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Spain says YES, but lessons must be learnt


February 21, 2005

Spain says YES, but lessons must be learnt

 

The Young European Federalists (JEF-Europe) welcome the decisive YES vote in the referendum in Spain on the European Constitution. This marks a positive start to more than 12 months of referendums.

 

“YES won the first battle,” stated Jon Worth, President of JEF-Europe, welcoming the beginning of the 12-month series of votes.

 

“Spain has benefited greatly from its EU membership, and this was reflected today in the substantial margin in favour.”

 

“But other countries must really learn the lessons of what has happened in Spain over the last month."

 

"42% turnout seems to show that the population was less than enthused by the campaign and the approach of the government and the rest of the political establishment."

 

“Two major elements were lacking in Spain,” continued Jon Worth. “The citizens lacked information about the Constitution, and civil society was not sufficiently involved on the ‘Sì’ side. This is of major importance – it is the duty of all the governments to inform the citizens and engage civil society.”

Moreover, once again JEF-Europe regrets that national parties still give priority to national concerns even when dealing with wholly European issues such as the ratification of the European Constitution, as it was again seen when some voters of the opposition parties used the vote against the Constitution to punish the Government.

 

“While in Spain it was possible to get away with it this time, in countries where the race will be a lot closer, the campaigns will have to be fought more carefully and at a grass-roots level.”

 

In the framework of the YES Campaign and in coherence with what JEF stands for, several street actions were organised in Barcelona to inform the citizens about the importance of the referendum for the future of the EU. 50 young Greeks together with young Catalans handed out “Constitutional yoghurts” and information to the locals and showed the best face of a United Europe to its citizens.

 

 

Your Press Contact:

Joan Marc Simon, Secretary General.

sg(at)jef-europe.net

Tel: +32 2 5120053

http://www.jef-europe.net/


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