Press release: It is time to relaunch the spirit of the Crocodile Club!

Brussels, July 9 2020

Today, on the 9th of July 2020, the 40th anniversary of the foundation of the “Crocodile Club” – the precursor of what is today known as the Spinelli Group in the European Parliament –, the Young European Federalists, sent a letter to the Presidents of the European Council, European Commission and European Parliament to call on the historical responsibility of the European governments and institutions to relaunch and realise the legacy and the spirit of the Crocodile Club towards a federal Europe. 

This group of early federalist MEPs led by MEP Altiero Spinelli worked tirelessly in pursuit of a democratic and united Europe. Thanks to their committed work as directly elected European representatives, the European Parliament (1979-1984) drafted the “Treaty establishing a European Union”, whose aim was to chart the path towards a Union equipped with a constitutional framework. This created great momentum at the time, as the Spinelli Treaty greatly influenced the Single European Act of 1986, for example. Unfortunately, however, the main call of the so-called ‘Spinelli Treaty’ remained unheeded: a symbol, today, of what Europe should have become, and did not.

Ahead of the next European Council meeting, taking place on 17-18 July, we – young Europeans who believe in a free, democratic and united Europe – urge you and European national leaders to take a bold step forward, bringing to life a brighter future for Europe. In these times of great crisis, the resilience of European institutions provided hope to European citizens. And yet, this is far from enough: the economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis is unprecedented. This crisis reveals, even more deeply than others in our lifetime before, the necessity to create democratic institutions able to govern globalisation in a world rife with supranational challenges, providing a model to pursue the common interest of European and global citizens, and to safeguard our common European values. In a word, the time is ripe for a federal Europe.”, writes Leonie Martin, President of JEF Europe on behalf of the youth NGO.

Read here the full letter.


About JEF Europe

The Young European Federalists (JEF) Europe is a non-partisan youth NGO 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.

Contact information

Leonie Martin
President, Young European Federalists