from a typical European manner of establishing governments and is very close to some extra-European ways of establishing the executive power. The fundamental point of view for me is democracy and possibility of the people to influence public events and the European manner is not enough democratic in my opinion.

European federalists have a habit of taking the United States of America as a model and of taking over every single feature from them. But while they take over such details as that the European federation should be called “The United States of Europe” they disregard more fundamental things. There is one great difference between the way how the executive power is staffed in the federation of the USA and the way usual in Europe which is planned also for the future European federation by many – one person elected directly (or in fact directly) is a holder of the executive power in the USA, a body consisting of more persons (a prime minister and other ministers) that are not elected is a holder of the executive power in European states. Which system is more democratic? Various people can raise an objection that European governments are made up on the basis of (parliamentary) elections (which is absurd: parliamentary elections → a government). It is true but in spite of it the prime minister and other ministers are unelected persons; the people decides who will be a (prime) minister in no European state. The reality is that parliamentary elections are held, after the elections, envoys of political parties that obtained a certain greater number of parliamentary seats meet together and come to an agreement behind the scenes which person from the respective parties will be the first minister and which persons fill posts of other ministers. The people can only watch this negotiation but has zero possibility to influence it. The people can only partially determine by its election of parliament's deputies which parties will negotiate about composition of the government but it is the only possibility that it has. It cannot even exactly decide which concrete parties will form the government, the political parties themselves decide it after the parliamentary elections. The people can influence in absolutely no way what person will hold what ministerial seat although governments and their individual ministers play a significant power role in systems of present states. How such system can be considered as democratic? If a system of direct election of a holder of the executive power in the state is closer to the will of the people, a question can be asked why it is not used in Europe and why governments are made up by a negotiation of political parties behind the scenes (or quasi publicly) after parliamentary elections. There can be an answer that it is simply a European tradition but another tradition then can be asked – why there is a different tradition somewhere outside of Europe? A true explanation of a European manner of establishing the executive power has to be searched in historical development of Europe. So I will now proceed to a historical digression which is necessary in my opinion to show why I hold not for suitable to copy the form of the executive power common in present Europe for state arrangement of the European federation.

Before the half of the 18th century, absolutistic monarchies ruled almost in all Europe. A monarch was an exclusive holder of the state power in them, other classes of inhabitants were excluded from decision making, they could at most participate in execution of monarch's will. There were exceptions (Venice, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Poland, German City-States, Dubrovnik) that were mostly aristocratic oligarchies but they played not a decisive role in Europe's development and what is more, existence of almost all of them entirely or temporarily ended on the threshold of the modern times. Enlightenment philosophers, in particular the French ones, were coming up with theories about wholly different state arrangement – based on the will of all people – that that really existed in that time. These theories met with a great response in their century but could not be put into practice in Europe because the absolutistic monarchs were yet too strong. What was however impossible in Europe was possible in the north America. In the year 1776, its North American colonies separated from Great Britain and faced a task to choose a state form. There were no tradition of absolutistic rule in these colonies and ideas of European (French) philosophers were known there and they were really used in administration of the colonies. Therefore state theories of Enlightenment were naturally used also in creation of state form of the new federation. The power of the king of Britain over the North American colonies was overthrown in the year 1776 (or through the following war) but it was not strong even before, so there was no obstacle for using a state form of the Enlightenment. It is important to emphasize that Americans had not to make a compromise with an absolutistic power.

There was utterly different situation in Europe. Shortly after the North American colonies had achieved independence absolutism fell in France, the French however were not radical at first and made a compromise with the existing royal power because the executive power was left to the king. Shortly after the king was executed but after a short temporary period monarchy returned to France and it strove after restoration of absolutism. In 1815, when Napoleon Bonaparte was defeated, almost all Europe was absolutistic and absolutism seemed even reinforced. All the same, rise of a more democratic regime could not be halted but evolution went in most Europe unlike in France by a way of gradual concession of the absolutistic power. An elected body of representatives was conceded at first, usually however representing interests of the most rich or otherwise privileged ones initially and only with a consultative function; the absolutistic power of the monarch thus was restricted only very partially. The monarch, above all, chose in his arbitrariness his ministers (the word minister is of the Latin origin meaning originally “a servant”), as however grew the power of the elected body it happened in a certain moment that ministers of the monarch became responsible to the representative elected body instead of to be solely private servants of the monarch. The next step then was that the monarch chose a prime minister according to outcome of the election to the representative body and appointed other ministers on his recommendation or reserved their appointment utterly to him. Although this evolution passed not with the same speed in all European states it became a basis for the present form of the executive power everywhere in Europe – the president replaced the monarch in almost all states but nevertheless, he appoints a prime minister in compliance with a result of the parliamentary elections and other ministers on his recommendation who are together the collective government responsible to the parliament. The present manner of establishing the executive power is therefore caused by historical evolution, by the way how absolutism was retreating during the 19th century. There was no possibility to choose another way in the 19th century and the manner of establishing the executive power had therefore to look like it looked.

But the question is why still to continue today in action that was necessary in the past but is not necessary today. I do not see any reason. The present way of establishing governments corresponds to historical circumstances which went down already and apart from that the citizens can directly not influence what concrete persons become members of the government it has also one disadvantage more: The present governments are formally responsible to the parliaments and they can work only when they have confidence of that parliaments. Superiority of the parliament (as the only directly elected state body) results from it at first sight, reality is however exactly opposite. Because political parties that have majority of deputies in the parliament form the government the respective “governmental” deputies must act so that they put not stability of the government at risk. It follows, apart from other things, that to agree with draft bills submitted by the government is almost their duty. And if some serious contradictions among the parties being in the government happen, a common solution is dissolution of the parliament and calling premature parliamentary elections. But the parliament is dissolved because the problem happened on the side of the executive power which is simply absurd. The government is responsible to the parliament theoretically but in practice, the parliament is rather responsible to the government because its action must adapt to that the government falls not. This way the parliament and the government grow together in one and separation of the legislative and executive power is rather theoretical than real (all the more so that the author of most of draft bills is the executive power).

My opinion is for the given reasons that the only way of establishing the executive power of the European federation corresponding to the 21st century is a direct election by the citizens. This however provokes some questions. In the first place, it is a number of holders of the executive power of the federation. (A method of election is in the second place but I will reserve it for the following post). If we speak about a direct election, it is almost impossible to ponder over a classic government consisting of approximately 15 ministers. An election campaign would be rather confused (and so a possibility to choose the right persons to be complicated) but above all, the resulting government would consist of persons of heterogeneous opinions and would therefore suffer from inner ambivalence similarly as classic coalition governments. In my opinion, capability of action takes precedence over diversity of opinions (which on the contrary is very appropriate at the legislative body) at the supreme executive body. An election of one holder of the executive power stands as a best possibility, similarly as in the USA (if we ignore a superfluous connecting link in the form of the electoral college). But this is not the best possibility in my opinion. The European federation, whatever size it will have, will be probably a great state and therefore a number of activities that its executive power will have to deal with will be also great. I believe that to charge one person with such great burden and responsibility is not appropriate and that the executive power of the federation should be held by more persons. The question of the number so remains. The number should not be great for the reasons that I mentioned above, a possibility to form a list of candidates consisting of more persons with the same or similar opinions and to leave a possibility to judge suitability of every single candidate to the people at the same time is limiting. In my opinion, the best is to decide between the number of two or three. The number of two resembles two candidates in the presidential election in the United States of America, for the president and its vice-president, but only one of them really executes the executive power after the election and attention of voting citizens is focused just on him. Also ancient Rome can be remembered, high public offices were always held by two persons. But a motive of this measure was not distribution of burden of the office, the true reason was to prevent emergence a tyranny of an individual. In spite of my idea of establishing a collective executive power of the European federation too, either of two Roman colleagues was elected separately and so two people met in an office who had utterly different views at execution of their public service, sometimes with consequences in practice. As for three common holders of the executive power, I can refer to France in the period 1799-1802 when three consuls led the state. As in the case of the executive power in the United States, the fact is also here that these three consuls had not equal position (the first consul who was Napoleon Bonaparte played the leading role among them). I wanted only to show by these historical or present-time examples that the executive power in the state can be distributed among two or three persons, to take over any formerly or now existing system without a change is however not necessary. In every case, the choice between the number of two or three holders of the executive power of the European federation will be decided on the basis of the way of decision making of their collective body. If the same responsibility is put in hands of more people, they can reach a decision either unanimously or by voting. Either two or three persons will hold the executive power of the European federation, a requirement for unanimity would cause that every of the colleagues would have the right of veto on decisions of the body which could paralyse the executive power. In the number of two would however be no alternative than either unanimity or veto and unanimity cannot be achieved also among close persons always. Therefore the number of three holders of the executive power is better because consent of two from the number of three is necessary to come to a decision and it is a compromise between unanimity and a possibility of veto by one vote.

So my conclusion is that holders of the executive body of the European federation should be three, elected directly by the people of the federation (which is more democratic than the present way) and running for the office in groups of three, details about organization of the election will however follow later. I will explain also why I chose the designation "chancellor" for a holder of the executive power of the European federation.

24 November 2012

Federal territories and related

I was going to start writing about the executive power of the federation but writing previous two posts about representation of individual parts of the European federation in the federal parliament I realized that I have not satisfactorily solved a question of territories that are dependent on some European states but are not a direct part of them. Those are mostly territories which are situated outside of Europe and mostly they are not supposed to be a part of future united Europe in contrast to their metropolises. Their inhabitants themselves want not in many cases to be a part of united Europe although they want not to break links to their European metropolitan states. In the present international organization of the European Union, the thing is solved the way that the metropolis is a part of the EU but its dependent territory is not. However such solution would be impossible in the case of creation of the European federation. I have written in the post Associated states that administration of territories not being a part of the federation would have to be considered as independent foreign policy from the part of the respective member state, and it is naturally inaccessible. Inhabitants of the respective dependent territories would have to decide after creation of the European federation whether they want to be outside the federation or inside it. In the first case the territories could be associated states of the federation, but the respective territories would be independent states from the point of view of international law. But if the would not want to be independent states – and they probably would not want to, if they have not wanted it up to this day – they would have to be a part of the European federation. I suppose however that these territories would want to retain links to thier metropolitan states if they become member states of the European federation; therefore I added a category of federal territories in the proposal of the European federal constitution. Citizens of these territories would have to be citizens of the federation (and therefore to have their representatives in the federal parliament as I have written in previous two posts) but a status of a federal territory should make to have special relationship to the federation, distinct from relationship of the member states to the federation, possible for them.

However, before I get to details I return in the very beginning, to the article 2 where I enumerated the member states of the federation. So that the list is complete I have to add all dependent territories of already enumerated member states (namely of France, the United Kingdom, the Nederlands and Denmark), just in the form of federal territories. I added also the Federal Region of Brussels to the list as a separate unit, I will return to it later. I must make a remark in advance: when I started writing about a proposal of a European federal constitution I had the states associated now in the international organization called the European Union in mind but in the course of writing, to propose such constitution with that a union comprising whole Europe could work became my intention. I adjusted therefore reading of the article two to it and involved all European states (including the microstates) except of Russia, Turkey and Caucasian states in it. The people in all enumerated states and territories should get a possibility to make a decision whether it wants to participate in creation of the European federation or not. I do not believe in contrast to my aearlier idea that respective plebiscites should be held only in the states of the present EU. There may be an objection that the states of the present European community are more prepared to political unification than those which stay outside but it can be hardly believed because there is almost no popular and especially political discussion about its tending towards a federation inside the European “Union”, if national politicians governing it have still such goal at all. The modified articte two is presented lower. I point out that I am aware that the European federation may never exist in that form, however I suppose that the suggested article two will be revised after creation of the federation or admission of a new member in a form corresponding with reality.

As I have written, status of a federal territory should make possible that territories dependent on any European state now could retain their close relationship with the respective metropolitan states but not at the same time to have to participate in the European federation in equal extent as the metropolitan states themselves. Therefore I drew up the first paragraph of the article about federal territories this way: the European federal constitution (I have primarily its third chapter dealing with competencies of the federation in mind) should be valid also for relations between the federation and the federal territories unless the respective law about status of the federal territory determines otherwise. That is to say, every federal territory should have the right to determine by a special law what parts of the third chapter of the federal constitution should be valid for it. The right of a federal territory to such law is guaranteed by the suggested article two.

The right to special status inside the European federation can however not give a right to arbitrarily reject obligation of whatever provision of the constitution to the territory. Some competencies of the federation must be retained in relation to the federal territories if the federation should work as a whole and if malfunctions should not occur in its operation. Therefore I enumerate the articles of the chapter three or parts of them in a suggested text bellow which cannot be a subject of special regulation of relations between the federation and the respective federal territory. Overview of them with commentary follows. (Numbering of articles corresponds not with what I published earlier because I added two other articles concerning just the federal territories and the Federal Region of Brussels.)

- The entire article 18 (foreign relations): As the member states cannot have their own foreign policy, the federal territories cannot have it too; it is obvious.
- The entire article 20 (military affairs): The same is valid as in the case of the article 18.
- The entire article 21 (free movement, internal security): I do not see any argument why federal territories should restrict free movement of other citizens of the federation in their territory. And if movement of persons is free, also freedom of activities of federal investigative bodies in federal territories must be, otherwise they could become bases of organized crime which would be secure from institutions of the Union there.
- The entire article 22 (citizenship of the Union): No federal territory like the member states can be allowed to give its citizenship to somebody who did not became the one of the federation first.
- From the article 23 (economy, curency) the paragraphs (d) (business law is a matter of the federation), (f) (social conditions of labour), (g) (uniform currency in all federation), (h) (federal supervision over banks and other financial organizations): Objective of these restrictions for the federal territories is that these territories become not, in the framework of the European Union, areas where companies could misuse eventual milder local conditions. Federal territories cannot – in my proposal – permit for example lower protection of working people or less severe conditions for financial institutions because citizens in the rest of the Union would be threatened by that. (Who critically observes present capitalism sees what unfair advantages supranational firms utilize in states with low legal regulation and protection of working people understands what I have in mind.)
- From the article 24 paragraphs (e) (the Union levies import and export duties), (f) (the Union  imposes capital gains taxes), (g) (size of taxes imposed by the Union has to be equal in all federation): The first condition is natural, because it is related to foreign policy, the other two ones then have the same justification as restrictive provisions of the article 23 – their purpose is to prevent that federal territories become not tax havens, offshore finacial centres or something similar inside the federation.
- The paragraph (e) (genetic engineering): Genetic manipulation of living creatures is so weighty matter that the federal territories cannot be allowed to permit less strict rules in this field than rules valid in the rest of the federation.
- From the article 30 (environment, agriculture) the paragraphs (e) (treating farm animals), (f) (treating free living animals), (g) (animal tests): All these provisions should prevent that the federal territories become not an asylum of supranational or other firms that would want to get around severe regulations of the federation about protection of animals against maltreatement.

The last paragraph of my proposal distinguishes the federal territories from the member states in one more thing. A reason of political unification of Europe and of creation of European federal state is to prevent damages which arose from division of Europe. The damages could be various and can vary or complement each other in the course of time. Unification of Europe therefore makes sense only when it will last forever. If the European federation was threatened by disintegration at any time, unification would lack purpose; unification “on trial” would be virtually no unification. Therefore unity of the European federation must be everlasting and the member states cannot have the right to secede from the federation (therefore a plebiscite has to confirm accession of any new state to the federation in both sides as well as creation of the federation itself in its beginning). It is actually common that federal constitutions do not regulate and not mention the right of the member states to secede from the federation (the only exceptions known to me are the constitution of the former Soviet Union (the article 72 of the constitution from 1977) and the present constitution of Ethiopia (the article 39)). Some federal constitution mention, on the other hand, impossibility of partition of the federation (the constitution of Brazil in its preamble), most of them however are silent about this matter, perhaps because they consider indissolubility of the (respective) federatin an obvious thing. I was aware the judgement of the Supreme Court of the United States of America in the case Texas versus Write (1869) in that the court rejected the right of a member state to secede from the United States although the constitution said nothing about it referring to the Articles of Confederation which repeatedly mention creation of perpetual union; therefore I inserted earlier the same words in preamble of my suggestion of the European federal constitution. But writing about it now I hold for appropriate to emphasize it more so that there is no misgiving in the matter – therefore I changed the earlier published article 1 in the General Provisions by adding a word “indivisible”. The amended article is below.

But I return back to the federal territories. What I have writen above about the member states should not be valid for them. As the list of them obove shows they are predominantly territories distant frome Europe and so from its affairs. They are remnants of former colonial empires of some European states and their existing bond to their metropolitan states is not utterly a result of their free choice. There is an independence movement in some of them and if there is not now, it can there be sometimes in the future. From the mentioned reasons I believe that the federal territories – unlike the member states – should have the right to decide to leave the European federation. Their right to etirely merge with their metropolitan state (as French overseas territory Mayotte did in the year 2011) is naturally not disputed.

To mention status of the Federal Region of Brussels is what remains to be discussed. The matter of fact is that this territory should serve as a federal district in the European federation similar to federal districts in other federations, for example in the United States of America, Australia, Brazil or Mexico. The main reason of creating such federal districts is to ensure that main constitutional bodies of the federation are not located in the territory of any mameber state and cannot thus be influenced by the respective state in which territory the bodies are located. Another assumption arises then from this main assumption, namely that administration over the federal district is exercised by federal institutions. I hardly can make another remark that the one that James Madison wrote in 1788 (the Federalist No. 42) about the future federal district of the USA: “The indispensable necessity of complete authority at the seat of Government, carries its own evidence with it.” (And: “It is a power exercised by every Legislature of the Union, I might say of the world, by virtue of its general supremacy. Without it, not only the public authority might be insulted and its proceedings interrupted with impunity; but a dependence of the members of the General Government on the State comprehending the seat of the Government, for protection in the exercise of their duty, might bring on the National Councils animputation of awe or influence...”)

But it would not be just if the Federal Region of Brusells had no autonomy and the entire state power was exercised by federal authorities. Federal districts in various federations have (or acquired in evolution) their own administration similar to a state one and federal authorities serve only as a supervisor who confirms or can change decisions of autonomous bodies of the federal district in the case of necessity. I chose the same for the Federal Region of Brussels and following two paragraphs describe this solution: the state power exercise local autonomous authorities in the Federal Region of Brussels, their decisions can be changed or revoked by the federal authorities. It is actually a manifestation of something like concurrent legislation (and concurrent administration too) known for example from Germany.

Reading of the respective suggested articles of the constitution including the amended article 1 and the amended article 2 follows (changes in these two are underlined in comparison with the previously published text):

Article 1
The European Union is an indivisible democratic federal state based on the will of the people. The people is the only source of the state power.

Article 2
The European Union is composed of the states Albania, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Hercegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, the Nederlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, of the Federal Region of Brussels and of the federal territories Andorra, Anguilla, Aruba, Bermuda, Bonaire, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Curaçao, the Falkland Islands, the Faroe Islands, French Polynesia, Gibraltar, Greenland, Guernsey, the Isle of Man, Jersey, Liechtenstein, qqMonaco, Montserrat, New Caledonia, the Pitcairn Islands, Saba, Saint Barthélemy, Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, Saint Martin, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, San Marino, Sint Eustatius, Sint Maarten, the Turks and Caicos Islands, Wallis and Futuna as well as all territories belonging to them.

Article 16 - Federal Region of Brussels
(a) The Federal Region of Brussels is endowed with all competencies that belong to the member states.
(b) The state power in the Federal Region of Brussels is exercised by the people of the Federal Region of Brussels and by authorities elected by it.
(c) The Assembly of the Union and the Council of Chancellors can revoke or change whatever legislative or executive decision of the authorities of the state power of the Federal Region of Brussels if protection of federal authorities located in the Federal Region of Brussels requires it.

Article 17 – Federal territories
(a) All provisions of the chapter three of the constitution apply to the relations between the Union and the federal territories unless the respective law of status of the federal territory stipulates otherwise.
(b) Each federal territory may regulate its relation to the Union by the law about status of the federal territory.
(c) The law about status of the federal territory may not change the provisions of the articles 18, 20, 21, 22, of the paragraphs (d), (f), (g), (h) of the article 23, of the paragraphs (e), (f), (g) of the article 24, of the paragraph (e) of the article 27 and of the paragraphs (e), (f), (g), (l) of the article 30 of this constitution.
(d) The federal territories have the right to leave the community of the European Union.

09 November 2012

Assembly of the Union - constitutional text

In this post, I bring a summary of my previous posts dedicated to the parliament of the European federation in the form of a suggestion of a constitutional text. There are some things that I not discussed aerlier because I realized them only writing this text. First, I added imprisonment to conditions under which a deputy loses his mandate. A reason is obvious, I suppose. Second, I realized that I had given the right to have its representative in the European federal parliament to associated states (see this post), so I had to regulate their position in this constitutional text. And third, I completed in the article about lawmaking that all laws anticipated by the constitution (by words "details are stipulated by the law" or similar) must be subjected to a plebiscite as the constitution itself (because they are in fact a part of the constitution, although a separated one by their form).

Title 4 – Institutions of the Union
Chapter 1 – Assembly of the Union

Article 31 – Assembly and its chambers

1. Legislative power if not exercised directly by the people as well as other competencies stipulated by this constitution belong to the Assembly of the Union.
2. The Assembly of the Union consists of two chambers, the House of the People and the House of States. Both chambers are equal to each other.
2. The Assembly of the Union has its seat in the Federal Region of Brussels. In the case of exceptional circumstances, each chamber can sit in other place of the Union.
3. The House of the People and the House of States have separate sessions.
4. A resolution of the Assembly of the Union requires assent of both chambers.
5. Each chamber can take a resolution if at least two thirds of their respective members are present.
6. Each chamber can take its own resolution or decision. Assent of majority of its members is required.
7. Both chambers are in permanent sessions. The total period for which a session of one chamber may be adjourned shall not exceed 150 days in one year.
8. The Assembly of the Union may not be dissolved.
9. The first session of each chamber of the Assembly of the Union is called by a Chancellor of the Union no later than the thirtieth day after the election or appointment of deputies of the respective chamber. If not done so, the respective chamber meets on the thirtieth first day after the election or appointment of deputies of the respective chamber.
10. Sessions of the chambers and their committees are public. The public can be excluded solely for serious reasons stipulated by the law.
11. Each chamber elects within itself its President and two Vice-Presidents and dismisses them.
12. Each chamber establishes committees and assigns deputies to them.
13. The law of rules of procedure regulates work of each chamber.
14. Each chamber has the right to start investigation in the public interest and to summon all persons discharging public functions.

Article 32 – Rights and duties of members of the Assembly of the Union

1. Nobody is allowed to be a member of the Assembly of the Union and to hold any constitutional or other salaried office of the European Union, of any member state or its autonomous entity or of any other territory of the Union. Nobody is allowed to be member of both chambers.
2. A member of the Assembly of the Union votes only according to his conscience and to interests of the people that he represents and according to the constitution of the Union. He may not vote following instructions of any other person or by proxy. Every member of the Assembly of the Union has one vote in voting.
3. A member of either of two chambers may not be prosecuted or subjected to inquiry with regard to statements or voting made in the exercise of his mandate.
4. A member of the Assembly of the Union may be prosecuted, restricted in his free movement or arrested only with consent of the chamber of which he is a member unless caught while committing a criminal act. The detention of a member of the Assembly of the Union or the prosecution against him is suspended during a session or for its entire duration if the respective chamber requires it.
5. Members of the Assembly of the Union receive a salary and a compensation for the costs of their travel to the seat of the Assembly of the Union paid from means of the Union. To receive any other remunerations is inadmissible.
6. The mandate of a member of the Assembly of the Union becomes effective by his election.
7. Every member of the Assembly of the Union takes the oath at the first session of his chamber which he attends. The oath of the member of the Assembly of the Union reads: “I, … (name of a person), solemnly pledge now to work for welfare of the people of the European Union, to represent it in compliance with my conscience and to fulfill the spirit of the constitution of the Union.”
8. The mandate of a member of the Assembly of the Union expires by
(a) expiration of the term of mandate,
(b) refusing to take the oath or taking the oath with reservations,
(c) resignation,
(d) death,
(e) exercise of an incompatible function,
(f) recall,
(g) imprisonment.
9. Every member of the Assembly of the Union has the right to put questions to members of the Council of Chancellors regarding their authority; they have the duty to respond verbally or by writing no later than in thirty days.
10. Representatives of the associated states have all rights and duties as other members of the Assembly of the Union with exception of the right to vote and to access to confidential information.
11. The law stipulates details of rights and duties of members of the Assembly of the Union.

Article 33 – Lawmaking

1. Every member or a group of members of the Assembly of the Union has the right to submit a draft bill.
2. Every bill is discussed first in the chamber to which it was submitted.
3. Every bill is discussed in three readings in each of the chambers. In the first reading, all members of the respective chamber become acquainted with a bill and they decide whether they will consider it further; in the second reading, draft amendments that may refer only to the discussed matter can be added to the bill; in the third reading, the chamber finally decides whether the bill is passed or rejected. Every reading is accompanied by a general debate that can be left out on request of majority of present members of the respective chamber. No less than twenty days may elapse between individual readings. Details are stipulated in the laws of procedure of each respective chamber.
4. The law about declaration of war and the law terminating state of war are discussed in each chamber only in one reading.
5. Assent of majority of members of the respective chamber is required in each of the chambers to adopt a law or a resolution of the Assembly of the Union.
6. If one chamber expresses its assent to a bill, it is without unnecessary delay advanced to the other chamber. Assent of both chambers is required to pass a bill.
7. A draft law adopted by the Assembly of the Union with exception of the law about declaration of war and the law terminating state of war is without unnecessary delay advanced to the Council of Chancellors. It either expresses its assent to the draft law or sends it with explanations back to the Assembly of the Union. Each chamber votes again about the returned draft law in one reading, amendments are not allowed. A majority of four seventh of members of each chamber is required to adopt the law.
8. An adopted law is inscribed in the Official Journal of the European Union. It takes effect when it is inscribed in the Official Journal unless the law itself stipulates otherwise.
9. Laws completing the constitution of the Union anticipated by the constitution itself require adoption in a federal plebiscite to become effective.
10. An adopted law must not be contrary to the constitution of the Union and must not have retroactive effect.
11. Regulation of more unrelated affairs may not be involved in one law.
12. The law about declaration of war must contain a reason of a declaration of war, definite determination of an enemy and an objective of military actions.

Article 34 – House of the People

1. The House of the People consists of deputies who represent the people of the European Union. The number of deputies must not exceed 567.
2. The people of every member state, of every federal territory as well as of the Federal Region of Brussels is represented according to a number of their inhabitants with respect to the principle of degressive proportionality. The people of any member state and of the Federal Region of Brussels may not be represented by less than three deputies, the people of every federal territory is represented by one deputy. Details are stipulated by the law.
3. Deputies of the House of the People are elected in general, direct and secret elections. Every member state or federal territory as well as the Federal Region of Brussels is a separate electoral district. Elections take place in all territory of the Union at the same time and according to the same rules. The law stipulates details.
4. The term of mandate of a deputy of the House of the People is four years.
5. Every citizen of the European Union who reached the age of eighteen years has the right to elect deputies of the House of the People.
6. Every citizen of the European Union who completed the age of twenty one can be elected a deputy of the House of the People.
7. Nobody can be elected a deputy of the House of the People more than twice.

Article 35 – House of States

1. The House of States consists of deputies who represent the member states of the Union. Each state is represented by three deputies.
2. The Federal Region of Brussels is represented by three deputies, each federal territory is represented by one deputy.
3. Deputies of the House of States are delegated by the member states and federal territories as well as by the Federal Region of Brussels according to their rules observing principles of public administration responsive to the people. All deputies are delegated at the same time. The law stipulates details.
4. The term of mandate of a deputy of the House of States is four years.
5. No deputy of the House of States may be less than twenty one years of age and must be a citizen of the state or other territory of the Union that delegates him.
6. Nobody can be elected a deputy of the House of States more than twice.

30 October 2012

Characteristics of both parliamentary chambers

In the last post devoted to the federal parliament, I will deal with special characteristics of its individual chambers (houses). I will discuss both chambers altogether in one post because provisions about both of them will be similar.

I begin with a (constitutional) article devoted to the House of the People. Its first paragraph suggested by me characterizes its role first: it says that the House of the People consists of deputies who represent the people of the European Union. Other statement will be in the first paragraph of the first article about the House of  States (that it consists of deputies who represent the member states). The second part of the same article is then a sentence determining the maximum size of the House of the People. I determined the number at 567 deputies which I had written about in the first article devoted to the federal parliament.

The “lower” house should represent the people of the federation as a whole but in practice, this people is divided among the member states (or other territories) of the federation – therefore also the deputies representing the people of the federation have to be divided according to the member states (eventually other territories) of the federation. A rule must logically be valid at the same time – that the greater part of the people of the federation resides in the respective member state the greater number of deputies represents this part of the people. This principle is determined in the second paragraph. Apportion of adequate number of representatives among each state is another question. There will be great differences in their size among the member states in practice which will undoubtedly necessitate that very great or very small states will be disadvantaged. To prevent that very small states are too undervalued in their representation, it is necessary to grant them a certain minimal number of deputies as it is common in the present European parliament and other current parliaments. My suggestion is that in the House of the People, every state is represented at least by three deputies which is intended also for the Federal Region of Brussels. I expect moreover that the European federation will have something like federal territories outside the member states and I grant them the right to at least one deputy. (I will return to the topic of federal territories in a separate post because I realized that I forgot some important things concerning them in previous articles of the proposed constitution.) What mathematical method should be used to apportion the deputies among the member states (and other parts) of the European federation I am not able to say now, so I leave details to a separate law (but I believe that the now used principle of so called degressive proportionality should be preserved also in the future and that a general mathematical principle should be used, not a trade-like “ad hoc” political deal as in the EU today).

The third paragraph of my suggestion speaks about the way of election of deputies of the House of the People. I have again to leave details to a separate law, the constitution should determine only the most important principles. I take for obvious what all constitutions write, namely that the election should be based on universal, direct, secret suffrage. If the constitution allocates a certain number of deputies to each state (or other territory of the federation), a necessity results from it that every member state is also a separate electoral district. It is advantageous for the reason too that in such districts, citizens will have a possibility to know candidates which would not be possible in the case of a list of candidates made for one electoral district comprising the whole territory of the federation (present proposals to put something similar through for the election in the European parliament are unreasonable and cannot bring what federalists expect of). Actually, it is an almost obvious thing, there are (more than one) electoral districts for legislative body's election in almost all states of the world. One more rule must be present in the third paragraph of this constitutional article in my opinion; it is not common in constitutions of federations but concrete experiences with the present intergovernmental European Union require it. There are no unified common rules of suffrage in the European Parliament election at the present time. Every state determines its own rules, it has to respect only three basic general rules. It reflects that the present European alliance of states, though it is called a union, is in fact no union (to promote this word in the title of the European community by the federalists was not a reasonable idea, because thus a genuine meaning of this word loses in value). The present European Union is in short a community (or a club) of independent states and realization of election to its  parliament-like representative body mirrors the fact. But if a European federation should be one state and if I have written that the House of the People represents the people of the Union, it is not possible that different rules in relation to the common federal state are in force. Somebody can take it for obvious but I prefer – having experience with the present manner of election to the European parliament – to add a sentence to the third paragraph saying that election to the House of the People is held in all member states (and other territories of the federation) in the same time and by the same rules.

The fourth paragraph of my suggestion determines a period during which a deputy of the House of the People executes his mandate. A standard period in parliaments of most European states is four years and I do not see any reason to determine another term of a deputy's service for the House of the People.

The following two suggested paragraphs determine a minimal age of candidates and their voters. The first of them, the fifth paragraph, says that every citizen of the Union who has reached his eighteenth year of age has the right to vote to the House of the People. The following sixth paragraph then determines the minimal age for a possibility to be elected (= passive suffrage). I determined this age to 21 years because it is a frequent age limit for this type of election in many European states; I believe furthermore that the age for public offices should be higher then the age of active suffrage.

The last, seventh paragraph  comprises a provision which is normally not present in constitutions of states. It says that nobody is allowed to be elected a deputy of the House of the People more than twice. Because it occurs in practice that political parties place some persons in their lists of candidates again and again and it happens considering known behaviour of voters that some persons serve as deputies of a legislative body for a long continuous period but thus they become professional politicians who lose contact with reality and those which they should represent. This provision therefore should prevent it.

Now is the turn of the House of States. The structure of the suggested article devoted to it will be very similar to the previous one. Its first paragraph has again two parts, it determines the role of this chamber and its size. The role of the House of States should be to represent the member states as I have written above. I wrote also about the size of the House of States (in the post http://federal-constitution-of-europe.blogspot.cz/2012/06/form-of-parliamentary-body.html). I suggested three deputies for each state there and also gave reasons that I had chose this number in order that the “upper” chamber has not disproportionate size in comparison with the “lower” one. For if to adopt every law requires agreement of both chambers, disproportionately less votes would be sufficient in one chamber than in the other one, if the House of States is too small in comparison to the House of the People (but I admit that in reality, there are great differences between two chambers of some bicameral parliaments).

A provision about the number of deputies representing other territorial units than the member states is located in the second paragraph. The Federal Region of Brussels should in my opinion have equal position as the states, namely three deputies, federal territories then one deputy because – if they exist – they will be territories of small number of inhabitants. Again: I will write about these in a future, already mentioned article.

The third paragraph speaks about a method of election of deputies of the House of States. But now, it is not necessary to determine unified rules. The House of States should represent the member states (and other territories) of the federation and every state (etc.) is a separate unit that determines its own rules in internal matters. Therefore is my opinion that also a method how every individual state elects its deputies to the House of States should be reserved to its free deliberation. So elections of deputies of the House of States in fact will in some extent be similar to election of deputies to the present European parliament that also has not universally unified rules. I believe that even more freedom to decide about the method of election of their deputies to the House of States should be given to the member states of the future European federation in comparison to the present “euro-elections” and only two general rules should be in force: the deputies shall be elected by a method respecting the principle of public administration responsible to the people and all deputies of all states should be delegated at the same time. I leave details to a separate law again.

Then length of service of deputies of the House of States is a question. It should be equal or longer (or shorter) than the mandate of deputies of the “lower” chamber? In some bicameral parliaments, deputies of the upper chamber are elected for longer period of time than deputies of the lower chamber, in other parliaments however, their length of service is equal. I decided for the second possibility for the House of States because I had chosen a principle earlier that both chambers should have equal position – and in that case, there is no reason for longer term of service of deputies of the House of States.

The fifth paragraph of my proposal determines again the age limitation for deputies. I will not determine a lower limit for active suffrage because I wrote that to decide about election of its deputies will be a business of each member state (etc.). What remains is to determine the lowest possible age of a deputy of the House of States. I determine it again in 21 years as in the case of the House of the People. But it is necessary to add one more limitation: a deputy delegated by the respective state (or other territory) must be its citizen, otherwise the House of States as a body of representatives of the member states would have no sense.

The same provision as in the case of the article about the House of the People is in the suggested last paragraph: nobody is allowed to be elected to the House of States more than twice.

It is all what I wanted to write about the federal legislative body of the European federation. My next post will bring a proposal of the constitutional text related to this matter.

29 September 2012

Legislative process

In this post I will discuss for the last time matters that are common for the whole federal parliament, both its chambers, namely the legislative process.

Nobody doubts that laws are a very important matter, after all I have written in the suggestion of the constitution's section about fundamental rights that duties can be imposed only by the law. Therefore high attention must be paid to rules of their making and therefore main principles of lawmaking have to be defined by the constitution, as it is common in states' constitutions (though principles of lawmaking are sometimes written in a separate law). My following proposal for the most part corresponds to common constitutional texts regulating this matter but it partially differs also, in particular for the reason of my different view of relation between the executive and the legislative power in the state.

This my different point of view is expressed just in the first suggested paragraph. This paragraph determines who has the right to lay bills and it enumerates only individual members of the Assembly of the Union or groups of its members. The executive power (the Council of Chancellors in my terminology) is utterly absent here, not by an oversight but wholly deliberately. It is a common practice in European (and extra-European) states that the executive power (the government) lays bills and nobody is puzzled about it. Let us however ask why should it be so. Separation of the state power in the legislative and the executive power is based on a theory originating already in the age of Enlightenment and saying that the power in the state can easily turn into tyranny if concentrated in one pair of hands. Therefore was introduced that someone else makes laws and someone else acts according to them. The legislative power creates rules but cannot enforce them in practice and the executive power then pursues practical measures but only in the frame of rules that the legislative power gave to it – both state powers control each other this way. Or it theoretically should be at least so. But if governments lay bills in practice, they in fact create rules to themselves according to which they will act – and it definitely breaks purpose of separation of these state powers. Some people can make an objection that it is not duty of the legislative power (the parliament) to automatically pass government's bills but we know how the things are: governments are formed in order that they have so called parliamentary majority, that is in order that – among other thing – government's bills easily pass in parliament votings. If governments have such parliamentary majority (and they have it almost always), government's bills really pass almost always and control of the executive power by the legislative power is thus only formal (the government gives rules to itself). The principle of separation of the executive and the legislative power and their mutual control is weakened in present European states (also for other ground than this but I will deal with it more precisely in the section about the executive power) and the executive power gets too predominant position. It is necessary to restore balance between these two state powers in conformity with the theory of separation of state powers and a wholly new constitution of the European federation gives an opportunity for it. My proposal assumes no exceptions.

It is common in bicameral parliaments that bills are laid to one predetermined chamber, typically the “lower” one. But this favours one selected chamber to the other one and is not therefore applicable for my proposal of the constitution of the European Union according to my view because I have written in a previous post that both chambers of the European federal parliament should have equal position. In order that it is maintained no chamber can be preferred in the legislative process, so my suggestion of the second paragraphs says that a bill is discussed first in the chamber in which it was laid.

The third paragraph is the longest among all paragraphs of this article and it generally regulates the process of adopting a bill in the frame of one parliamentary chamber. It expressly demands adoption in three steps - readings and shortly describes individual steps. In the first reading all deputies of the respective chamber should be informed about a bill and should decide whether they will discuss it further. In the second reading the deputies should have the possibility to propose amendments to the bill. I added also a remark that proposed amendments must refer to the discussed matter; this provision should prevent from creation of so called riders, proposed amendments by those their proposer tries to surreptitiously enforce a thing that would not pass as an independent proposal. The third reading then should serve for final adoption or rejection of the presented bill without the possibility of proposed amendments. Each reading should be followed by a debate which can be omitted at the request of absolute majority of the present (not all in this case) deputies of the respective chamber. The minimal period that should pass between the individual readings is a question. I am not sure what period is the most suitable, whether rather shorter or longer. I want however not to view the period between the individual readings as a mere technical break but as suitable retardation of the process of adoption a law making rash adoption of a bad law more difficult and giving a possibility to citizens to follow the legislative process and to react to it. That is the reason why I chose 20 days as the minimal period of time that has to pass between the individual readings; and my formulation prevents not that the chambers extend this period by their rules of procedure. The last sentence of this paragraph speaks just about the rule of procedure of each chamber and refers to it in particulars that cannot be included in the short text of the constitution itself. In the end, I must add mention of two explicitly enumerated exceptions for those is not meant what I have written above: the law about declaration of war and the law terminating state of war – one reading has to be sufficient in discussion about these laws for a possible concrete situation would hardly allow long-winded adoption of them. I reserved a separate paragraph for it; then, I will deal with it more in detail in a post discussing the executive power.

The next paragraph speaks about a majority necessary for adoption of a bill in the respective chamber. My suggestion is absolute majority, i.e. majority at least 50% of all deputies of the respective chamber (without regard to the number of deputies really present). I wrote about it in one of my previous posts already.

If one chamber approves a bill, this one must logically be sent to the second chamber where the same process of approval will take place. The fifth paragraph stipulates immediate sending an approved bill from one chamber to the other and determines that adoption of a law requires approval by both chambers.

In the suggestion of the sixth paragraph I return to the executive power. I concede some part to it in the legislative process after all, namely a possibility to return laws adopted by the parliament to it for reassessment. Although I disagree that the executive power itself makes laws (as it occurs today) I believe that the right of it to return a law to the parliament is an important component of mutual control of state powers. I concede this right of so called suspensive veto to the holder of the executive power of the European federation, the Council of Chancellors. It has 20 days for assenting to it or returning it with observations to the Assembly of the Union. In the second case each chamber has – without possibility of amendments – to vote on the law again and now the majority of 4/7 (=57%) of all deputies of the respective chamber is required because the parliament has to “outvote” the veto. The limit of 4/7 is a number that goes not much away from 50% and can be expressed in a so simple fraction as possible too. The paragraph determines two exceptions, again the mentioned laws about proclamation of war and terminating state of war – on the one hand for the reason of time, on the other hand for the reason of control of the executive power by the legislative power.

The eighth paragraph of my proposal determines how the adopted law comes into effect. It says that adopted law shall immediately be inscribed in the Official Journal of the Union and it comes into effect at that moment, unless the law itself determines something else.

The following two suggested paragraphs say what attributes adopted laws must not have. The ninth one determines contradiction to the constitution as the first such thing and forbids further a law to have retroactive effect. The tenth paragraph then forbids more mutually unrelated matters to be regulated in the frame of one law which should have positive influence on lucidity of federal laws (and it goes again against the so called riders as it is mentioned above).

The last paragraph of this suggested article resembles the previous two ones, it determines required components of the law about declaration of war because it is not desirable that it is promulgated carelessly and gives carte blanche to the executive power. According to me therefore a bill of such law must contain a reason of declaration of war, definite determination of the enemy and objective of military actions in order that it is not possible to arbitrarily misuse the armed forces of the federation.

That is all for this time, the next post will deal with special characteristics of each chamber.

01 September 2012

Rights and duties of the deputies

This post will again deal with both chambers of the federal parliament, it determines rights and duties of deputies of the parliament which will the same in both chambers. This post brings no peculiarities, it determines in principle rules usual in many or most states' constitutions.

The first paragraph of my suggestion states  precisely incompatibility of the functions, that is to say it enumerates the functions which the deputy of the European federal parliament cannot hold. Separation of individual kinds of state power in the frame of one state system has to be safeguarded in the first place and so the first paragraph forbids a deputy of the federal parliament to be a representative of the executive or judicial power of the federation. But beside that, it forbids him to hold any other with pay remunerated position in the federation because the deputies should devote themselves only to the work for which they were elected. Except for separation of individual kinds of power, also separation of constitutional functions of the federation and the member states must be maintained, nobody should be both a holder of state power of any member state and the federation or the federation and an autonomous region of any member state in the same time. For if the federal constitution determines separation of the state power of the member states and of the federation, also their exercise should be personally separated. A provision is then joined to this paragraph and says that nobody is allowed to be member of both chambers which is common and obvious provision of constitutions of all states whose parliament has two chambers.
The second paragraph establishes a principle of independence of the deputy. According to it, the deputy of the federal parliament may not vote in compliance with instructions of someone else. He must vote in person as well, not by proxy. For a specific deputy was elected (or appointed) and only he has his responsibility for the voting process, not someone else. Apart from this instruction of personal voting my suggestion stipulates three guidelines which the deputy shall follow in voting. These are own conscience, conformity with the constitution of the Union and interest of the people which he represents. Only the first is relatively common in constitutions, namely emphasis on voting according to conscience of the deputy though simple prohibition of giving instructions to the deputy mostly occurs. Much less widespread is a demand that voting of the deputy is in conformity with the constitution – it is probably regarded self-evident and it has been relied on possible correction in the form of constitutional judiciary. But I hold it important because the constitution (according to my suggestion) determines in the section of the basic rights but also in other its parts ground delimitation how the society of the European Union should be organized and what values should follow. And the deputies of the parliament should embody these values in individual concrete laws. The last of guidelines for voting, interests of the represented people, is the most unusual and is not commonly present in constitutions. But it is utterly logical provision – for there are only few other ways how to ensure that elected deputies keep what they promised when they were candidates. The deputies were above all elected just for that purpose that they represent the people and its interests. If the deputies voted without regard to the people that voted them, we could directly manage entirely without elected deputies. Finally, the last sentence of this paragraph says that every member of the Assembly of the Union has one vote which expresses equality of all deputies.
The following two paragraphs protect – as is usual in constitutions – elected deputies from unjustified persecution that would be a pretext for exercise the function of a deputy impossible. The first paragraph says that no deputy may be persecuted for speeches or voting made by exercise of his mandate. The opposite naturally would make to represent certain opinion of the people inconvenient to certain powerful group impossible, on the other hand this provision makes not possible to enforce that a deputy really represents the people that elected him – those are two conflicting demands, but the first one is more important; besides, the people can secure its interests otherwise than through the deputies as I will write about it later.
The second paragraph then speaks about prosecution of a deputy for other acts than attitudes in the precinct of the parliament. It says that a deputy can be taken into custody only if he is committing a criminal offence or immediately after, otherwise he can be prosecuted only with consent of the chamber of which he is a member; the respective chamber also can postpone prosecution of the representative to the time of expiring of his mandate. All of these are provisions by whose constitutions commonly protect deputies of parliaments from unjustified prosecution.
The next my provision refers to pays of deputies of the parliament that they should obtain from the means of the Union. It is necessary from several reasons. It has been known already from the antiquity that if political activity shall be paid from own resources, only who can afford it will participate in it which goes against the principle of equity of access to elective functions as it is written in the suggestion of the second chapter of this constitution. The second reason is just the words “from the means of the Union”, because it is necessary that no deputy accepts any means (except for his regular pay) from somebody and is therefore not dependent on him. And in order that it is prevented my suggestion contains one more sentence saying that accepting other rewards is unacceptable.

Two paragraphs delimit the time of the deputy's mandate. The first is very brief, contains only one sentence saying that the mandate of the deputy is effective upon his election. The second paragraph enumerates circumstances of the end of the deputy's mandate; but I inserted before it a paragraph concerning the oath of a newly elected deputy. According to it, the new deputy must in the first sitting of his chamber in which he will take part swear an oath whose reading I directly wrote in my proposal and which is: “I, … (name of the person), hereby pledge to work for welfare of the people of the European Union, to represent it in accordance with my best conscience and to fulfill the spirit of the constitution of the Union.” I tried that all what I described above as guidelines for decision-making of the deputy is expressed in it.
So now is turn of the paragraph describing the end of the deputy's mandate. Some mentioned circumstances are obvious such as expiration of the term of mandate or death. Also an obstacle in the form of exercising an incompatible function as the first paragraph (of the proposal) mentioned above speaks about is logical. I added also words about refusing to take the oath or taking it with reservations so that the oath is not mere formality without significance; it is common practice by the way. Finally, I add one more way of ending the deputy's mandate that on the contrary is not a common practice (at least in Europe), namely recall election. For the people has to have the right to remove its representatives, I wrote about it in the post about political rights.
The last but one, the ninth paragraph of my proposal determines the right of the deputies to the so called interpellation, parliamentary question of representatives of the executive power of the federation. It is one (though not mighty one) possibility of control of the executive power by the legislative power. According to my suggestion every member of the Assembly of the Union shall have this right towards the representatives of the executive power (members of the Council of Chancellors – I will speak about this terminology later in a respective post) shall have obligation by words or in writing answer within 30 days (longer period of time would be in my opinion too excessive).

Because it is impossible to include entirely all duties and rights of the member of parliament, the last paragraph of this article says that details are stipulated by a separate law.

31 July 2012

Parliament's chambers

In the previous post, I wrote about some separate matters that refer to the legislative body of the European federation. I will now more systematically continue in matters that concern the federal parliament as the whole or are common to both chambers of it.

I wrote in the previous post, that the federal parliament should consist of two chambers (The House of the People and The House of States). But I expressed about their mutual relation in no way. This relation can in general be whatever – for example one chamber can have superiority and the other only be supplement to it (as in Germany) or either chamber can have approximately or completely equal position (as it is in Switzerland). If however two chambers of the federal parliament should counterbalance different size of the member states, wholly equal position of both chambers is desirable, neither should be superior to the other one. This equality should be expressly determined just in the paragraph determining division of the federal parliament in two chambers. Other rule also logically follows it and should be written in the next paragraph: to adopt a law or a resolution of the whole parliament requires consent of both its chambers.

A paragraph following previous two provisions should say that both chambers sit separately though it can appear unnecessary because obvious.

I reserved the next paragraph for a provision about the seat of the European federal parliament. It may (also) appear as an unnecessary provision for I wrote already in the general provisions that the capital of the federation is the Federal region of Brussels but it has its justification, even two. We all know that the parliament of the present EU (because of selfishness of France) every half a year moves hundreds kilometers so such move will be prevented by an explicit provision that the seat of the federal parliament is the Federal region of Brussels. The second justification is a provision that I attach just in the following sentence – if circumstances urgently demand it, whatever chamber of the federal parliament can meet in other place of the federation. It is a measure that allows to the parliament to meet in the case of a critical situation, if someone or something prevented the parliament from meeting in its usual seat. Besides, some constitutions know this provision too.

The following two paragraphs of my proposal deal with necessary majorities. The first of them determines a number of present deputies necessary for the respective chamber to be quorate (to be able to adopt a decision). In states' constitutions, presence of absolute majority (at least one half) of all representatives is stipulated. I personally consider it as a quite low number and though I admit that individual deputies can be charged by the parliament with a task which make their presence impossible or they can be indisposed in health but I do not understand why just one half of a respective chamber's members should “roam” elsewhere outside the seat of the legislative body. The deputies of the body were elected to do the work for the European Union and its people, not to avoid it. The constitution of Portugal even determines that members of the parliament have a duty to be present at plenary sittings and committees to which they belong. Also the deputies of the European federal parliament should have the same duty and a minimal number of present representatives necessary for a valid sitting will indirectly secure it. I therefore determine this quorum higher, at two thirds of all members of the respective chamber.

Also minimal number of votes necessary  for adopting a decision (a law) in the respective chamber is closely connected with the previous question. A condition of absolute majority of present representatives is stipulated almost always in parliaments in Europe. But I believe that absolute majority of all deputies (of the respective chamber) should be a condition in the European federal constitution which will cause pressure against low presence of deputies in sittings because the lesser number of deputies will consider a thing the greater agreement will have to be among them so that they pass a law or other decision. That is therefore a measure against absence of deputies in sittings but also a measure that ensures that every proposal obtains sufficiently great, not only close majority. I add a sentence to this provision that each chamber can adopt its own resolutions. Consent of both chambers should be necessary for passing laws and other decisions of the whole Assembly of the Union but besides, every chamber should have a possibility to adopt its own declarations and resolutions.

The following paragraph of my suggestion determines rules of sitting of both chambers of the Assembly of the Union. It has a few sentences and the first of them says that either chamber sit permanently, that is to say for the whole election term of four years. They will naturally not sit for the four years continuously, the next sentence therefore determines a maximal period for which the chamber's setting can be adjourned. Various periods are determined as to this in constitutions, if they are determined at all. I believe (which I have already written) that representatives was elected firstly to work for those who elected them, therefore I determined 150 days in the year as a maximal period for which the sitting of one chamber can be adjourned – it is a sufficiently long period for me.

The next paragraph of my proposal is brief, it says that the Assembly of the Union cannot be dissolved. For I consider permanence of sitting of the federal parliament as a significant component of stability of whole democratic political system. Various people will certainly be surprised that I refuse present practice common in whole Europe and they will want to know how I would like to resolve usual governmental crises. But I see the relation between the legislative and the executive power differently from the view common in Europe and I do not believe that a crisis of the executive power's institutions should be resolved by intervention in the legislative power (why to dissolve the parliament when a problem is in the government? - it is silly).

The ninth paragraph determines the time when both chambers should meet for the first time and a manner of it. It is possible that either the parliament meets on a given day after elections on its own accord or somebody convokes it in a given term. Both possibilities come into consideration, I prefer the second one because it is a bit more formal. According to my suggestion, the Council of Chancellors of the Union convokes the first sitting of either chamber of the parliament in the 30th day after the respective election at the latest. Whom I call “Council of Chancellors of the Union” I will explain later discussing the executive power of the federation. It has to be also determined what should occur if a representative of the executive power (that Council of Chancellors) convokes not the first session of the respective chamber within thirty days – then my suggestion says that the chamber meet on its own the 31st day. And I add also that in the chair of the first session is the oldest member of the respective chamber.

The following paragraph ensures that sitting of the chambers will be open to public and that public can be expelled only in weighty cases determined by the law. It is a common provision of constitutions and its purpose is obvious.

Also following two paragraphs of my proposal correspond with common constitutional provisions. The first of them says that every chamber elects a president and two vice-presidents, the second one then that each chamber establishes committees and decide on distributing deputies in them.

All rules about the parliament's and its chambers' working cannot be present directly in the text of the constitution, therefore I refer to a special law about rules of procedure of the respective chamber in the next paragraph.

The next provision of this article gives to each chamber of the European federal parliament the right to conduct an investigation in the public interest and to summon persons discharging public functions.

In the next post, I will write about rights and duties of the European federal parliament's members.

30 June 2012

The form of the parliamentary body

In this post, I proceed to state institutions of the European federation. For if the European federation shall be a common state, it has to have common state institutions as every other state. I will suggest no mere reform of any institution of the present intergovernmental European Union in any my future suggestion of this part of the European federation's constitution because a functional federal state must have other and otherwise working institutions than an international organization even if it were hundred times “sui generis”. First I will deal with the form of the legislative body of the European federation.
There are many questions that the federal constitution must respond in reference to its legislative body, I will deal with three of them for the present: how great it should be, how many chambers it shall have and what its name shall be.
The most important of these is the second one. In principle, it is a choice between a unicameral and bicameral parliament. The current European parliament is unicameral but it cannot be taken as a pattern because it is not a typical parliament, it is still more a consultative assembly, in spite of its (somewhat misleading) denomination. It is more profitable to look at the form of parliaments of real federations. The facts are that most parliaments of world's federations are bicameral, only a few federations have a unicameral parliament – they are Venezuela, Comoros, The Federated States of Micronesia and The United Arab Emirates (if it is possible to speak about a true parliament in this case). So practice shows that federal arrangement prefers the bicameral parliament. For two principles are expressed by two chambers: 1) people are citizens both of their member states and of the federation, 2) the difference between size of the member states and their equal position in the federation. The same reasons suggest that also the parliament of the European federation has two chambers, the first in which the states are represented according to the number of their inhabitants, the second in which every state has the same number of representatives. Naturalness of this view at the matter is confirmed also by various proposals for adding the second chamber to the present EU Parliament.
The second question is size of both of these chambers. I have total number of representatives of every chamber, namely of the “lower” one (where states are represented according to the number of their inhabitants) in mind. It is mathematically challenging task to balance representation of every state with appropriate number of representatives and also to maintain such total number of representatives so that the chamber is able to work. Excessive number of representatives is a problem of the present European parliament – it has 754 representatives and is so the greatest democratically elected parliamentary body of the world but unlike many other much lesser parliamentary bodies in the world, it has only very restricted competencies (the less competencies the greater body – one of many absurd paradoxes of the present intergovernmental European Union). The present parliament of the EU is in my opinion too great body to be a unicameral parliament which in addition should be enlarged by the second chamber. I believe that the “lower” chamber of the parliament of the European federation should be lesser than size of the present European parliament; nobody surely is so foolish to believe the equation “greater parliament = more democracy”. I suggest 567 representatives as an upper limit of size of the “lower” chamber of the European federal parliament – it was size of the European parliament in the year 1995. I cannot somehow mathematically or politologically ground this number, it is only my subjective choice. But every other number will be a subjective choice as well, it is however better to choice lesser than greater numbers so that the chamber can meaningfully work (let us compare the suggested number 567 with the number 552 of representatives of the lower chamber of the parliament of India that represents a milliard citizens, much more that more numerous (754 today) representatives of the present EU parliament represent).
As for the “higher” chamber of the European federation's parliament I cannot determine any upper limit of the number of the representatives (it would be useless), the question is how many parliament members should represent every individual state. We do not know how many states will be part of the European federation but one representative for every state would be an insufficient number because in that case the upper chamber would be inadequately small with respect to the lower chamber although their position should be (in my opinion) completely equal (I will discuss it in another post). If the European federation should comprise all or almost all Europe in the end, I would consider as the best the number of three (in the case of very big federation two) representatives for one state.
The European federation will certainly comprise only a few states in its beginning and in the case would be insane to allot so many representatives to every state that the upper limit 567 or around 300 would be exhausted in either respective chamber. The numbers should then be determined otherwise and the specific numbers should be located in transitional provisions; so I will deal with them when I will write about the transitional provisions.
The last, least important question is what shall be the name of the parliament of the European federation and its two chambers. Of course, a simple descriptive name “The Parliament of the European Union” or something similar can be used. But I prefer some more “elegant” name, so I decided to suggest the name “The Assembly of the Union” (or “... of the European Union”, but I like more the first option). By the way, very alike is the name of the parliament of Comoros (“The Assembly of the Union of the Comoros”) but it is only a coincidence, in fact I was inspired not by this but by the name of the Swiss parliament („The Federal Assembly“). As for denomination of both chambers of the European federal parliament: I want stay away from words “upper” and “lower” because I have already mentioned that both chambers shall be equal in my concept, not one superior to the other. I was inspired again by the Swiss parliament and I suggest according to its function the name “The House of States” for the “upper” chamber, “The House of the People” then analogically for the “lower” chamber.

31 May 2012

Two supplements

In the previous post, I have finished the chapter dealing with basic rights and now, I am to write about institutions of the federation. But I will begin with it only from the next post; now, I have to return again to what I have already written.
I decided (I hope last time) to modify the preamble and to complete the competencies of the federation. All that under the impression of observing present crisis of Europe and the European Union. Present European Union is not only in an economic crisis but also in a crisis of values which the EU is constructed on. Robert Schuman declared in 1950 that economic unification by small steps will bring Europe nearer to the main and final goal, to creation of a political federation. But nowadays, after more that half of the century, when we have a club of states with a noble name “Union” we are not the nearer to creation of a federation than in the year 1950. There are two main reasons of it: The first reason is that action of politicians of European states with regard to unification of Europe is separated from will and wishes of the people - “leaders of the European Union”, as the common phrase of mass media reads, come together somewhere in a summit and they adopt a decision … and the people of Europe can only observe it from afar. I only remark to them who read this from western Europe that exactly so communist rulers acted in eastern Europe before 1990 (the only difference was that there was not said “summit” but “congress” (of the Party) and it ran in the domestic framework of a state). The second reason of the present condition is lack of solidarity among Europeans. Inhabitants of individual European states consider each other as foreigners and they do not see any reason why to be sympathetic among each other. For example, attitude of Europeans towards Greeks is typical for present Europe – they are according to them lazy and they want not to give them anything from their own. But such action is not possible in a federation, it is impossible to hold a federation together without sense of mutual solidarity, passionately said without sense of brotherhood. A simple question is: do anything the present European political elites so that Europeans from different parts of Europe feel brothers to each other and members of the same community?
I know that no sense of brotherly solidarity will be established in practice by a mere declaration in a constitution's preamble but all the same, the preamble of the European federal constitution should at least constantly remind what is to be strived for. Therefore I changed my previous words “mutual solidarity” in my suggestion of the preamble for “brotherly solidarity”. The text reads now as follows (the change is underlined):

We, the people of Europe,

conscious of prior division and dissensions sequent on it;
conscious of prior tyrannies which brought about the worst suffering and destruction in history;
striving therefore for a permanent union
that will ensure peace, democracy, brotherly solidarity,
that will ensure liberty for its people,
that will promote the common welfare through social justice,
that will preserve its diversity,
that will preserve natural environment,

adopt this Constitution of the European Union.

The second completion – as I have written – concerns competencies of the federation. Observing the present European Union, I realized that a true federation must (unlike the present intergovernmental club of states) struggle that there is similar living standard in all parts of the federation. It requires necessarily that a support goes in the long run from more affluent parts of the federation in less fortunate parts of it. On the one hand, the brotherly solidarity mentioned in the preamble looks like this, on the other hand, it is an absolutely practical measure which prevents that the federations disintegrates on the grounds of economic tension (as we see in so called Eurozone now (thought it is not a federation)). This power has to be given to the federation and it is an additional reason why the federation must have its own resources. But because apportioning money to the member states can be a strong “weapon” for the federation with which it could too interfere with action of the member states, beyond its constitutional competencies (as it occur in the United States of America where the federation makes apportioning budget funds dependent on fulfilling demands towards the member states which it according to the federal constitution has not right  to), it is necessary as well to formulate limitation of this federal power. I put these pre-requisites in the following provision:

9. Strengthening of unity of the Union

The Union, for the sake of strengthening and preserving social and economic unity of the Union, issues laws striving for achieving equal living conditions in all territory of the Union and equalization economic differences among its particular parts and it takes measures for this purpose. It is doing it not allowed to interfere with competencies of the member states which are not expressly transferred by this constitution to the Union.

But not only an economic, also a social solidarity must exist if all citizens of the federation shall consider themselves as members of the same brotherly society. It is therefore necessary to give competencies to the federation also in the social field, I want however not remove the right to manage this field from the member states, so I formulated on the ground of it cooperation of both parties in the social field, namely as follows:

10. Social protection

(a) The Union cooperates with the member states in order that every citizen of the Union is provided with proper and in all territory of the Union equal healthcare.
(b)  The Union cooperates with the member states in order that  every citizen of the Union receives the worthy old age security.

30 April 2012

Basic rights - constitutional text

In previous posts with the tag "basic rights", I discussed the rights that are to be present in the text of the European federal constitution, now I bring their reading in the form of the constitutional text. So, all the discussed rights read in my proposal as follows:

Chapter two - Fundamental rights and freedoms
1. Equity among people
(a) All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
(b) Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms determined in this chapter, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, sexual orientation, physical disability, language, religion, personal opinion, national or social origin and nationality.

2. Right to life, personal liberty and security
(a) Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.
(b) The death penalty is inadmissible.
(c) No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the human trade shall be prohibited in all their forms. Nobody shall be compelled to forced labour.
(d) Duties may be imposed only by the law and within its limits. Nobody may be forced to do what the law does not command.
(e) No one shall be subjected to physical or mental torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
(f) No one may be without his consent subjected to interventions in his physical and mental integrity.

3. Rights of judicial protection
(a) All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination.
(b) No one shall be subjected to arbitrary personal search, detention, arrest or deportation from residence. Whoever was arrested or detained in conformity with the law has the right to be treated with respect for human dignity.
(c) Any detained person shall without delay and in the way comprehensible for him be informed of the reasons for the detention, questioned, and not later than within fourty-eight hours released or turned over to a court. Within twenty four hours of having taken over the detained person, a judge shall question such person and decide whether to place in custody or to release the person.
(d) Only the law determines which acts constitute a crime and what penalty may be imposed for them. The severity of penalties must not be disproportionate to the criminal offence.
(e) No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the penal offence was committed. committed. If, subsequent to the commission of a criminal offence, the law provides for a lighter penalty, that penalty shall be applicable. Sentences are not transferable and replaceable.
(f) Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.
(g) No one may be tried and penalized twice for the same action or omission.
(h) Everyone has the right to refuse a statement against himself or a close person.
(i) Any evidence against the accused obtained by torture or in any other illegal way are of no effect.
(j) Legal aid shall be made available to those who lack sufficient resources in so far as such aid is necessary to ensure effective access to justice.
(k) Everyone has the right to have the free assistance of an interpreter if he cannot understand or speak the language used in court.
(l) Nobody shall be against his will denied his statutory judge. Exceptional tribunals are prohibited.
4. Right to privacy
(a) No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.
(b) Secrecy of messages kept in privacy or sent by post, telephone, through computer networks or in any other way is inviolable. It can be restricted only in the cases of necessity by justified decision of court on the basis of the law. Everyone has the right to secure privacy of information that he stores or sends.
(c) Everyone has the right to the protection of personal data concerning him. Gathering personal data must be justified and for specified purposes; personal data may be stored only with consent of the person concerned. Everyone has the right to access to data which has been collected concerning him and the right to have incorrect data rectified and to deletion of data gathered without justification. Genetic information can be obtained only in the cases of significant necessity and to store it deserves extraordinary attention.
(d) The habitation is inviolable. No house search can take place except in the cases provided for by law and in the form prescribed by it.
5. Freedom of speech and opinion
(a) Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers. The freedom of the mass media must not be restricted by political power, economic power or any other power.
(b) Freedom of expression can be restricted only with regard to protection of human rights and democratic regime.
(c) Everyone has the right to freedom of religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or to be without religion, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance. Freedom to manifest one's religion or beliefs can be subject only to such limitations that are prescribed by the law and are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.
(d) The public authority may not promote any religion.
6. Right of assembly
(a) Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.
(b) Everyone has the right to constitute associations without prior authorization, to join them and to participate in their activity. Para-military associations and associations expressing hostility against the democratic regime are unacceptable.
(c) Open-air assemblies can be limited by just principles of preserving health, security, public order and property in the way determined by the law.
(d)  No one may be compelled to belong to an association or to participate in public assemblies.
7. Political rights
(a) Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, both directly and through freely chosen representatives. The right to vote of everyone is equal and may not be conditional on else than age. No one is allowed to restrict the right of the people to directly decide about public affairs.
(b) Administration of public affairs emanates from the people and is based on the will of the people. No one is above the law. All persons shall exercise public authority properly and conscientiously in favour of the people and are criminal liable for their activities.
(c) Public authority bodies are responsible to the people. The people has the right to express disagreement with actions of them who exercise the public authority and to take away entrusted competence from them.
(d) Everyone has the right to equal access to public service in his country.
(e) Citizens of every state have the right to join together in territorial units endowed with autonomy, particularly municipalities. All public affairs that can satisfactorily be carried out by the autonomous territorial units of all levels shall in reasonable extent belong to their competence.
(f) Everyone has the right to refuse to perform military service on the grounds of conscience.
(g) Everyone has the right to a nationality. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality.
(h) Everyone unjustly persecuted in his country has the right to asylum in the European Union.
(i) No one may be removed, expelled or extradited to a state where there is a serious risk that he would be subjected to the death penalty, torture or other inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
(j) Political parties and political movements as well as other associations are separated from the state.
(k) Everyone alone or together with others has the right to address petitions to the public authorities; no disadvantages may arise from it. Petitions may not be used for the purpose of appeals to violate the fundamental rights and to interfere with the independence of the courts. The authorities have to take cognizance of petitions.
(l) Tasks resulting from administration of public affairs are fulfilled by bodies of the public authority subordinated to democratic control.
(m) Public authorities of the states and the autonomous units protect rights of ethnic, national and language minorities; they support free development of their culture, customs and language. The national or ethnic identity of any individual shall not be used to his detriment.
(n) Everyone has the right that bodies of the public authority handle his affair impartially, fairly and within a reasonable time. Decisions of bodies of the public authority must be provided with reasons. Everyone has the right to compensation for injustices caused by public authorities.
(o) Everyone has the right to obtain information on the activities of bodies of the public authority as well as persons discharging public functions.
8. Right of free movement and residence
(a) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and choice of residence in the whole territory of the European Union.
(b) Everyone has the right to leave the territory of the European Union and to return to it again. A foreign citizen may be expelled only in cases specified by the law.
9. Social rights
(a) Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment in any place of the European Union, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.
(b) Everyone, without any discrimination, particularly by sex or nationality, has the right to equal pay for equal work.
(c) Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection. The amount of pay may not go down under the minimal limit determined by the law.
(d) Everyone who cannot without own fault find a work for which he has qualification has the right to decent support of his fundamental needs from the the society. Conditions under which this support is given or removed may not be degrading and independent on the individual's will.
(e) Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests. Trade union associations are separated from employers, the state and political parties.
(f) Trade unions or other employees associations have the right to supervise the management of enterprises and to be informed about all measures of enterprises by which they can be affected. They have the right to defend their interests by collective action and the strike. The right of workers indispensable to maintain order in the society to the strike can adequately be limited.
(g) The right of workers to job security is safeguarded.  Dismissals without just cause or for political reasons or reasons based on belief are forbidden.
(h) The public authority shall make such conditions that working people can join decisions on disposal of outcomes of their work.
(i) Fruits of labour shall be used to satisfy material, social and cultural needs of all members of the society and to strengthen solidarity of the society.
(j) Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.
(k) Women, particularly during pregnancy and after childbirth, as well as minors, physically disabled persons and those engaged in activities requiring particular effort or working in health endangering conditions are entitled to special protection at work.
(l) Everyone has the right to protection from dismissal for a reason connected with maternity and child care. Paid parental leave is guaranteed. Support in parental leave must not be smaller than the minimum wage.
(m) Persons with disabilities have the right to measures designed to ensure their independence, social and occupational integration and participation in the life of the community.
(n) Mentally disabled persons enjoy all the rights and are subjected to all the duties embodied in this Constitution, except for the exercise or performance of those for which their disablement renders them unfit.
(o) The employment of children is prohibited. The minimum age of admission to employment may not be lower than the minimum school-leaving age.
(p) Everyone has the right to leave off his working activity in age when his powers fail him and to live the rest of his life with material support from the society. Elder persons have the right to  lead a life of dignity and independence and to participate in social and cultural life.
(q) Everyone has the right for himself and his family to a dwelling of adequate size satisfying standards of hygiene and comfort and preserving personal and family privacy.
(r) Everyone has the equal right of access to preventive health care and the right to benefit from necessary medical treatment paid from the public health insurance regardless of his material circumstances. The society shall struggle for full health of every individual.
(s) The public authority shall guarantee access to the enumerated social rights to everyone and their fulfilling. No one can be a full citizen of the democratic society if his social rights are not fulfilled.
10. Family rights
(a) The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the state.
(b) Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.
(c)  Marriage may be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.
(d) All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.
(e) Children shall have the right to such protection and care as is necessary for their well-being. They may express their views freely. Such views shall be taken into consideration on matters which concern them in accordance with their age and maturity.
(f) Children may not be separated from their parents unless the latter fail to perform their fundamental duties towards the former, and then only by judicial decision.
(g) Every child shall have the right to maintain  direct contact with both his parents, unless that is contrary to his interests.
11. Property and economical rights
(a) Everyone has the right to own and to use property alone as well as in association with others and to freely bequeath it. All kinds of property are of equal value and deserve equal protection by the society.
(b) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property. Expropriation or forcible limitation of the ownership right is possible only in public interest and on the basis of the law, and for just compensation.
(c) Obligation of everybody, whether a natural person or legal entity, to appropriately contribute from own property and incomes to public expenditure in proportion to own tax capacity is not considered restriction of proprietary rights.
(d) To use property must not be at variance with public interest and particularly in variance with the rights and freedoms contained in the Chapter two of the Constitution of the European Union; for the reason, it shall in necessary measure be regulated by the law.
(e) Mineral wealth, forests, rivers, lakes, sea water and sea bed, natural underground cavities and underground water, atmosphere, water and power supply, public roads and railways, archaeological and cultural facilities and other property and enterprises that have or that may acquire the character of a public service or de facto monopoly shall be in public domain.
(f) Economic power has to be subordinated to democratic political power and shall be regulated so that it serves the general welfare of all citizens of the European Union.
12. Cultural rights
(a) Everyone has the right to education. Elementary education is compulsory and free of charge. Higher education shall be equally free of charge and equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.
(b) Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, it shall contribute to overcome economic, social, and cultural imbalances, to enable citizens to participate on a democratic basis in a free society and to promote mutual understanding, tolerance, and a spirit of solidarity. Education of individuals shall be contribution to the society.
(c) Everyone has the right to choose his occupation and to prepare for it how and where he wishes.
(d) Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.
(e) Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.
(f) Freedom of cultural expression may not be restrained. Universities and other schools of tertiary education are entitled to autonomy of research and administration.
(g) Freedom of scientific research is guaranteed if the research is not performed by violating human rights or by cruelty to animals and if its objective is not at variance with the rights and freedoms contained in the Chapter two of the Constitution of the European Union.
(h) Research activities aiming at the selection of persons or their cloning are prohibited.
(i) Everyone has the right to live in the satisfying environment and the duty to protect the environment. Protection of the environment is public interest.
(j) Everyone has the right to obtain true and full information on state of the environment from bodies of the public authority and to obtain true and full information on influence of their activity on the environment from economic entities.
13. Enforcement of rights
(a) In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society.
(b) Nothing in the Chapter two of the Constitution of the European Union may be interpreted as implying for any group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms determined herein.
(c) The rights and freedoms contained in the Chapter two of the Constitution of the European Union can be restricted in the case of urgent and inevitable need, particularly a military attack or a grave natural disaster. Restriction of fundamental rights and freedoms must be only temporary, limited by place, appropriate to the need, justified with public interest and grounded by the law.
(d) All citizens of the European Union have the right to resist anyone seeking to abolish or to empty the rights of the Chapter two of the Constitution of the European Union, should no other remedy be possible.
(e) It is the duty of all natural persons and legal entities without an exception as well as all bodies of the public authority, both state ones and sub-state ones to follow all provisions of the Chapter two of the Constitution of the European Union. Endeavour of all shall be aimed at that all rights and freedoms contained in this chapter are fulfilled.
(f) All rights and freedoms contained in this chapter are, without an exception, in force in all member states of the European Union, in all other territories of the Union and in all territories that are temporarily subordinated to its jurisdiction as well as in all associated states and the territories that are permanently or temporarily subordinated to their jurisdiction.
(g) The European Union and the associated states shall perform such activity that just international order is established and that the rights and freedoms determined in the Chapter two of the Constitution of the European Union are recognized and applied everywhere.