Escaping Brexit Britain for a few days, our representatives at the JEF Federal Committee in Rome made sure to make the most of their time, brandishing flags, voting for change and chatting with our continental friends.
With all national JEF sections represented, the latest bi-annual statutory meeting took place in Italy’s historic capital, organised by the Secretariat and the dedicated board of JEF Italy. Taking place from 24th-26th March, the FC was planned to coincide not only with the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome, but also the huge pro-European marches taking place across Europe. Attended by many members of YEM UK, Europe was reassured that it still has friends this side of the Channel, and what we will soon lack Single Market access, we made up for in the sheer volume of our chanting.
The event kicked off on the Friday with a trip to the Italian parliament. Suited up and eager to join in discussions, we joined our fellow JEFers in a Q&A session with Federica Mogherini, as well as a debate with many prominent politicians and media representatives. With so many questions and so little time, our time at the parliament flew by, and we soon found ourselves sampling Italy’s world-famous pasta, accompanied by generous servings of wine, of course. Check out our Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for the updates we posted during the weekend!
The FC formally began bright and early on Saturday morning. We spent our time reviewing resolutions and amendments in JEF’s three political commissions (PCs): Institutions and Governance, Internal European Policy and External affairs and Global Europe. After voting within these groups on changes to existing documents and discussing their content, we headed out to the streets to join the march planned for midday.
— YEM UK (@YEM_UK) 25 March 2017
We joined with an estimated 10,000 people to march through Rome with flags, banners and megaphones, finishing our march with a celebration at the Colliseum. Celebrating 60 years since the signing of the Treaty of Rome (pretty much the creation of the EU), we joined with organisations and individuals from all parts of the political spectrum to promote our common cause. Together with our fellow JEFers, enjoyed the Roman sun and cheerful atmosphere, as well as keeping in contact with our friends at simultaneous marches, including those organised by YEM in Edinburgh and London.
Returning to business after the excitement of the march, we separated into Task Forces to discuss the functioning and growth of JEF. All JEFers are welcome to join TFs, so di get involved by joining the groups on Facebook or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org for more info!
The following day (having dragged ourselves out of bed, the weight of daylight savings, timezones and significant quantities of alcohol weighing heavy on our ability to function), we headed back to vote on the resolutions discussed the previous day. Each national section is given a vote, as is each directly elected FC member and each EB member. Resolutions were projected on a screen for all to see, and amendments were passed or rejected. The resolutions and JEF Europe’s report on the FC will be available at www.jef.eu soon.
After an action-packed weekend of marching, chanting, voting, partying and painting political slogans on our faces, it was time to call it a day. As is always the case with JEF statutory meetings, the politics is combined with the right amount of fun, and all present are already gearing up for the next meeting – a Congress – in beautiful Malta. All JEF meetings are advertised on our social media and in our newsletter and are open to all our members. Make sure you have subscribed to hear the latest updates… see you in November!
— YEM UK (@YEM_UK) 25 March 2017