Press release: JEF Europe makes history with its first online statutory meeting

“We show this organisation, this community has a heart, beating louder than ever. We show we will not shy away, we will work for a democratic, federal Europe – come rain or shine,” said Leonie Martin, President of JEF Europe, at the opening of the JEF Europe Federal Committee Spring Meeting 2020 last weekend.

Originally, over 100 participants from across Europe were supposed to meet in Hamburg, Germany. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and relevant travel restrictions, JEF Europe decided, a mere three weeks ahead of the event, to organise the first online Federal Committee meeting in the history of the movement.

The inadequacy of unilateral decisions of Member States and intergovernmental institutions, the dramatic exploitation of the state of emergency in Hungary, and the economic and social consequences of the crisis warning us to act now. This crisis reveals, even more deeply than others before, the necessity to create federal institutions able to govern globalization in a world rife with supranational challenges, pursuing the common interest of European and global citizens and to safeguard democratic guarantees and principles.

During the two-day event, that took place on April 4-5, over 100 JEFers discussed, amended and adopted positions on a Constituent Assembly and the Conference on the Future of Europe, Mobility, Enlargement to the Western Balkans, and EU-Africa relations. Alongside the adoption of an urgent, yet detailed, resolution on a more coordinated European approach to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, a position on the multiannual financial framework was readopted.

Furthermore, the Secretary-General of JEF Europe, Milosh Ristovski, was confirmed for a second mandate, continuing until spring 2022. “For  the next two years I commit myself to continue the work that myself and the European Secretariat started with the same level of enthusiasm and motivation. I look forward to continuing the professionalisation of JEF Europe, making sure that our members have a platform to learn and have their voice heard on European level.” This is the first time for JEF Europe that a Secretary-General will be proceeding onto a second mandate.

The 2020 edition of the Democracy under Pressure Awards took place on Saturday evening and gave an opportunity to thank and highlight the commitment of sections, which participated actively in the campaign, even in times of COVID-19 measures. “Our pan-European campaign that raises awareness and protests against the threats to our democracies and fundamental values fills every year the streets and squares of Europe with relevant actions, flash mobs and events. We salute our JEFers for adjusting the campaign so quickly, transferring the campaign from streets to online and using their houses and rooms as democratic strongholds to speak up for those who are silenced”, says Diletta Alese, Executive Board Member of JEF Europe and a member of the Democracy under Pressure Awards jury.

“We have shown this weekend that a federal Europe will not be put on pause”, ends Martin.

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.

Press contact

Leonie Martin
President of JEF Europe

More info

JEF Europe
European Secretariat
+32 2 512 00 53