“Democracy Under Pressure 2019” – JEF Europe calls citizens to action during its action week across the continent

The Young European Federalist call on citizens to “speak up for those who are silenced in Europe”, and stand for the values of rule of law and democracy.

“Recent political developments in several EU Member States, where the founding democratic principles are gradually eroded, show that democracy and rule of law in Europe are not a given, but need to be cared for by its citizens”, states Leonie Martin, Vice-President of JEF Europe.

“The Rule of Law is not a chip for political bargaining. Ahead of the European elections in May 2019, we demand that lead candidates to the Presidency of the European Commission make safeguarding democracy their priority, and maintain high standards in their own party families, before they ask for our vote,“ continues Martin.

When the Founding Generation set out to establish what would become today’s European Union, the objective was to build Europe founded on the values of respect for human rights, democracy, equality and the rule of law. And yet, for years now, a spectre has been haunting Europe. Illiberal, nationalist and authoritarian temptations have permeated national governments and our society.

While we celebrated the 70th anniversary of the Human Rights Declaration just weeks ago, in many countries those very rights are undermined by those who are supposed to safeguard them: freedom of press, of assembly and association, the independence of the judiciary and the rule of law; our very own European democratic structures are under pressure, being twisted and drained of their substance.

JEF Europe calls on all European citizens to speak up for those who are silenced, by joining the activities of a local JEF section to clap for democracy, on social media and in real life in many European cities in the week of February 18 – 24, 2019.

  • When those in power are tempted by illiberalism, we choose the rule of law.
  • When those in power are tempted by authoritarianism, we choose democracy.
  • When those in power are tempted by nationalism, we choose Europe.

About JEF Europe
The Young European Federalists (JEF) Europe is a non-partisan youth NGO active with 13.000  members active in more than 30 countries. The organisation strives towards a federal Europe based on the principles of democracy and subsidiarity as well as respect for human rights. JEF promotes true European Citizenship, and works towards more active participation of young people in democratic life. While the umbrella organisation JEF Europe was founded in 1972, its sections have been operating continuously since the end of the Second World War, making it the oldest pro-European and only federalist youth organisation.