European Liberals: Manifesto
European Liberals: An Effective Union of Sovereign Nations
We are a political group of liberals and centrists, brought together by our belief that the European Union should focus on the big cross-border issues that national governments cannot address alone.
We believe in the European Union’s potential to make this region a better place for everyone, by acting for human rights and the rule of law, preserving the environment, and promoting region-wide peace.
We believe in a Europe of sovereign liberal democracies, and recognise that in our diverse region, democracy works best when decisions are taken at the closest possible level to the individual.
We believe in an effective Union of sovereign nations. We are the European Liberals.
The Role of the European Union – As liberals, we believe that the European Union exists as a free compact between sovereign nations to reduce conflict between themselves, and to protect themselves from each other. Therefore, our guiding principle is that the European Union should only legislate in genuine cross-border affairs, in order to achieve those aims. It should not interfere in what are, within reason, internal affairs that are the proper preserve of the nations themselves.
The European Council – The Council should remain the supreme legislative body of the European Union. We recognise that the European Union is a union of nations, and therefore believe that each nation should have an equal voice in the Council, and that each nation should decide for itself how to select its European Councillor.
The European Commission – We are content with the European Commission’s organisation as currently constituted. We reject any efforts to transform the Office of the Premier Commissioner into a ‘presidential’ role, either within the Commission, or in relation to the Council or ECoJ.
The European Court of Justice – As supporters of the rule of law, we support the ECoJ and wish to see nations that infringe upon European law be brought to account before it wherever appropriate. We do not, however, want it to encroach upon the proper jurisdiction of national courts. We favour Constitutional reform to clarify the ECoJ’s remit, procedures, and powers.
Free Trade – Though we strongly support free trade, we also recognise that it is ultimately for sovereign nations to make free trade agreements among themselves. Beyond limited action to eliminate arbitrary barriers and unfair trade practices, such as dumping or currency manipulation, we reject efforts to force region-wide free trade on the nations of the European Union.
The Euro – We support the right of sovereign nations to determine, within reason, their own monetary policy. We acknowledge the Euro’s role as the currency of Europolis and of the European institutions, and believe that nations should be free to adopt it voluntarily as their currency.
Economic Intervention – We are, in general, opposed to economic intervention at the European level. European nations should certainly not be responsible for each other’s national debts or economic policies, and humanitarian catastrophes notwithstanding, our budgetary contributions should not be used to subsidise other nations. The European Budget should run a surplus, which should be returned proportionately to the nations.
Universal Declaration of Human Rights – We support the UDoHR and its place within the Constitution, and believe that nations which breach its terms should be brought before the ECoJ. We are open to reforms to clarify the UDoHR’s language, but warn against any effort to extend its remit into controversial social issues, which could devalue it as a truly universal document.
Rights Abroad – Though we respect the cultural diversity of the European Union, and thus oppose efforts to impose a certain set of social values on the entire region, we believe that citizens of European nations should, within reason, be able to enjoy abroad the civil rights that they enjoy at home. For example, we believe that same-sex couples who have hospital visitation rights in their own country should be able to enjoy those same rights anywhere else in the European Union.
Nuclear Disarmament – There are few graver cross-border issues than nuclear weapons, and as such their development must be tightly regulated. However, we strongly oppose efforts to force nations to abandon their nuclear weapons, which have proven counter-productive in the past. We believe that regional security is best achieved by generating consensus among nuclear weapons states, through multilateral talks, for partial nuclear disarmament.
War Crimes – A major oversight in European law is the lack of a set of rules for war, aimed at protecting civilians, POWs, casualties, and suchlike. This region is, sadly, no stranger to the horrors of war, and we support either legislation or Constitutional reform to ban at a European level the worst abuses of a state of war, and to ensure that those who commit such abuses are held to account. We also uphold existing law protecting neutral states and banning biological and chemical weapons.
Conflict Prevention – We believe that the best way to eliminate war in the European Union is to eliminate the pretexts for war. We believe, therefore, in legislation to clear up issues that could easily lead to conflict between nations, such as where territorial sovereignty starts and stops. Moreover, we believe that European institutions should focus their diplomatic efforts on mediating and defusing conflicts before outright war breaks out, rather than waiting until afterwards.
Migration – It is every nation’s right to determine its own immigration policy, and we oppose efforts to impose free movement, or migrant quotas, on the nations of the European Union. But we cannot allow major migration crises to descend into farce as migrants/refugees are shuttled from nation to nation, each one intending that those people be anybody else’s responsibility but theirs. Therefore, we support legislation detailing in basic guidelines how the region should deal with a major migration crisis.
Pollution – Our seas, our air, and our waterways do not necessarily respect political borders, and it is easy, therefore, for one nation to pollute many others. We support European legislation, applied equally to all nations, limiting and regulating air and water pollution, and in particular banning the deliberate pollution of other nations.
Climate Change – The Earth is our common heritage, and we believe that European action is necessary to limit climate change, which is predominantly human-induced, and preserve the Earth for our future. We believe in updating the Climate Change Act of 2006 into legislation that is fit for our current circumstances. We believe there are many roads to a low-carbon future, and nations should be free to take whichever of those roads they want – so long as they arrive at the destination.
Defence First – We are an independent region, and we believe that our main foreign affairs goal should be to protect our region’s independence and defend it from potential enemies. This begins at home – but we should also pursue friendly ties with powerful regions of all stripes, in order to avoid large enemy coalitions developing in the first place, and also to ensure that we are never left friendless in a time of need.
Enlargement – A large region is a strong region, both externally and internally. We firmly believe in enlarging the European Union, and support active attempts to recruit new nations. We are proud of our region’s immense cultural diversity, and welcome new nations of all creeds and cultures.