Press release: Time to vote for a Federation? Yes!

, by JEF Europe

Press release: Time to vote for a Federation? Yes!

In this press release from the Young European Federalists (JEF) published on 6th May, the entire JEF community calls for European citizens to use their democratic right and vote for a federal Europe.

Europe stands at a historic crossroads : will the political executives, technocrats and lobbyists continue calling the shots, or can we build a truly democratic Europe – a Europe that is created and shaped by and for the citizens? In order to stand up and demand real democratic reform in the EU, diverse organisations across Europe have organised the action day in numerous cities across the continent on Saturday, 17th May. The purpose of the action is to call on citizens to vote for a better, more democratic Europe and to press our upcoming leaders to strengthen EU democracy. “With the incoming vote we will decide which direction Europe will take in the next five years and how we will face the big challenges of our times that are still unresolved” states Pauline Gessant, President of Young European Federalists (JEF).

Europe is facing a crisis of democracy. Citizens are being shut out of the political process, and just a few powerful politicians and economic interests are steering Europe from behind closed doors. These concentrations of power are distorting EU policy away from the needs and interests of the citizens and eroding the citizens’ trust and confidence in the EU.

The campaign Democratic Europe Now highlights that if no substantial changes in the EU architecture and decision-making structures are made to render them more democratic and transparent, we risk to derail the entire European project. “Citizens don’t want a Europe in which they feel powerless to a system they cannot change. But we will not sit by while nationalist and extremist groups channel the citizens’ frustration toward destructive outcomes. We will come together to demand real democratic reforms”, says Democratic Europe Now’s campaign director, Armin Steuernagel.

Now, on the eve of the European elections, it is crucial that we show our upcoming representatives that the citizens are behind the call for true EU democracy. Democratic Europe Now highlights three demands: first, we call the new European Parliament to initiate a Convention to work on strengthening democracy in the EU. Second, the Convention process must be open, transparent, and participatory, empowering citizens to participate in the debates and decisions that shape their lives. And third, we want to make the case that citizens have the chance to vote on the outcome, to ensure that the whole process is geared towards their interests.

Time for action

On Saturday, 17th May European citizens are getting together in public places all across the continent for events and actions, to engage in debate and to show how much energy they have to fight for democracy. “The EU decision-makers seem to not be listening, so we will need to get organised right across Europe to make sure that our demand is impossible to ignore!” says Steuernagel.. “The need to Move Europe Forward is urgent. The recent crisis proved that the process of European integration is still far from complete. We need to complete the integration process and build Federal European institutions and a Federal European democracy. Let’s go vote for a better Europe!” concludes Pauline Gessant.

Press contact: Pauline Gessant, President JEF Europe, president at jef.eu, +33 683 116 009

“JEF is a supranational, politically pluralist non-governmental youth organisation with about 30,000 members in over 35 European countries. The goal of JEF is the creation of a democratic European federation as a crucial ingredient for peace and a guarantee for a more free, just and democratic society. JEF fosters and promotes European citizenship, works for the widening and deepening of the EU and aims at bringing Europe closer to the citizens. Our ideas are spread through international activities and youth exchanges, publications, public actions and co-operation with other youth organisations.”

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