On Peace Day, 21st of September JEFers across Europe took to the streets to state their demand for a Single European Foreign Policy that would untie the hands of the EU. With signs demanding “Let Europe act for Peace – Single European Policy now!”, JEFers symbolised the inability of Europe to act for peace by handcuffing themselves. JEF´s pan-European public action took place simultaneously in Paris, Verona, Strasbourg, Bern, Prague, Skopje, Geneva, Belgrade, Brussels and other places across Europe.
In Macedonia for example, the protest was staged for over 12 hours right in front of the EU representation office. In Switzerland JEF campaigned against the neutrality principle that hinders Switzerland to take part in shaping the world of tomorrow and even managed to get a meeting with the state secretary of foreign affairs to express their demands.
JEF also sent its message to every member of the European Parliament and all member states governments to make its demand for a Europe that can act for peace and moves away from short sighted nationalism. Going jointly to the streets in numerous cities across all of Europe, JEF stated its demand loud and clear – just as Europe could if allowed to speak with a single voice.
Global peace and justice can not be achieved over night. But the creation of a single European foreign policy is only dependent on political will and could be implemented without delay – for example by the adoption of the European constitution. Clearly Europe’s leaders are not prepared to untie the hands of the EU to let it be a strong global actor for peace and justice. This is why civil society movements, especially the federalists, must show how to do it and what the consequences are if failing to do so.
Finally, us young people must be prepared to fight for a world governed by peace, multilateralism and international law, and show the way forward when our political leaders fail to do so!
In order to see how the different actions looked like, check out the picture gallery of JEF-Europe.