, by Dvir Aviam Ezra, Veronica Micallef

Photo from the second day of JEF Europe FC in Tartu

On the second day of the Spring Federal Committee in Tartu, the New Federalist reports from a long day full of various events. Although many detailed discussions were held from morning up until evening, we bring to you an abbreviated summary of the day.

Yesterday, JEF Europe strongly outlined its priorities and advocacy for 2024 as part of an activity report by the Executive Board and the secreteriat. Particular importance is dedicated to the European Parliament elections taking place this year, treaty change and enlargement, representation and media. In regards to campaigns, JEF Europe has dedicated its efforts towards Democracy Under Pressure and now the Europe What If Campaign, along with many other engaging projects and actions. The Secretariat then presented a speech outlining the actions and plans that JEF Europe puts into motion to adhere to the expectations of donors, maintaining political images and writing proposals so that JEF can continue to maintain its financial standing. The activities of the Executive Board, elected only half a year ago, have included 235 representation engagements in events physical and online, 9 online meetings and 6 physical meetings.

JEF Europe’s Secretary General Judit Lantai, who served for the past 2 years gave her touching farewell speech after we returned from lunch. “We are all leaders here… As a general practice it is good for all of us to be accountable leaders, as I also always tried to be. To do this I would say it’s important to practice self-reflection. I am proud of my achievements and have delivered on my promises,” Judit shared with us. As the first female Secretary General in 20 years, she stated: “I’m breaking the wall,” encouraging JEF Europe to host much gender diversity in the Executive Board so that no one could ever keep track of the roles and genders that have been represented. “Keep gender mainstreaming and feminism high on the agenda - the future of Europe and the world depends on it.” Judit rounded off her inspiring farewell speech with a quote by Margaret Mead; “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world - indeed it only ever has.” We wish Judit the best of success on all of her future endeavours!

One of the heartwarming parts of the day was the presentation of candidate sections and interest groups. New Candidate sections are JEF Georgia and JEF Ukraine which are making rapid progress towards full membership. Further, there are new interest groups seeking to join JEF in Cyprus, Lithuania, Moldova and Turkiye. Interestingly, JEF is also engaging with Potential Interest groups composed of activists interested in establishing new sections in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia Herzgovina, and Iceland

The financial situation and membership fees of JEF Europe, as well as the launching of a monitoring prcoedure against an inactive section to help it restart activities and involvment in the wider network, were also discussed in lively arguments by the participants. Arguments dealt with different financial approaches and the desired role of JEF Europe for the network.

Further on, the participants were invited to join Task Force sessions, where discussions were held which fostered thought-provoking exchanges and the chance for everyone to contribute their ideas to JEF Europe for consideration and implementation. The Task Force sessions were held on the respective topics of empowerment and diversity, communication, capacity building, and civic education. During the sessions on Capacity Building for instance, the group was asked to discuss their wellbeing as volunteers in JEF and whether there are any good practices they would like to be seen put into place?” Erwan Laurent shared the importance JEF France takes in terms of mental health amidst heightened levels of pressure. Tiberia Cercea stated that we should share responsibilities in our respective Executive Boards to make it more efficient.

Wrapping up the events of the day, attendants were divided into groups once again to look into proposed amendments to the JEF Resolutions, with votes being cast. A special guest from Ramallah, Palestine has attended the session of the PC3 and presented the vision of his organisation, “The Federal Forum”, for a federalist peace solution in the Middle East. Following this, a lively discussion of several details in the resolution, by far the most contentious in the FC, took place. Items included the definition of terrorist organisations, and the introduction of several amendments by JEF Germany.

Following the sessions, the participants had dinner in a traditional Estonian Restaurant, and after which the social highlight of the day was a party in an Estonian Spa.

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