Press Release: 25th European Congress of JEF Europe elects Leonie Martin as President

Brussels/Paris. October 29, 2019.

Hosted by its member section Jeunes Européenes (JEF France), around 210 young people from 21 countries gathered last weekend in Paris for the 25th European Congress of the Young European Federalists (JEF Europe). They elected a new board and discussed the political strategy of JEF Europe for the upcoming two years. The delegates to the Congress adopted resolutions on current political challenges, including on: improving the Spitzenkandidaten system, completing the Banking Union, on a sustainable Europe, on right-wing extremism and anti-semitism, on European defence and the security union, and on the EU-US relationship. The Congress was also an occasion to celebrate the 20th anniversary of “Europe par les Jeunes” by JEF France, the local “Europe @ School” programme.

The European Congress has elected a new Executive Board for the mandate of 2019 – 2021, with Leonie MARTIN (NL/DE) being elected as President. Sebastiano PUTOTO (BE/IT) and Emma FARRUGIA (MT) have been elected as Vice-Presidents; Christopher POWERS (UK) has been elected as Treasurer. Diletta ALESE (IT), Hanna KIVIMÄKI (FI), Moritz SCHLEICHER (DE) and Andreas HØSTGAARD POULSEN (DK) were elected as Executive Board members.The Executive Board works on a voluntary basis for a mandate of two years and is supported by the European Secretariat, located in Brussels, which works full-time for JEF Europe. They will soon be joined by Ms. Martin as the Congress voted in favour of a full-time President.

The President Leonie Martin said: “We cannot foresee what politics will bring us in the next two years – what we can foresee, though, is that JEFers will be there, campaigning for a federal Europe. Together, we will work towards climate democracy, rule of law across the continent, and much more; never forgetting that there is more to Europe than just the EU. I want us to act loud, bold and clever, whilst always staying open for new volunteers to join our movement.“

The European Congress used the opportunity to thank the outgoing Executive Board for its successful and dedicated work from 2017 – 2019 and to thank in particular the outgoing President Christopher GLÜCK who, after six years on the board of JEF Europe (as Vice- and for the majority as President), bid his farewell to his active time in JEF. “Christopher Glück’s four years as President have shaped our organisation and have set the direction forward: in his two mandates, JEF has grown impressively, managing to amplify the voice of federalist youth across Europe”, Ms Martin explains.

The statutory meeting was not only an occasion for those in attendance  to vote unanimously in favour of expanding the JEF network by giving the candidate section “DME – Društvo Mladi Evropejci (JEF Slovenia)” the status of a full member section, but also to  review the activities of the on-going “I Choose Europe” campaign. Former Treasurer Simon DEVOS-CHERNOVA has been elected as a member of the Federal Committee, whereas former Executive Board member Camilla WALSTAD and former Vice-President Jacopo BARBATI are now part of the Arbitration Board.

Leonie Martin expressed her gratitude for the smooth logistics: “We thank JEF France for their hospitality and excellent organising. The spectacular venues, amongst which the City Hall of Paris and the Assemblée Nationale, certainly will be one of the many wonderful memories JEFers will take away from this Congress”.

Marie Caillaud, President of Jeunes Européens (JEF France) welcomed the opportunity to be part of this Congress, and especially the inclusion of the 20th birthday of Europe par les Jeunes in the official programme. “This was an opportunity to showcase the engagement of our section in the promotion of democracy to a diverse public of young people from across Europe, and to present some of the innovations in civic education tools championed by our members,” concluded Ms Caillaud.

About JEF Europe
The Young European Federalists (JEF) Europe is a non-partisan youth NGO active with 13,000  members active in more than 35 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. The European Congress of JEF Europe is the highest statutory body of JEF and meets every two years.


More info

JEF Europe Secretariat
+32 2 512 00 53

Leonie Martin

Les Jeunes Européens – France