First Day - JEF Europe Federal Committee in Tartu, Estonia

, by Dvir Aviam Ezra, Veronica Micallef

First Day - JEF Europe Federal Committee in Tartu, Estonia
First day of JEF Europe Federal Committee in Tartu

On the first day of the Federal Committee of JEF Europe in Tartu, Estonia, TNF was there to report from the field, bringing you some main points from the discussions and speeches

Opening speech Xesc Mainzer, Vice President of JEF Europe “The current mandate has peace as a priority." “We are not here to focus on federalising everything: Federalism has been about pacifism, about building everlasting peace. Peace can be framed in 2 ways - negative peace and positive peace and positive peace is particularly about learning to coexist and work together. This is why the European project was born and subsequently federalism was too.”

Benedetta Veneruso, President of JEF Estonia, welcomed the Spring FC participants to Estonia and Tartu stating that “we are at war with fear - fear grows where there is lack of community. We are proving that by coming to Tartu, we are moving away from the Brussels sphere. We found strength in our present vision and our future possibility.”

Amanda Alvesalo, President of JEF Finland “We have very different experiences and backgrounds - but we are very good at cooperation despite our differences” also noting that "I know that deep down we all want the same thing - we want a better EU and we want a better world.”

Jane Õispuu - Deputy head of the European Commission Representation in Estoniainitated a discussion on defense and security and its importance to Estonia. The importance of Eurobonds was highlighted and the establishment of a freshly initiated Defence Commissioner position discussed. Estonia is seen as small but clever country, willing to negotiate and compromise over many issues. Besides defence, cohesion policies are also crucial. Estonia has received a lot of money to ensure that quality of life is good. Single market is important for such a small liberal economy that is Estonia.

Introduction of Resolutions

PC1 (Institutional Affairs and Governance) This Political Commission answers questions on what should EU instills do if member states choose not to follow the rule of law. Discussion on the role of the judiciary and European court of justice, etc. is also conducted.

PC2 - (Internal European Affairs) PC2 have worked on updating the resolution for a more inclusive Europe from Liege as well as doing extensive work on updating the resolution on the Circular Economy. The PC has done an immense amount of work being in contact with Generation Climate Europe, relating to EURHOPE alike. This PC has updated statistics and overviews of relevant directions and actions. PC2 has also included JEF, expressing concerns in the EU still depending on Russian gas and unsustainable resources. Calling for an EU-wide tax reform to improve sustainability is also among one of the top priorities for this Commission.

PC3 (External Affairs and Global Governance) An updated resolution was adopted in the congress in Liege about building world federalism and democratic institutions. Relations have changed and there has been a call for modifications. Regarding international priorities that JEF sees in international relations as well. Huge topic that they tried to merge with values. They want to introduce de-colonial work that was found to be necessary. They don’t want to impose their ideas in terms of world federalism. It was also discussed how the Global South harbours suspicion towards eurocentrism and the West which concentrates on domestic foreign policy. Many non-democratic nations are to increase their powers that did not have before such as Russian presence in Africa.

Discussion on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process: There is pain and danger, fear and justified hatred surrounding this topic. During the six calls the commission did, they saw that there are things they can agree on - peace, dignity, and respect. They cannot and will not overlook human suffering. They drew boundaries between justified and unjustified conducts.

Following the presentations of the resolutions, the participants engaged in an activity surrounding Eurhope - and discussed emerging youth proposals for improving the EU in seven different groups dealing with varying topics and coming up with potential amendments.

JEF Europe’s Vice President Martin Penov then led the award ceremony for Democracy Under Pressure where various JEF sections were given awards for exemplary action. Notably, TNF won the prize for “The Best Campaign”. Thank you for all those readers and writers who engaged with our campaign and participated in an initiative that is crucial!

After the conclusion of the activity, the political commissions began internal informal debates, after which at 11PM, the participants retired to explore the bustling nightlife of Tartu.

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