What are you JEFing about? by Laura Krawczyk
The Young European Movement UK is a national section of the Young European Federalists, from the French Jeunes Européens Fédéralistes, which is abbreviated to JEF. The European HQ is in Brussels and consists of a Secretary General as well as at least one intern at any given time. JEF is an independent non-profit youth association which pursues its objectives autonomously and independently from all political parties. A ratified agreement between JEF, the Union of the European Federalists (UEF), and the European Movement International (EMI) guides the relations of the three organisations. Membership of JEF lapses at the age of 35, however you can be a part of UEF and EMI at the same time as when you are still an under 35 JEFer, although not vice versa.
Amongst the objectives JEF will promote true European citizenship, strive for a just and integrated society, as well as work for a deepening of the EU. Those objectives are the keys for peace and the creation of a democratic European federation.
The statutory bodies comprise of the European Congress, Federal Committee, Executive Board (EB), Arbitration Board, and Auditors Committee. The first three are arguably the most relevant for JEFers at all levels, consequently will be discussed here.
The Congress is the General Assembly of JEF Europe composed of exactly 100 delegates. Each national section has at least one delegate, therefore at least one vote. Each national vote holder is selected by the national board of the sending country. During the Congress: it elects for a two-year mandate the Executive Board; approves annual accounts; discharges the outgoing EB after the approval of its administration; if need be, modifies the Statutes. This happens once every two years in the fall of an odd year.
The Federal Committee consists of the Presidents of each national section, 16 directly elected members, and the EB. The FC elects the Presidium to chair the FC, it has the control over the decisions of the EB and the administration of the Secretariat, and appoints the SG for two years on the recommendation of the EB. The FC meetings are twice a year, with the exception of an odd year when the Congress takes precedence, therefore there are three FCs in every two years. Each national section has one vote each, whilst candidate sections (aspiring to full national membership) are observers and do not yet have a vote, however can listen and discuss all of the matters on the agenda proving that the absence of a vote doesn’t mean you have to be silent and in the background.
The EB is composed of the President, two VPs (senior and junior), Treasurer, four general members, as well as the Secretary General. The SG is the only paid member of the EB and does not have a vote. The EB does the overall management of the organisation, initiates legal actions, and looks after the sections. All meetings unless otherwise stated are open to the FC members although they are limited to only listening.
JEF Policies are adopted through resolutions passed at the FCs or the Congress, and lapse after 2.5 years unless specifically re-approved. For example, during the fall 2016 FC in Cologne, YEM UK has worked and voted on a Brexit resolution calling for support from other sections JEF comprises of three Political Commissions which write and welcome resolutions from sections. PC1 deals with institutions and governments. PC2 handles internal European policy. PC3 manages external affairs and global Europe. All PCs are open to all JEF members, therefore we highly encourage you to click on the hyperlinks, join the facebook groups, and start JEFing.
Apart from the PCs, there are Task Forces dedicated to moving the organisation forward, which are open to everyone:
- TF Finances and Funding shows you the ropes with finding and obtaining funding, including grant writing, and sponsorship applications. Contact Jo our treasurer at treasurer[at]yem.org.uk
- TF Capacity Building aids sections in the long process of growth, explains things to newbies, and enjoys starting new sections. Contact Liam our President at president[at]yem.org.uk
- TF Campaign Design deals with translating JEF’s political aims into more impactful and easier to understands tools. Contact Anna our Comms Officer at comms[at]yem.org.uk
- TF Political Ambassadors comprises of JEF members who are educated on how to represent JEF externally and make the most of the various networks of which JEF Europe is a member of. Contact Laura our International Officer at international[at]yem.org.uk
- TF Organisation improves the internal communication on the vertical and horizontal levels.
- TF Civic Education shares the best practices on Europe@School which is the programme for youth in schools which educates them on Europe. Contact Chris at schools[at]yem.org.uk
- TF Academic Network creates helpful guides on all aspects of the organisation.
If you have any questions, please message our International Officer at international[at]yem.org.uk