European Citizens' Convention and Constitution
Free Europeans, don't leave yourselves alone!
EU Convention should be made permanent and together with the EU Constitution put under citizens' sovereignty
Once upon a time, as I grew up in Switzerland (Europe), my second home, I too began to participate in approving of changes to our Federal Constitution. Nothing extraordinary, one of the most natural, almost everyday – perhaps slightly boring – things. One of our political rights as citizens. Initiating amendments to the Federal Constitution is another one of these our political rights, each of us, the Swiss, naturally has.
We, the citizens, are called the Sovereign – as written in our Constitution – and so must approve of every such amendment. If we wish, we initiate changes to our Constitution – to put things into it as we see them, as we please to see them. Our representatives' task is to make these our wishes, when accepted by the majority of voters in one of the federal referendums, into working laws. Of course, they may propose their amendments, which we, the citizens, approve – or not, as we wish.
As all this keeps on going since some generations, our Constitution became a patchwork. A patchwork which I like, as all living things, that by their nature are like that – living, chaotic, and everyone's thing. On the contrary tombstones, intended to be firm, don't live, they just dissipate, their intended firmness becoming an illusion.
Yet other, more educated, people, our representatives, politicians, and lawyers, did not like this chaotic patchwork of bumpery text and made a revised version of it. For the second time since 1848. To be elegant, and to be read smoothly. Discussed widely by interested public, and in both chambers of the Federal Parliament. Naturally, we the simple citizens had the last say in the revision, approved it in one of the obligatory binding referendums, and now go on amending this streamlined version – turning it into a patchwork again.
And so we live on happily, wondering why the citizens of Europe don't have these – most natural – rights and why on earth are they deprived of such a – most natural – participation in their very things. And wondering, why the EU Constitution has been brewed up by a handful of men, watched doing so in a Convention theatre by an audience of a selected couple of hundred. Passing on the presidential paper onto fifteen heads of states to approve it after their summer holidays. For – instead of – the millions of citizens.
Amazing middle ages, to our simple Swiss ears, eyes and minds. Since a couple of generations, we do have our initiatives and referendums – our citizens' Convention – and are Sovereign also to our Constitution. In this our permanent citizens' Convention we keep on initiating changes to it and approving of all changes to it. So our kids will do, and their kids, and their kids, and so on.
Free Europeans, do you want to leave the Swiss alone in enjoying the most natural political rights? No? So, dear co-Europeans: Why don't you demand that the EU Convention be made permanent and together with the EU Constitution put under your, citizens', sovereignty.
You too are free and responsible citizens, aren't you? Free Europeans, get your – natural – rights!
Free Europeans, don't leave yourselves alone!Vladimir Rott
Zurich / Prague, Europe
26 August 2003
released in August 2003 through NDDIE Network for Direct Democracy in Europe – you may find some of it's people at • citizens-initiative.eu, • democracy-international.org, • democratie.nu, • mehr-demokratie.de (you may join in the working circle mehr-demokratie.de/ak_europa.html), • referendumplatform.nl, • sdnl.nl/wit-view.htm (WIT)...
available as pdf download (300kb) at: vjrott.com/eccc-call-2003-en-nl-cs.pdf (en, nl, cz)