1. The aim
As indicated in the manifesto, at a time of interdependence and a globalised world, clinging to national sovereignties and intergovernmentalism is not only warfare against the European spirit, it is but an addiction to political impotence. Today we are moving in the opposite direction, towards a looser instead of a closer Union, towards a more national instead of a post-national Europe.
The aim of the Spinelli Group is to oppose this backward and reactionary direction. We believe that this is not the moment for Europe to slow down, but on the contrary to accelerate. Our goal is a federal and post-national Europe, a Europe of the citizens.
We want to make a network of those who choose the European interest above their national interest, those who want to push the federal project in their respective environment. Just like Altiero Spinelli did, we want to operate from the European Parliament, but not only from the European Parliament. The aim of the Spinelli Group is to become a network of citizens, politicians, academics and writers who are convinced it is time for Europe to move forward.
2. How are we going to work?
First of all there is the Steering Group, which is the founding group of the Spinelli Group. It consists of 33 convinced and proven pro-Europeans (cf list of the members) of different backgrounds, age and profession. Two of the founding members are sons in law of Altiero Spinelli: Amartya Sen and Tommaso Padoa Schioppa.
Secondly there will be the MEP Spinelli Group. Every MEP who is prepared to withstand the pressure of their national government and support the European interest is welcome to join this group. The MEP Spinelli Group will look for strategies and majorities in the European Parliament to push the pro-European, federal and post-national agenda.
Thirdly there is the Spinelli Network Group. Every citizen who agrees with the manifesto of the Spinelli Group is invited to sign it. Signing is possible on www.spinelligroup.eu. Whoever signs the manifesto becomes a member of the Spinelli Network Group. He or she will be kept informed of future initiatives and will be invited to the annual meeting on May 9th. In the near future members will also be able to participate in debates and fora.
One tool the MEP Spinelli Group will use is the Written Declaration in the European Parliament. The goal is to find a federal majority on important subjects. The Written Declaration will also be used to make clear what our red lines are on important negotiations. An obvious example in the near future is going to be the negotiations on the Budget 2011, the revision of the current financial perspectives 2007-2013 and the next multi annual financial framework 2013-2020, where the Spinelli Group is not going to accept a shrinking budget.
Once or twice a year all the members of the Spinelli Network Group will be invited to a Spinelli Meeting.
The Spinelli Group will also organise The Shadow Council. Today the European Council is opting for the intergovernmental method. This is of course a consequence of the situation that every Head of State or Prime Minister is defending their own national interest. The Shadow Council will do the opposite and look for solutions based on the interest of the entire European Union and its citizens. It will be a federalist and post-national Council working on European answers to European problems.