The European Movement Italy has sent me an email, signed by Pier Virgilio Dastoli, formerly the aid of Altiero Spinelli at the European Parlament, asking me to support a democratic constitution for the European Union. Linked to the letter is a statement called "Give a democratic constitution for the European Union. Ten priorities for a united, democratic and fair Europe to promote peace in a globalized world" and a list with the first signatories here in French

However much I sympathize with the Federalist movement, in principle, I shall not add my personal signature to this text. I cannot avoid a feeling of hollowness and irrelevance: Do the "ten priorities" really offer a set of political guidelines, or are they only a statement of good will? As far as I can see, only a number of values are stated. These value-statements are not objectionable as such, but they can easily be, and are in fact constantly being used to mask realities that are in blatant contradiction with themselves.

If we really wish "to promote peace in a globalized" world, should we not then say clearly and loudly that there must be no new arms race, that disarmament is a top priority,and that Europe must take the lead by abolishing all nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destructions on its soil?

Is it possible to achieve "la conversion écologique de l'economie et le developpement durable" (according to the suggested document this would be the priority of the EU's budget) without a conversion of the military machine to peaceful and ecological ends?

The majority of the member states of the United Nations have adopted the treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons; is it not a priority that the European Union signs and ratifies that UN treaty and thereby makes it a part of its own Constitution?

And, a propos the democracy: can a nuclear weapons state be one? Can the use of nuclear weapons ever be the will of the peoples of Europe?

The other day, I also received an email from the Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation. Linked to the email is a newsletter from END , the first after 30 years of silence, a silence that is thereby broken. Included in the newsletter is a new statement for European Nuclear Disarmament (END):

"We call on everyone concerned with peace and security to join in raising the alarm over the likely consequences of scrapping the INF Treaty and to work towards the creation of more Nuclear-Weapons-Free-Zones, including in Europe. These efforts will complement existing global disarmament initiatives, including the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, recently agreed at the United Nations." (the newsletter is on the web, here. )

That one I have already signed.