YEM UK International Officer reports from the XXII Congress of the Young European Federalists!
What has YEM UK been up to recently?
YEM UK goes beyond UK borders, to visit the capital of France, Paris for the XXII Congress of the Young European Federalists!
Here the YEM UK International Officer, Alessandro Fusco kindly shares with us his report on the all things JEF at the recent Congress:
During the last week of October, 160 young people from 30 countries met in Paris for the XXII Congress of the Young European Federalists, or JEF Europe. Not all of our members and supporters here in the UK may be completely familiar with JEF and its work, but we are lucky enough to be part of this historic pan-European network of enthusiastic young people who believe that Europe is our future and who commit themselves to make it an even better place to live in.
JEF is a non-partisan organisation with more than 30,000 members in 30 European countries, and it’s worth noting that Britain has always been one of the main actors in its 40 years of history. Past British presidents of JEF include notable names such as Sir Julian Priestley, David Grace, Richard Corbett and Jon Worth, just to name but a few. But enough talking about history, you may be interested in what actually happened in Paris!
As provided in the statutes of the organisation, the Congress elected a number of positions, including the seven executive members who will be responsible for the overall management of the organisation for the next two years. We don’t want to bore you with a full list of names (including the 16 members of the Federal Committee!), as you will be able to find all the names, along with some nice pics, on the JEF website. It is, however, worth mentioning that the outgoing President, Pauline Gessant, was re-elected to the post and Claire Darmé, who helped re-launch YEM Cambridge and has been a precious adviser for YEM UK, was elected as a member of the Executive Bureau.
But not all the weekend was about voting and elections. In fact so much of the Congress was about sharing experiences and comparing stories of campaigning for pro-Europeanism in such different environments as Malta, Armenia or Finland. Much of this happened while sharing a sandwich or a pint of beer, and yours truly was much reinvigorated by the sheer energy and enthusiasm of our fellow JEFers.
We should remember that the bi-annual Congress is not the only JEF event which YEM members can attend. In fact, there are at least 3-4 seminars and 2 Federal Committee meetings every year, in which we can usually participate by paying very modest fees for food and accommodation. Not yet enough to convince you? Well, the next Federal Committee, which ensures the working of the organisation in between the two years of congress, will meet here in the UK at the end of March. The boys and girls of YEM Cambridge are working hard to make sure it’s a great event and there will be plenty of opportunities for members from all around Britain to get involved, so don’t hesitate to get in touch if you want to know more about it! For more info and updates, you can also check our website’s dedicated page.