It’s that time of year again where we must wave farewell to our old National Board and welcome a new one.
Our election will take place on Saturday October 1st at our AGM following speeches from our candidates.
Can’t make it? Not to worry! You can read their manifestos here and online voting will be made available to all paid YEM UK members.
Candidate for President
Hello, my name is Liam McDonald and I’m running for the post of President of YEM UK for the following year 2016-2017. I am a 3rd year student at the University of St Andrews reading Mathematics. This year I have served at all levels of our organisation and believe that this gives me great insight into the views of our members throughout the organisation. In this manifesto I have briefly outlined my qualifications for the post and how I will lead YEM UK (if elected).
As the President of YEM in Scotland I line manage 3 local YEM branches. I played an integral role in the creation of our first regional section, YEM Scotland, wherein all 3 branches are working them to have a greater level of autonomy and responsibility. I believe the creation of regional sections is an important step forward. As we have seen from the Brexit referendum many parts of the country are at odds with each other and I believe regional sections are the best way to tackle this issue and allow our movement to focus on issues directly effecting each individual part of the UK.
The movement’s heart is at its local level: our branches. This is why in addition to serving as the International Officer of the National Board I also serve as the Treasurer of my local branch YEM St Andrews. In my time at the branch I have helped to organised events around Poland’s current govt., the migration crisis and Brexit. These activities help to raise the profile of our organisation and encourage new members to join strengthening our movement for the future.
Over the last year, I have served as the board’s International Officer. In this role I have acted as YEM’s official ambassador to JEF representing our views and helping to promote the work of YEM UK. I have worked on the resolutions in Political Commission (PC) 1 and 3 helping to shape the future direction of JEF as an organisation. I have spent a particularly significant length of time on PC 1’s recent resolution on Brexit ensuring that the resolution presented to the FC in Autumn promotes the fairest deal possible in terms of future UK-EU relations.
I have developed a good working relationship with several other JEF sections during my time in office and as such have been able to arrange twinning projects between our local branches and other sections for example between our St Andrews branch and JEF Malta.
Beyond my IO role, I also carry out general communication and promotional duties such as writing articles for the website and generally raising the organisations media profile such as through Twitter and Facebook. I’ve been involved in our recent Great British Migrant campaign and have supported our Communications Officer in preparing to launch this campaign.
On a local level, I want to create greater accountability and transparency between the national board and local branches. This comes from having greater contact with local branches, organising training events and in general listening to the needs of individual branches rather applying a one method fits all approach.
On a JEF level, I want to work with the new International Officer and the rest of the board to ensure that the UK continues to play a constructive role within JEF. I believe we can do this by encouraging more branch members to attend seminars, promote JEF events more regularly in our micro-newsletters and encouraging members to contribute to JEF wide campaigns.
As President for 2016/17 I can guarantee that the organisation will be provided with strong leadership and a clear sense of direction for the future. Brexit has left many residents in the UK feeling uncertain about their future, as pro –Europeans we must work cohesively to ensure that the UK as a whole remains somewhere they can call home.
Candidates for International Officer
I’m Laura, and I would like to be elected as YEM UK’s 2016-2017 International Officer. My manifesto is composed of three main parts: who I am, what I have done, and why you should vote for me.
I’m in my third year of Scottish and English law at the University of Aberdeen, in the pro-European part of the UK. I’m also the President of the Polish JEF section. As you can see, I tend to do things in doubles, because being a part of one thing is not as educational and entertaining as being a part of both. I’ve been the Local Branches Officer for the past two years. In my time, I have at one point or another taken on nearly all of the different NB roles. As an LBO, my tasks included but were not limited to: setting up branches, supporting and aiding the existing branches, communicating NB news to the LBs and vice versa, visiting and checking in with branches, writing articles, as well as trying to motivate the LBs in regards to YEM volunteering.
In the past years when I’ve been doing pro-European work, I’ve been a part of different organisations, therefore I often find myself encouraging the members to attend external events. I’ve been representing YEM at JEF Europe’s FCs and have made a lot of contacts aka friends. In April 2016, I organised the FC for JEF Europe in Poland whilst living in Scotland, therefore distance is a matter of perception and I am capable of working closely from afar. Most recently, I’ve been working on JEF’s Political Commission on Internal Affairs in regards to the Brexit, and Rule of Law resolutions, which are important as they portray not only our place in the pro-European organisation sphere, but also display our intentions as residents of the UK, whether citizens or immigrants.
As the IO, I would continue representing YEM UK on the European arena, encourage more of our members to be involved with the PCs, ensure a strong voice for the UK in JEF, tweet/ facebook/instagram the hell of our social media with international opportunities, analyse the signing of European grants with our partners, continue with the #UKlovesEU campaign, as well as do Humans of Europe outreach work.
Hi! I’m Juuso Järviniemi, board member of YEM Edinburgh hailing from Finland. I’m applying to be the next International Officer of YEM UK because the position fits my prior JEF experience and allows me to stay connected to both the national and the international level of JEF, which is something I am doing increasingly actively.
I have been a member of the International Working Group of JEF-Finland for nearly two years. The main task of the group is to shape JEF-Finland’s positions ahead of JEF Federal Committee meetings and Congresses, and therefore I believe that the experience I have gained from the working group is useful for me in the position of YEM UK International Officer. As the International Officer, I am willing to explore methods to engage active members in the process of shaping the positions of YEM UK, for example through a working group functioning online.
Beside being a part of the International Working Group, I have shown my keen interest in participating in drafting JEF resolutions by joining the Political Commissions on external affairs (PC3), and institutions and governance (PC1). In addition, I have gained contacts from around Europe by participating in JEF seminars and intend to continue to do so in the future. Contacts gained in these activities are invaluable when it comes to finding like-minded partners in JEF sessions and fostering partnerships with other national sections. I believe that participation in drafting resolutions from early on, especially concerning topics of particular interest for the UK, is an excellent way to advance the views of YEM UK, and I am keen to carry that out in practice.
In a time when Britain is in the spotlight in the European arena in JEF and elsewhere, it is important that the International Officer of YEM UK understands the perspectives of pro-Europeans in Britain as well as elsewhere in Europe. As an EU immigrant to Britain who has been able to follow Brexitrelated discussions and debates both inside and outside Britain, I believe that I’m able to understand different points of view regarding the future of Britain in Europe. Since continued partnership between Britain and continental Europe is what we should aspire for and national governments of EU Member States are negotiating the conditions of future EU-UK relations, I believe that one-onone partnerships with different national sections and JEF-wide campaigns advocating continued cooperation are needed. As a European in the UK, I’m prepared to advance such partnerships.
As the International Officer for YEM UK in 2016/17, I am prepared to engage with the membership to shape the views of YEM UK together, and defend them in JEF processes. I’m willing to strive for a post-Brexit future of close EU-UK cooperation and work with JEF and other national sections to achieve that. Given my prior experience and personal background, I believe I am capable of carrying out these tasks.
Candidates for Treasurer
Hi, my name is Jo and I’m an enthusiastic 17 year old student from North Wales. I’m currently studying Biology, Maths and Chemistry in sixth form and until July I’d never left Wales and when I’m not studying I help run our family cattle farm.
The policies I hope to enact on in this upcoming year with the Youth European Movement are:
A complete and up to date membership database
An efficiently run monetary system
A well funded organisation
The best deals we can possible find when it comes to funding
I believe I am suitable for this role because during the recent referendum I was the Youth North Wales Co-ordinator for Stronger In which involved organising resources, collecting donations for materials and organising leafleting days across North Wales; this shows my abilities as a great organiser but also efficient with funding also.
In July I represented YEM over in Austria as part as an event organised alongside JEF, this demonstrates my dedication to the cause since it was my first time ever leaving Wales.
I also believe as a newly converted member of the belief in a federalist Europe means I can bring a new and fresh perspective to how YEM can go forward.
So basically I’d be really appreciative if you voted for me in this upcoming election because I feel I can contribute a lot to the YEM in this following year as passionate federalist and someone who can offer a whole different outlook on Europe
Much European Love
Candidate for Communications Officer
Hi, I’m Anna and this is the end of my second term as Communications Officer for YEM UK. I’d like to stand for re-election for the same position because I feel I can keep taking YEM further and it is a position which I deeply enjoy.
Since I have already spent time in the position I wish to be re-elected to, I will speak briefly about both what I have a achieved and what I hope to continue to do:
Since taking over as Communications Officer, I have:
• Increased the number of Facebook likes by nearly six times
• More than doubled our Twitter following
• Created numerous viral posts that have seen our outreach reach well into the multi-millions
• Ensured regular and consistent posting on all platforms
I aim to continue to grow our outreach and expand our audience beyond those who would already typically hear a pro-European message.
• I have completely re-vamped our website to give it a much more modern design and improve both aesthetics and user experience.
• I maintain the blog to guarantee a steady flow of posts and have expanded the pages and increased the information available about us online.
• I write all press releases and ensure that they are broadcast quickly and accurately reflect the views of YEM UK whilst also addressing a wide range of issues
If re-elected, I will continue to maintain this and strive to improve it constantly.
Graphics and Videos
I have been responsible for creating YEM UK’s graphics and animated videos during my time already as Communications Officer. This has included:
• The referendum campaign – I created over 100 graphics, animations and infographics for YEM UK’s referendum campaign. Many of these went viral, reaching millions
• YEM Explains animated video series – I have planned and created many informative animated videos about Europe designed to be shared on social media. These have proven popular with tens of thousands of views and I plan on making many more
• Great British Immigrant and Defend Your Rights campaigns – I was responsible for the ideas and the creation of the two new campaigns we will run this year.
I have already created graphics for the materials we have printed and will continue to do so as the campaigns progress If re-elected, I will ensure that these graphics for which YEM is valued for on social media will be used to the best effect possible and that new and original ones will be in no short supply.
Thank you for taking the time to read my manifesto. I hope that my track record of success and determination speaks for itself and that you will re-elect me so I can continue to improve and expand YEM UK’s communications.
See you at the AGM!
Candidates for Local Branches Officer
Why I am running,
I am running for local branches officer to expand the reach of our movement. I want to help put into a place an ambitious plan to launch new local branches. How? By proactively contacting individuals linked to the YES campaign in HE and FE institutions across England, Wales, Scotland and N. Ireland.
As local branches officer my objectives will be :
- Launch a proactive strategy to pinpoint new YEM chairs in HE and FE institutions across the UK
- Expand tracking procedures (our excel spreadsheet) to help current and new branches
- Build-up a readily accessible comms toolkit for all branches
I have a track record of directing youth political organisations at a regional and national level. As Chair of Manchester Labour Students, I organised speaker events with MPs and media, including Chuka Umunna and David Miliband. As Vice-Chair of Labour Students I helped coordinate the communications strategy for a national political organisation constituted of 3000+ activists. As Vice-Chair, I supported Labour Party staff in building youth engagement strategies to inspire more students into politics. As Chair of YEM London we launched the Humans of Europe initiative, expanded the twinning programme, hosted several events and increased our membership in the run-up to the EU referendum.
- Sciences Po, Paris, MA European public affairs
- University of Manchester, BA(hons) Politics & Modern History
- salt PR, Account Executive
- Intern for Arlene McCarthy MEP Committee of the Regions, Assistant to Cllr. Neil Swannick, PES Group
- Britain Please Stay, coordinator
- Europeans without Borders, communications assistant
- JEF – YEM London, former Chair, Union des fédéralistes européens (UEF) France member of political commission III, “citoyenneté et fédéralisme interne ‘
- The Labour Party – Labour Students, Vice-Chair, Events & Communications; Manchester Labour Students, Chair; Labour Students National Policy Forum, member; Labour Movement for Europe, Social Media Coordinator
Being half-British and half-French, I realised quite quickly that being European was the only way to reconcile two conflicting identities. I’ve spent my childhood and education split between the UK, the US, France, and Eastern Europe, and I speak French, some German and I am learning Russian.
Candidate for General Board Member
Hi! My name is Christoffer Stenseth, and I am currently the secretary of YEM St Andrews and a member of JEF Norway.
I got interested in politics around the age of fifteen. However, it was not until a few years ago that I realised it is the European cause that is the closest to my heart, a cause that I am likely to spend my life fighting for. My biggest dream is to wake up a Europe that provides freedom and opportunities for its citizens. A Europe in which Europeans benefit from free education, common working and living standards. Most importantly, a Europe in which people have the possibility to emancipate themselves from the determinism of the unequal and divided old European societies.
However, this dream is impossible to fulfil in today’s Europe. There are many obstacles, and one is the knowledge and education problem. Far too many Europeans simply do not know enough about the EU. It is too abstract and too distant, as a consequence they end up not caring and are susceptible to easily presented misinformation. In times of debate, this lack of information is especially beneficial to populists who utilise people’s unawareness to present non-complicated, reasonable sounding, but incorrect arguments.
For instance, regarding the democratic deficit in the EU. This was one of the major issues in the pre-Brexit period, and is one of the biggest issues in the Norwegian EU debate. This is a problem that I sincerely wish to fix. It would be an honour for me to join the national board and fully commit myself to the European cause, and especially to be able to work on this passionate cause of mine. If I am elected, my goal will be to improve education on the actual purposes and benefits of the European Union.
Now more than ever is it important to raise awareness and interest. It is of the highest importance to ensure that a bigger part of the British people take direct part in getting the deal that they want– and not only let the Government decide for them. In order to achieve my goals and improve knowledge about the EU, I intend to: Establish close contact with the local branches’ Europe at School officers, in order to strengthen and develop the programme. I will also liaise closely with other JEF branches, struggling with similar problems. This will enable us to act together and see what common areas we are currently failing in.
An important part of this work will be to make our cause more visible in daily life, and make people rethink the European question. This can for instance be accomplished through debates, political campaigns and advertisements. The hardest part will be to make non-bothered or seemingly ignorant people reflect on European questions, without making them feel we are physically imposing it on them. It will be a difficult task, but I am ready to help you convince the British people to once again follow the common European path.