Stockholm Seminar and FC, Sweden 26 October - 2 November 2003
“NEW EUROPE – WHERE NEXT?”
The seminar took place from Sunday 26 October to Friday 31 October under the title “New Europe – where next?”.
The seminar dealt with the changes that were taking place in Europe at that moment, namely:
ten new countries were on the way to join the EU and a European Constitution was drafted. What difficulties will be faced by an enlarged European Union of 27 or more members? Will the Constitution be strong enough to keep the countries and Union together?
By placing the seminar in Sweden, just weeks after its referendum on joining the Euro, the role played by public opinion in the development of the future Union was emphasised. By drawing on the experiences of Sweden and our sections in Central and East European countries, which have recently held referenda on joining the EU, we hoped to learn more about how to achieve this.
Introductions, working groups, training sessions and interactive activities throughout the week tackled the following topics:
- What will be the political priorities of the enlarged EU?
- How will an enlarged EU work?
- Beyond the ten
- Does the Convention method work, and can it be used for future Treaty changes?
- What will happen in the IGC, and how can JEF react?
- Which prospects for federalism in Europe?
- The European Economy towards 2010
- What can we learn from the 2004 referendums?
- European security from a neutral country perspective
- What lessons can we learn from the Iraq debate?
When we were not busy debating, we also had some fun social activities like bowling, ice hockey and also some traditional Swedish leisure activities.The seminar gathered 50 young people coming from all over Europe. It was organised with the support of the Council of Europe and the European Union (PRINCE programme on the Future of Europe).
For the results and resolutions click here.
Ventotene Seminar, Italy 29 August - 5 September 2003
Every year, the Altiero Spinelli Institute for Federalist Studies organises a seminar on the island of Ventotene. This island off the Italian coast, was the place where Altiero Spinelli, author of the Federalist Ventotene Manifesto, was imprisoned during the Second World War. Each year, young Federalists gather here to discuss federalist ideas and their application to the European context.
For the programme and the participation conditions for the Ventotene Seminar please go to www.mfe.it/gfe/attivita/seminari/ventoint03.htm.
Brussels Training Event, Belgium 18.-22 June 2003
Managing Youth Work in Europe – tools and best practice for future activities
From 18 to 22 June, 35 young people active in JEF participated in the training days organised by JEF-Europe.
The main idea behind these training days was to share the knowledge each section has, which would help us strengthen JEF in each of our countries. A very intense programme was offered, focusing on the exchange of tools and best practices in our work, the aim being a very practical and professional training on the many possible ways of running successfully your section, its activities and its finances. The activity provided tools and also encouraged the exchange of best practice in the following technical aspects of JEF's work:
- Development of innovative activities
- Financing (special focus on the YOUTH programme)
- Project management (application, preparation, implementation, follow up, reporting)
- Pedagogical methods in formal and non-formal education
- Intercultural learning
- How to involve new young people in youth work
Bardonecchia, Italian/French Border, 29 April - 4 May 2003
Since 1985, European federalists have been meeting every April in Bardonecchia, an alpine town close to Italian/French border. This makes this one of the longest-running JEF seminars.
More than one hundred young people from all around Europe have come to Bardonecchia for a week to study and discuss the most controversial political topics of our modern complex and multiethnic societies, as well as issues related to the continuous and never-ending development globalisation. This is done in the light of the ideological debates in federalist theory, from Emmanuel Kant to Alexander Hamilton, from Altiero Spinelli to Mario Albertini.
For a week, in these valleys among the most beautiful of the West Alps, which will host the winter Olympic Games of 2006, the participants to the seminar meet, get to know each other and to co-operate in an interesting atmosphere, that mixes work and pleasure in a way that we believe to be unique in the outline offered by federalist workshops.
Prague Seminar, Czech Republic, 23.-30 March 2003
The international seminar "Citizenship and Nationality - Fundamental Concepts in the United Europe" took place in Prague, Czech Republic from Sunday 23 March to Friday 28 March.
The participants debated how a Constitution for Europe could challenge the nationality-based citizenship that has been the implicit norm throughout Europe for a long time. Therefor it was necessary to examine what institutional and cultural requirements - if any - there are for a successful, supranational citizenship and identity. How, in other words, could European institutions encourage the trust and loyalty that is normally attached to notions of citizenship?
By placing the seminar in the Czech Republic we hoped to emphasize the experiences and views of the Central and East European countries. In many countries, transition has opened up for a revival of national identities, but at the same time one aim of transition has been full integration in European structures such as the Council of Europe and the European Union - a 'Return to Europe'.
Introductions, working groups, training sessions and intercultural activities throughout the week tried to tackle the following questions:
- Do we have/need a European Identity ?
- What is citizenship ? What is nationality ?
- How have the historical experiences of different parts of Europe shaped their respective perceptions of nationality and citizenship ?
- What is the place of European Identity in the democratisation
process of the European institutions ?
- How will the EU integration process, notably the constitutional efforts of the Laeken process and the Charter for Fundamental Rights, challenge the supremacy of national citizenship?
- What is needed for European institutions to be able to support a European identity?
- Would such an identity be a challenge to the old notions of
- Towards an inclusive European citizenship ?
The Federal Committee of JEF Europe met from Friday 28th afternoon to Sunday 30th of March, noon. To see the resolutions passed by the Federal Committee click here.
For photos of the seminar and FC click here.
This event is supported by the Council of Europe
Berlin Seminar, Germany 07.-09 March 2003
The traditional spring seminar "A Federal Future for Europe " organised by JEF- Germany, JEF-Italy, the Altiero Spinelli Institute and UEF with the support of the European Commission`s representation in Germany and CIFE took place in Berlin, Germany, 07.-09.03.2003.
In 2001 we analysed the then developing discussion about a European Constitution - where did we stand, what did we want to achieve, what had to be done - in light of the famous Fischer-Speech of 2000 which officially kicked-off the debate about the future of Europe. This year, we were in the single and historical situation to compare the outcome of the Convention with the JEF proposals and demands for the future structure of Europe. We especially aimed at clarifing what we as young people and citizens expect from the Convention.
We started by examining JEF´s role in the European Constitutional Process and continued by approaching the difficult question of the final stage of the Convention in a high levelled panel debate. We then came up with a lot of ideas how a "young" Europe should look. Last but not least, we tried to spread the European spirit to the citizens at a street action on Sunday. You can also be sure that Berlin did not offer only an excellent political location, but also a very exciting night-life!
Macedonia Seminar 11.-16 February 2003
JEF Macedonia in co-operation with JEF Europe organised the regional training seminar "Walking towards a United Europe - the Case of Human Rights in Central and Eastern Europe", that took place in Macedonia's beautiful lake-side resort of Ohrid between 11 and 16 February 2003. The Republic of Macedonia is a relatively small European state in terms of its territory and population, but rich in diverse ethnical groups that have lived there. At the same time, this country of numerous natural beauties, has witnessed a long and painful transition to market economy and the rule of democracy and law. All these characteristics make Macedonia a typical example of a country in the Balkan region. At the same time there are a lot of harmful stereotypes, both among the ethnic groups that have lived side by side in this region as well as between the Balkans and the West, that stand in the way of progress of the region and its full incorporation in the European integration processes.
JEF Macedonia and JEF Europe thus believe that it is high time to launch a true, open, and honest debate about the future of the region and its place in Europe.
Topics that were tackled during the week included: the general level of democracy in Macedonia and the region with a special focus on the protection of human rights, minority rights, and active participation - especially the youth. The role of civil society and views on the future of the region will also be among the main topics discussed, along with the general introduction to the political and economic situation in Macedonia.
The inspection of concrete possibilities of active involvement and participation of the region's Youth in making a positive change was one of the priorities of this seminar.
The organisers called upon young people from Macedonia and the broader region of the Balkans to come to Ohrid and spend a week in company of 15 local and 15 regional participants (South Eastern Europe) together with JEF-Europe international trainers.
This event was supported by the Council of Europe in the framework of the pilot project for Human Rights Education