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JEF-Europe >Press Centre >Archive 2005 >

European civil society to re-launch constitutional process

About the First European Citizens Convention

This coming weekend, Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th December 2005, the first European Citizens Convention will take place in Genoa, Italy at the Auditorium dei Musei di Strada Nuova Palazzo Rosso (Via Garibaldi 18), Genoa. The event is organized and promoted by the Union of European Federalist (UEF) in collaboration with the Young European Federalist (JEF), the Federalist intergroup for the European Constitution in the European Parliament and the Federalist intergroup for the European Constitution in the Italian parliament.


A few hundred participants from various groups of civil society from all over Europe are expected to participate.

Speakers of the Citizens Convention include Mercedes Bresso, president of the Region of Piemonte and president of UEF, MEPs Andrew Duff, Monica Frassoni, Jo Leinen, Johannes Voggenhuber. For further details please refer to the programme on the website


The Convention will start on Saturday morning with speeches of personalities from politics, organizations of civil society, enterprises, trade unions and youth organisations. Then, in a symbolic street action young Europeans will criticise President Chirac, Prime Minister Blair and Commission President Barroso who have put the European Constitution into a coffin. Photo and audio opportunities for journalists will be available.


During Saturday afternoon the participants will work in three workshops to discuss the prospects of a re-launch of the constitutional process:

  1. How can Europe meet its responsibilities in the world
  2. An economic and social model for globalisation and sustainable development
  3. Active citizenship in participatory democracy.


On Sunday morning a European Manifesto with the claims of the various representatives of European civil society present in Genoa will be adopted and handed over to the members of the European Parliament.


JEF’s political role at the Citizens Convention

JEF is a key participant in the European Citizens Convention. “Young Europeans will not accept the revival of national self-interest and lack of leadership preventing the European Union to carry out its necessary constitutional reforms” stated Jan Seifert, President of JEF-Europe.

“The time of the intergovernmental Europe of Chirac and Blair is over.”

“JEF demands a more democratic Union which is capable of dealing with the challenges of globalisation. If we do not work together, we will all loose. This is why we are in Genoa to ask for our European Constitution! It is our future that is at stake at the moment” insisted Jan Seifert “we have to claim Europe back from leaders who are incapable of leading at this time!”

“We ask the European Parliament not to surrender to those who want to kill the European Constitution. We urge them to re-launch the constitutional process, listening to the voice of the majority of the citizens. If the governments will not continue the ratification process next year, the European Parliament should demand the election of a Constitutional Assembly made up of representatives of the European Citizens. The result of its deliberations should finally be adopted by a European referendum.”


Contacts for media

The new board of JEF-Europe will be present in Genoa. Media contact for JEF-Europe representatives is Joan Marc Simon, Secretary General of JEF-Europe, mobile +32 495 501 383. Members of the delegation include:

Jan Seifert (speaks German & English), president JEF-Europe (+49 179 390 6054)

Asa Gunven (Swedis), vice-president JEF-Europe

Siri Holland (Norwegian), vice-president JEF-Europe (+47 936 159 45)

Peter Matjasic (Slovenian / Catalan), member of Executive Bureau JEF-Europe

Piia Pappinen (Finnish), member of Executive Bureau JEF-Europe

Samuel Müller (Swiss), member of Executive Bureau JEF-Europe


Emmanuel Vallens (French), member of board JEF-France (+33 6 73 69 75 15)

Nina Busemann (German), vice-president JEF-Germany (via Joan Marc Simon)

Samuele Pii (Italian), president JEF-Italy (via Massimo Contri)

Borut Cink (Slovenian), vice-presidnet of JEF-Slovenia (via Joan Marc Simon)

Tina Fistravec (Slovenian), member of JEF-Europe’s Federal Committee and International Secretary JEF-Slovenia (via Joan Marc Simon)

Toni Gugliano (British), president Young European Movement JEF-UK (via Joan Marc Simon)


For contacts to the local organisers and JEF-Italy please contact Massimo Contri, Secretary General of JEF-Italy (GFE): 328-2770253.


More information is also available on the website  

Pictures and media statements will also be available from Joan Marc Simon on Sunday 4th December.



The Young European Federalists (JEF)

The Young European Federalists (JEF) is a supranational, political pluralistic youth organisation with about 25.000 members in over 35 European countries. The aim of JEF is to work for the creation of a European federation, as a first step towards peace and more free, just and democratic society. Our ideas are spread through international activities and youth exchanges, publications, public actions and co-operation with other youth-organisations. More information can be found at




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