Towards the Conference and Beyond: Young European Federalists for the Future of Europe

Diletta Alese
Member of the Executive Board - JEF Europe

The Conference on the Future of Europe, the ongoing discussion on the approval of European own resources to finance the new Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027, the historical Next Generation EU recovery plan, and the path towards COP26 are some of the main highlights of the action of JEF Europe for the next months, right after the closing of the 15th edition of the pan-European campaign Democracy Under Pressure on the protection of rule of law.

The Conference on the Future of Europe

The arduous negotiations towards the Conference on the Future of Europe (CoFoE, officially launched on 9 May 2021) and on its rules of procedure have shown that some national governments are determined to block any attempt at European renewal. Together with other civil society organisations, JEF Europe will be mobilising around the Conference to ensure it’s not rendered meaningless or hijacked by nationalists. Through our political advocacy, we call for the opening of a new constituent phase, while ensuring that the building blocks of a European Federation, such as a Fiscal Union, a European Health Union and a stronger European Parliament, are part of the public debate. As life is gradually coming back to our COVID-stricken continent, with all the consequences of these years of crises, we will keep fighting for a united Europe.

Main actions

  • The day after the launch of the CoFoE online platform (futureu.europa.eu), on 19 April, JEF Europe, through the profile of its President Leonie Martin, published ten proposals on the basis of its resolutions and political platform. In the section of democracy, three of the most popular demands are now from JEF.
  • Through the “Next Chapter Europe” project, JEF Europe, together with AEGEE-Europe, JEF sections and AEGEE local groups, team up to make sure the CoFoE will be a place for each and everyone to be heard, especially young people. The project is funded by the European Parliament and will be implemented from January 2021 to March 2022.
  • In the next months, JEF Europe will keep participating in and coordinating civil society alliances, such as the Civil Society Convention on the Future of Europe, to assure a real impact on the process of the Conference and to fulfil citizens' expectations.
  • JEF Europe is preparing a big mobilization not only in view of the assemblies of the Conference, but also for the conclusions of the work during the French semester, planning to further engage the organized networks.

Y-Fed Project

The project “Y-FED: Europe is what we make of it” aims to bring the EU closer to its young citizens by developing a proposal for an improved institutional framework of the Union in line with the European Youth Goals. The initiative, supported by an Erasmus+ “European Youth Together” grant, will be implemented between January 2020 and October 2021 through a series of capacity-building training courses, public policy hackathons, a large-scale simulation of a reformed EU and advocacy actions. The project partners comprise 18 civil society organisations as well as 2 networks of European and regional decision-makers. The project’s main highlight, the Youth simulation of a federal Europe, will take place in Strasbourg (France) in June 2021, and will give young people the opportunity to test the developed model following a series of preparatory webinars. Young people will become advocates for the implementation of the reformed EU institutional model based on the outcomes of the simulation.

Europe@home

This year has been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has affected many areas of people’s lives and moved many professional and civic activities to the online sphere. Building on the Europe@School programme, the 18-months project “Europe@Home: European Civic Education through the mobile” aims to examine and further develop the practices of digital education that have been put in place in the wake of the pandemic, with a particular focus on European Civic Education.

Green actions

JEF Europe will promote a Green Campaign during the European Green Week, starting 31 May, with weekly tweets to highlight the importance of the discussion on the future of democracy and global institutions to answer to climate challenges, making federalism more accessible to climate activists. JEF will also organise an official side event to the European Green Week.

Federalist Academy

The Federalist Academy will be an intensive seminar where 40 participants from different sections within the network come together to study, analyse and explore the federalist history and theories – including a comparative study between different existing federalist structures. Another key focus will be the study of the organisational history of JEF, UEF and WFM, with the goal of defining and elaborating on – through an ongoing definition process – what it means to be a federalist today. The Federalist Academy will be accompanied by a series of online and offline tools, resources, and events, the former of which will be disseminated to the network with the aim of building and strengthening the capacity of different sections (whether national, regional or local) and promote a shared message in the network.

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