The Spinelli Group is a network of European political leaders committed to the goal of federal union. Founded in the European Parliament in 2010, the Group brings together MEPs of different party groups to collaborate on constitutional issues. In 2017 a Spinelli Group was formed in the Committee of Regions. The aim of the Spinelli Group is to work by stages towards a federal constitution of the European Union based on the values of liberal democracy. Faced with euroscepticism and even resurgent nationalism, the case for the stronger unification of Europe has to be made with conviction. The Eurozone is weakened by poor fiscal integration and loose governance. The EU continues to underperform in foreign, security and defence policy. It struggles to agree common policies in the fields of asylum and immigration. Enlargement has almost ground to a halt. And Brexit exemplifies the risk of overall disintegration. The main objectives of EU reform over the next decade are:
▪ to improve the governance of economic and monetary union;
▪ to resolve the immigration crisis;
▪ to strengthen the legitimacy of the EU institutions;
▪ to create among a core group of EU States a security and defence union;
▪ to identify post-Brexit the meaning and relevance of ‘ever closer union’.
Radical constitutional innovation will be needed to allow the Union to develop a federal vanguard while catering for the needs of member States less committed to deeper integration. An outer tier of associate States can also be envisaged. EU treaty change is a complicated exercise, and needs to be well-prepared intellectually, legally and politically. Through private and public events, media and publications, the Spinelli Group aims to raise the level and sharpen the focus of political debate about the government of the Union. The Spinelli Group will work over the next two years up to and after the next elections to the European Parliament to engage the EU institutions, national and regional parliaments, constitutional courts, business and civil society. To achieve this objective, The Spinelli Group is organising a series of events in European national capitals in order to meet citizens and national policy makers and make advance the debate on federal solutions to the challenges Europe is facing. The next event series of The Spinelli Group will take place in Sofia on 22nd February 2018 on the occasion of the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU. This will be the opportunity to discuss how to reconcile at the best the aspirations and expectations of each Member State while preserving the unity of the European Union. Discussions on the future of Europe from the perspective of an open-ended scheme of differentiated integration will thus be held with a ministerial delegation in the beginning of the afternoon and with citizens from Sofia later on in the framework of a public European Meet-Up.