The Civic Democratic Party (ODS), one of the ACRE founding parties, has presented its vision of the future of the EU at its conference in Prague. The document summarizes the changes that the European Union urgently needs in order to survive and benefit its members.
The party Board member and ACRE President Jan Zahradil said:
I am proud that the ODS is the only party in the Czech Republic to have such an elaborated paper on the future of the EU. We are also the only party that had the courage to honestly analyse trends, foresee the future developments and put forward our own solutions instead of comfortably melting down within the federalist mainstream.
EU is failing to successfully address the actual challenges mainly due to its excessive centralism and clinging to the dogma of an ever closer Union. One possible solution is the introduction of so-called flexible integration. Simply put, let everyone integrate as much as he wants without forcing others to do so. Of course, there still must be a common ground for cooperation. And the best common ground is the internal market that embodies freedoms on which the European project was originally founded.
Flexible integration also means that the Member States remain the decision-maker and the European agenda. The EU institutions do not oppose them, but implement their joint decisions.
More specifically, the Civic Democrats believe that all EU legislation must be guided by the criterion whether it eliminates barriers to trade and facilitates cooperation between Member States. Since only the Member States are the source of democratic legitimacy, it will be necessary to re-evaluate the shared competences of the EU and to find a new balance of powers respecting the principle of subsidiarity. Instead of creating a brand new defense structures competing with NATO, EU states must meet their obligations and further strengthen their Atlantic ties. A viable asylum policy requires that individual states remain competent to define their own rules.
Jan Zahradil concluded:
Civic Democrats want to see Europe that really works. Europe of successful and prosperous states that builds on its strengths, which means diversity and flexibility instead of centralisation and uniformity.