International Youth Meeting demands a strong, united, federal Europe
At an international youth meeting in Brussels last weekend, Young Europeans from 31 countries reiterated their support for a federal European Constitution. More than 200 young people from across the European continent met as part of the project on the Convention “Europe: A Generation Ahead”, organised by the Young European Federalists.
Working in small groups on the basis of the Convention’s texts, the young people produced ambitious and visionary demands for a diverse and united Union, close to the citizens, and able to meet the challenges facing Europe in the future.
Alison Weston, President of JEF, said, “This shows that young people are not afraid of a strong and united federal Union, and are interested in shaping the future of their Europe.”
“Young people look to the European institutions – the Parliament and the Commission – to articulate a vision of a united and democratic Europe,” she went on. “We hope that the Commission, as the guardian of the European interest, will be as bold and ambitious in its own contribution to the Convention.”
Commenting on President Giscard d’Estaing’s proposed “Congress of the Peoples”, Elina Kiiski from Finland, rapporteur of the group on Institutions, said, “Europe does not need more institutions; it needs better institutions with a more democratic, efficient, and accountable decision-making structure”.
The young participants committed themselves to continuing the debate around Europe, at the local, regional, and European level, in order to inform the citizens and to build support for the work of the Convention. Marko Bucik, from Slovenia, called on the members of the Convention to do the same. “Building Europe must not only be a concern for the traditional Brussels elite, or for a small group of countries”, he said. “Building our common European home is a project which concerns all the citizens of Europe”.
All the results of this international event, as well as upcoming follow up activities such as local debates all over Europe, online discussions and an exhibition will be published online under www.constitutional-convention.net.