10 March 2013

Chancellors of the Union and their offices

This my other post dedicated to the executive power of the European federation is only short, it deals with the relation of the Chancellors of the Union to their function. It is an analogy of the respective regulations regarding the deputies of the Assembly of the Union. For that reason most regulations will repeat themselves because I believe that rights and duties of both categories of these supreme official persons should be in principal equal.

So the first article of my proposal regards rights and duties of the Chancellors of the Union. Its first letter determines a principle of incompatibility of functions and it is equal as in the case of deputies of the Assembly of the Union – a Chancellor of the Union must not hold another paid office of the Union or of any member state or any autonomous unit of a member state.

The second as well as the third letter of my proposal deals with criminal prosecution of the chancellor of the Union. My suggestion says first that freedom of movement of the Chancellor of the Union may not be restricted or he may not be taken in custody but only committing a criminal offence or immediately after. The next letter then is more specific about conditions of prosecution of the Chancellor of the Union, regardless whether he was apprehended committing a criminal act or not. It says that the Chancellor of the Union may be prosecuted on suspicion of committing a criminal act and determines who can initiate such prosecution. Because a natural consequence of separation of powers is that one power controls another it is understandable that one of the other sides having this right are in my suggestion members of the Assembly of the Union, that is representatives of both chambers. In order that lodging little justified complaints is prevented it is necessary to demand a certain number of deputies as a condition, not only one deputy but I choose their number rather low so that lodging a complaint against the Chancellor of the Union is on the other hand not too difficult. Therefore I chose the number of 40 deputies of the House of the People and 20 deputies of the House of States. But it ends not with this. In conformity with greater emphasis on occasion of the people to influence working of its constitutional representatives and unlike what is in common constitutions, I give a possibility to the people to initiate prosecution of the Chancellor of the Union. I chose their number also low, namely 25 000 persons, with addition that they must be from at least three member states. It is suitable to realize at these low numbers that it is only about initiation of prosecution, not about condemnation or removing from the office. I have also to point out what somebody maybe realized, namely that I did not mention about similar right of the people to initiate prosecution of deputies of the federal parliament. It may not be a bad idea also in this case but it seems to me not so necessary because every deputy is a part of a great entity and his responsibility as an individual is therefore much less.

The other provision concerns pay remuneration of the Chancellors of the Union and is completely identical with the respective provision about the deputies of the Assembly of the Union (the provision forbids them to accept other remunerations but their regular pay from the means of the federation).

The next letter suggested by me determines what belongs to rise of the mandate of the Chancellor of the Union. As in the case of the deputy of the Assembly of the Union I put its beginning to the moment just after his election. And an oath is alike required so that the mandate comes into effect. I entirely took over its reading from the oath of the deputies, I added however an obligation to protect unity of the federation. For if I wrote in the suggestion of the preamble that the European federation should be an indivisible entity, it should not be an empty declaration and somebody should have effort to preserve unity of the federation as a job description. And who else than a representative of the executive power should be obliged to it.

The last but one paragraph of this suggested article deals with ending of the mandate of the Chancellor of the Union and names again the same reasons as at the deputies of the federal parliament:  expiration of the term of mandate, refusing to take the oath or taking the oath with reservations, resignation, death, exercise of an incompatible function, recall, imprisonment.

Other details about rights and duties of the Chancellors of the Union, like of the deputies of the federal parliament earlier, will be left to a separate law.

The second article, that I will deal with, has no analogy in my earlier suggested provisions about the deputies of the federal parliament. It deals with a question how to proceed if one ore more Chancellors of the Union cease executing his office (for example he resigns, dies, is removed from the office and so on). It is necessary to emphasize first and foremost that so important body as the Council of Chancellors holding the executive power of the federation cannot remain incomplete (let alone entirely vacant) for longer time (unlike in the case of much greater bodies of the individual parliamentary chambers where one or few vacant seats are almost no complication for the parliament). Only that can result from it that it is necessary to complete the Council of Chancellors to full staff of three persons. But there is a question how to do it. I proceed from a basic assumption that a certain group of three chancellors was elected as a whole by the citizens. For that reason, I consider impossible that completion of vacant seats by a compensatory election or a compensatory appointment is chosen a permanent solution for the whole time to the next regular elections. If the citizens elected three specific chancellors as an indivisible group, someone else cannot hold their position as an regular chancellor. For that reason, I see as an only acceptable solution new (“premature”) elections of new three chancellors of the federation. These new elections have to be held in a certain period of time so that the federation is not without the regular executive power for a long time. Because it is necessary that the citizens become acquainted with possible candidates and that some people can at all think about their candidature. On the basis of it, I determined the farthest limit of new election a period of 80 days after any seat of the chancellor becomes vacant. A question however remains unanswered, who will exercise the executive power before new chancellors will be elected. Some provisional solution cannot be avoided here. If a kind of vice-chancellors were elected along with the chancellors, themselves could accede to their empty positions, but what is convenient in the case of one person and its one substitute, would be inconvenient in the case of three persons and three hypothetical substitutes of them. Therefore I select a classical method of taking over the function by other constitutional public figures. They are in particular the President of the House of the People of the Assembly of the Union, the President of the House of States and the President of the Supreme Court and in particular in this order of succession for vacant seats of the Chancellors of the Union. It is necessary to add that for the duration of their substitute exercise of the function of the Chancellor of the Union, these person cannot exercise the function to that they were elected in order that no (partial) fusion of the separated state powers occurs.

The next post will be the last dealing with the topic of the Chancellors of the Union, it will treat rules for working of the Council of Chancellors.