Active JEF

Speak Up Europe and European Vibes

Presentation of the campaign

, by George Kipouros

Speak Up Europe and European Vibes

The Speak Up Europe campaign is the largest civil-society-led campaign in the framework of the European Commission’s Plan D on democracy, dialogue and debate. Its aim is to bring the debate on Europe and the challenges it is facing today and tomorrow to all 27 member states and to feed back the inputs to European decision-makers in an efficient and output-oriented manner.

The campaign includes 25 national web–portals under the motive that develop around the “What has Europe Ever done for us” animation; the catchy animated film lists a number of the achievements of the EU and provokes a debate on the work of the EU among the viewers. In addition to the online elements there are also a series of public events organized in the framework of the campaign including debates, seminars, conferences, workshops and think tanks.

The campaign builds on the extensive partnership of five experienced civil-society specialists on European topics and 26 national partners. The project is coordinated on the European level by the European Movement International (EMI) and the main partners are the Young European Federalists (JEF), Fondation Euractiv, the Union of European Federalists (UEF), the European Students’ Forum (AEGEE) and the Centro di Iniziativa Europea (CdIE). In addition to JEF Europe, nine (9) national JEF sections are partners of the Speak Up Europe campaign: JEF Denmark, JEF Germany, JEF France, JEF Greece, JEF Latvia, JEF Lithuania, JEF Malta, JEF Slovenia and JEF Sweden.

The main contribution of JEF Europe to the Speak Up Europe campaign is europeanvibes.

the project

europeanvibes aims at fostering dialogue among young European citizens on those vibes that make up what young Europeans care about today. Europe is exciting, it is interesting, fast-paced and thrilling. Its melodies resonate in our everyday life, the pulse of the united continent can be felt in the streets. Through this project JEF Europe invites young Europeans to talk about the rhythms and harmonies, the beats and the sounds, the steps and the moves of Europe. What vibes are there? What vibes do we want?

europeanvibes are captured using means of modern multimedia technology like digital cameras, sound recorders, graphic design programmes, animation, video and sound mixing software. Most of these tools are nowadays available in every portable phone and personal computer. Submissions will be accepted in all widely known picture, video and audio formats like MP3, Flash, Quicktime etc. These will be collected on the europeanvibes webportal and made accessible to a wide public through events and debates in all EU Member States.

europeanvibes competition

The first part of the project is an online multimedia competition collecting the photo, picture, animation, sound or video file best describing the essence of what Europe means to young people today; a competition for those vibes that you find around you. The online sharing platform at inspired by the technology used by flickr and YouTube serves as showcase for contributions by individuals from all over Europe.

A jury of prominent Europeans including Pat Cox (EMI President, former President of the European Parliament), Claus Sorensen (European Commission), Nuala Morgans (Founder of Café Babel), Surprise prizes await the winners, while the best entries will be awarded an all expense paid trip to Copenhagen for the closing event of the europeanvibes.

europeanvibes tour

In the second phase of the project, the winning contributions of the europeanvibes competition will be exhibited to the European public. The winning visual submissions will be printed on postcards and posters while Mini-DVDs with selected multimedia contributions will be distributed in thousands. The europeanvibes tour will start out with its opening exhibition in the European Union’s capital, Brussels. A series of local events will follow, taking place in all EU member states and coordinated locally by JEF sections. In these events, the outcome of the competition will be presented in an event combining elements of an exhibition and of a political discussion capturing the essence of what European integration means to young people’s lives and what their expectations towards Europe are today and for the future. The closing event and last stop of the europeanvibes tour will be in October in Copenhagen to coincide with the JEF Europe Congress.

europeanvibes think tanks

A series of Think Tank weekends will be organized all over Europe throughout the duration of the project and in parallel to the europeanvibes tour and competition. These aim to exchange best practices and making organisational and political innovations to pursue the overall goals of Plan D and “What has Europe ever done for us?”. Each Think Tank weekend will deal with various political or organisational issues about shaping Europe’s future and the task of connecting Europe to the citizens; topical political questions, communication strategies and innovations in youth work to promote the debate about Europe will be among the focus points to be tackled.

short timeline

24 March 2007: Launch of the project at the JEF Europe Federal Committee meeting coinciding with the 50 years celebration of the Treaty of Rome in Berlin.

March - July 2007: Online competition running, publicity around Europe. Visit

20 July 2007: Deadline for submissions to the europeanvibes competition.

27 – 31 August 2007: Publication of winning sub-missions and opening exhibition of the europeanvibes tour in Brussels

September & October 2007: europeanvibes tour with local events and debates in all member states of the European Union.

27 October 2007: Closing event of the europeanvibes tour at the JEF Europe Congress in Copenhagen.


This article was originally published in the spring edition of The New Federalist, paper version of the magazine of the Young European Federalists (JEF-Europe).

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