Western Union Charter

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The Western Union Charter (officially the Charter for Western Unity) was signed into agreement on 9th May, 2015, and forms the basis of Western Union law and policy. The Charter reorganised the structures of the Circular Powers into that of the present day Western Union, with the existing customs union and mutual defence pact written into the Charter. In addition, it writes out the common goals and principles that the Union and its member states stand for, including the upholding of the rule of law among others. Most prominently, the Charter set up supranational bodies to handle executive, legislative and judiciary functions of the new Union, as seen in the Commission, Council, Parliament and Courts of Justice.

The Charter founded the modern day Western Union and its supranational structures, making the Union resembling a confederation rather than an international alliance pact between nations, the first of its kind in Antarctic history. The policies and core values stated in the charter have shaped foreign and domestic policy within the Union and its member states, and it had been generally agreed upon by political analysts that this legal document was one of the key factors in promoting the Western Union's rise to prominence on the international stage and continental economy.

Background[edit]

The Treaty of Dolphinas established the Circular Powers, an alliance between the United Provinces and the Terra Federation in 2014, and mandated the formation of a customs union and a mutual defence scheme. The subsequent admission of four more nations into the Powers in the year ahead, and the resulting need to reform the structures of the Treaty to ensure equity among nations and a means of retaining internal stability, gave politicians an opportunity to further strengthen ties between all six nations with the reformation of the Powers. The vision put out by the new Mueller Administration in Margate - that of a supranational organisation which allowed all member states to stand up as a collective to the great powers both on the diplomatic and economic fronts - appealed strongly to the governments of Circular Power nations, especially the Smith Administration in Snowiny. The two nations were the main driving forces for further integration, and the drafting of a supranational charter was seen to be a crucial part of that process. At the First Winsburg Congress in early 2015, the four member states unanimously agreed to reform the Circular Powers and draft the Charter as part of the reformation process.

The Charter was signed by the six member nations on 9th May 2015, and formally established the new Western Union on that date, although ratification from individual member states occurred at later dates. Concerns from Snowiny had led to the then tentatively named Western Constitution to be re-labelled as a Charter, although in practice the document effectively functions as a constitution for the Union. Member nations of the Western Union who joined at a subsequent date are also required to sign and ratify the Charter, with a total of two amendments having been made to the Charter to admit these nations into the Union

The first version of the Charter deliberately left out the location for the capital city of the Union due to disagreements between the member states on where exactly it should be, as well as the establishment of a common currency and Armed Forces again due to objections from member states, although these issues have now more of less have been settled and have become integral parts of the Union. Amendments to the Charter have been made to include these pillars.

Contents[edit]

Preamble[edit]

WE THE PEOPLES OF the United Provinces, the National Protected Land of the Terra Federation, the Republic of Margate, the Kingdom of Amataria, the Republic of Acadia and the Republic of Caseusopolis.

UNITED by a common desire to live in and build a world of peace, economic stability, scientific progress, security and social progress

ADHERING to the established core values of freedom, prosperity, justice, happiness and liberty, as well as the international rule of law, democratic values and creature (not frog) rights,

COMMITTED to further integration between member states so as to achieve the goal of building a world where the above values are upheld and bring prosperity to individual member states,

HEREBY DECIDE to establish this charter which will be the legal framework for the Western Union, with all member states having accepted this charter.

Framework of the Union[edit]

Article One: Extension of the Treaty of Dolphinas[edit]

The Treaty of Dolphinas previously established the Circular Powers as a supranational organization between member nations, alongside the Circular Powers Customs Union (CPCU) and Circular Powers Mutual Defense Pact (CPMDP). The Treaty also mandated a biannual Congress between member nations to discuss issues of common concern with effect from 2015.

This Charter hereby extends the existing institutions and policies established by the Treaty of Dolphinas into perpetuity, and reorganizes the Circular Powers into the Western Union. The CPCU will be renamed into the Western Union Free Trade Area, and the CPMDP will be renamed to the Western Union Mutual Defense Pact. This Charter also abolishes this Congress system, to be replaced by supranational executive, legislative and judiciary bodies that will hold authority over the Union, as well as a yearly Summit between the heads of government and select members of their cabinets to discuss long term strategic goals and policies.

Article Two: Purposes of the Western Union[edit]

The purposes of the Western Union are:

  1. To promote greater economic co-operation between individual member states and foster economic progress, stability and growth through the establishment of a Common Market
  2. To maintain stability and security within and between individual member states, as well as in the greater Antarctic community
  3. To uphold and promote the established core values as well as international rule of law, democratic values and creature rights
  4. To be a driving force in international politics as a united counterweight to existing super-powers and great powers
  5. To increase and ensure the wellbeing of the peoples of the Western Union by providing opportunities to move up the social ladder, reduce poverty and provide social aid, and closing of the income inequality gap
  6. To protect the state of peace between Western Union nations and those outside it and do anything within its power to prevent armed struggles from breaking out ever again, not only within the Western Union but also within the entire continent.

Article Three: Core Values of the Western Union[edit]

The core values and principles that all Western Union member states should, and agree to abide to with the signing of the Charter are:

  1. Freedom: the right of every citizen to free speech, freedom of movement, freedom to participate in democratic elections and the freedom of the press
  2. Prosperity: for all nations to flourish and grow, and for all citizens to reap the benefits of economic, social and technological progress
  3. Justice: for all citizens to live in a society where there is fair and equal treatment in the courts
  4. Liberty: the right of every citizen to be free from oppressive restrictions imposed by the state or by society
  5. Happiness: for all citizens to live contently without worry

All member nations shall also respect the sovereignty of other internationally recognized nations as well as abide to United Antarctic Nations resolutions.

Article Four: Legal Personality[edit]

The Western Union is an intergovernmental, supranational organization and as such is conferred legal status and legal personality

Article Five: Member Nations[edit]

The member states of the Western Union are the United Provinces, the National Protected Land of the Terra Federation, the Republic of Margate, the Kingdom of Amataria, the Republic of Acadia, the Republic of Caseusopolis and the Republic of Tropicalis

Amendment One: Admission of Tropicalis[edit]

The Republic of Tropicalis is admitted into the Union with effect from this day the 26th of August, 2016.

Amendment Two: The Quintuple Admisssions[edit]

The Republic of the Finipines, the Republic of Duck Island, the Kingdom of Candvia, the Kingdom of the Emperorlands and the Kingdom of Dragonstone are admitted into the Union with effect from this day the 1st of March 2018.

Amendment Three: Withdrawal of Amataria[edit]

The Republic of Amataria is, with effect from the 18th of February 2019, no longer considered to be a Union member state, following withdrawal negotiations since 2017. Amataria will continue to retain a Free Trade Agreement with the Union in perpetuity, as per the 2019 Treaty for Withdrawal of the Kingdom of Amataria.

Article Six: Rights and Obligations of Member States[edit]

All Western Union member states will have equal rights and proportional representation in the Western Council and Western Parliament. Unless specifically negotiated, all Western Union member states are obligated to enact approved Western Council and Western Parliament resolutions and legislation, and abide by judicial rulings from the Western Courts of Justice within the specified time frame.

All Western Union member states are automatically admitted into the Western Union Free Trade Area, Western Mutual Defense Pact and the Concord Free Movement Area.

Should there be a breach of Charter regulations or non-compliance, the member nation will be suspended from the Western Union, and may be subject to sanctions or blockade, subject to the approval of the Western Parliament and Council.

Article Seven: Admittance of new Member States[edit]

All nations are welcome to join the Western Union should they fulfil the following criteria:

  1. Applicant nation must be willing to use military force against external parties attacking one of the members of the Union.
  2. Applicant nation must be willing to side with its member states in all situations except if affected member nation is the aggressor.
  3. Applicant nation must be willing to enforce a "peace policy"; no invasion of other nations unless provoked.
  4. Applicant nation must be considered democratic, or in the process of enacting reforms to do so. Nations are not allowed to suppress peaceful protests, introduce or continue media censorship, and restrict the freedoms of its peoples, except on national security grounds for a period of up to 120 days, subject to the approval of the Western Council.
  5. Applicant nation must be recognized internationally as a sovereign nation and be a member of the United Antarctic Nations
  6. Applicant nation must be willing to allow for free movement of goods and citizens of Western Union origin.
  7. Admittance will be based on a consensus, no nation will be admitted should they fail to meet any of the above criteria or if there is an objection from at least one member nation

Article Eight: Withdrawal Proceedings of Member States[edit]

Member states with the intent to leave the Western Union must notify the Western Union Commission of its intention to do so via written formal request at least 1 week before triggering Article Eight for beginning negotiations to leave the Union. Triggering Article Eight will begin a 3-month period during which the member state triggering the article may negotiate with the Western Union on a deal determining the future relationship between them and the Western Union, and the nation will exit the Western Union on the exact day the 3-month period expires, although the 3-month period may be extended upon the unanimous agreement of all Western Union member states.

Article Nine: Suspension of Member States[edit]

If a nation violates core Western Union principles and openly disrespects Western Union values written in this Charter, member states of the Western Union may propose a vote to suspend said nation. A nation may be suspended if all member states but the three state agree. This suspension results in the loss of voting rights for target member state and cutting of diplomatic ties with the rest of the Western Union, as well as the continued application of Western Union laws in the target member state.

Member states may move to remove the suspension from the target member state with an "aye" vote from all but three member states, with the exception of the vote of the target state.

Supranational Governing Bodies of the Union[edit]

Article Ten: Functions of the Western Union Commission[edit]

The Western Union Commission shall comprise of the one representative from each member nation and will be the supreme policy making body of the Western Union, functioning as the executive branch of the Union government. The Commission shall:

  1. Deliberate and provide policy guidance to the Western Council, Western Parliament and individual member states
  2. Address medium and long-term policy issues and guide the overall direction of the Western Union, with the ability to set up Executive Investigatory Councils to guide the creation of key legislation.
  3. Appoint the Presidents and key appointment holders of both legislatures
  4. Veto any legislation by the legislatures deemed unconstitutional, or against the principles put forth in Articles One and Two
  5. Aid the implementation of passed legislation in member states through the specified Western Agencies. The initial Agencies to be created under this charter are:
    1. Western Fisheries and Agricultural Agency
    2. Union Health and Disease Control Agency
    3. Union Security and Anti-Terrorism Agency
    4. Western Telecommunications and Infocomm Technologies Agency
    5. Agency for the Development of Primary Industries
    6. Environmental Protection Agency
    7. Agency for the Advancement of Creature Rights
  6. Create new Agencies to meet the varying needs of member states and the Union as a whole, in addition to the ones listed above
  7. Have the right to dissolve the Western Council and Western Parliament and call for fresh elections or the replacement of representatives with a three-fourths majority.

Article Eleven: Functions of the Western Council[edit]

The Western Council shall be the Upper House of a Legislative branch within the Western Union and will be the second policy-making body.

The Western Council shall:

  1. Comprise of seven delegates from each member nation
    1. Five delegates are to be from the party forming the government of the nation, while the remaining two are to be from opposition parties
    2. If no opposition parties exist or are elected into office, the government may choose a non governmental organisation to hold these two seats
  2. Address and come up with policies to further the goals as stated in Articles One and Two as well as issues which require a multilateral effort.
  3. Deliberate on, approve and finalise legislature and bills crafted and approved by the Western Parliament
  4. Send all approved legislature and bills to the Western Parliament for approval, refinement and further deliberation.
  5. Be able to order the formation of committees to come up with proposals and submit reports and recommendations on key issues such as, but not limited to economic growth and diversification, further integration of the Western Union, ecological preservation and healthcare management
  6. Form three permanent committees that have been deemed as critical to furthering the goals of the Western Union. They are to comprise of at least one representative per nation as well as at least seven other industry experts, and report to the Council no less than every six months. The committees to be set up are the;
    1. Creature Rights Committee
    2. Environmental Protection Committee
    3. Western Security Committee
  7. Be dissolved by an Emergency Congress of national leaders should it be found to be passing legislature deemed as violating this Charter, with a three-fourths majority being required to dissolve the Council.
  8. Be headed by a President, who will;
    1. Oversee and facilitate the discussion and implementation of legislature
    2. Submit a report to the Commission annually, on the progress of key legislation
    3. Along with the Commission President and the President of the Western Parliament, represent the Western Union and present the views of the Union as a whole to the international community.

Article Twelve: Functions of the Western Parliament[edit]

The Western Parliament shall function as the Lower House of a Legislative Branch within the Western Union, and will be the third policy making body.

The Western Parliament shall:

  1. Comprise of 700 elected representatives from all member nations.
    1. These representatives are to be designated as Members of Parliament (MPs) and will be elected into office every four years by their fellow citizens of voting age.
    2. Each nation will be allocated a proportional number of seats based on their population, with this number being changed every election or when two or more new member states are admitted into the Union.
  2. Address and come up with policies to further the goals as stated in Articles One and Two as well as issues which require a multilateral effort.
  3. Deliberate on, approve and finalise legislature and bills crafted and approved by the Western Council
  4. Send all approved legislature and bills to the Western Council for approval, refinement and further deliberation.
  5. Be able to order the formation of committees to investigate allegations of corruption and violations of the law by, but not limited to, politicians and organisations from all member states, Western Agencies and Union-sponsored organisations and task forces.
    1. The Parliament may also invite accused parties and defendants to speak their case, and afterward deliberate on necessary action to be taken by the Commission, Courts of Justice and the respective national governments of member states.
    2. The Parliament is also authorised to pass legislation to blacklist or sanction offending parties, member states, as well as non-member states.
  6. With a three-fourths majority, initiate suspension processes from the Union against a member state.
  7. Be dissolved by an Emergency Congress of national leaders should it be found to be passing legislature deemed as violating this Charter, with a three-fourths majority being required to dissolve the Council.
  8. Be headed by a President, who will;
    1. Oversee and facilitate the discussion and implementation of legislature
    2. Submit a report to the Commission annually, on the progress of key legislation
    3. Along with the Commission President and the President of the Western Council, represent the Western Union and present the views of the Union as a whole to the international community.

Article Thirteen: Functions of the Western Courts of Justice[edit]