Jacopo BARBATI

About Me
I was born in 1988 in Pescara (Italy), where I currently live. I am a physicist. I’ve been active in JEF since 2006. In 2007, I founded JEF Pescara and I was elected as an FC member of JEF-Europe (position held until 2011). Within JEF-Europe, I’ve been chairing the working group on activism (2009-2011), the political commission on internal European affairs (2011-2013), and co-chairing the task-force on finances and fundraising (2013-2015). I’ve participated to more than 20 international JEF events, including seminars, trainings, FC meetings and congresses. Within JEF Italy, I’ve been part of the FC since 2007 and of the EB since 2009, where I currently hold the position of international officer. I’ve been a delegate of JEF Italy at the 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013 and 2015 JEF Europe’s congresses.

Motivation for the position
As said during my last speech while candidating as an FC member, “the federalist battle is the battle of my life”. Some years have passed and this remains true, and I think it’ll be forever true. Since I’ve known JEF, I’ve been an activist, and after so many years of activism at local, national and also international level, that gave me a lot in terms of consciousness and knowledge both of the world around me and of myself, I think that it is the right time to pay back. I believe to have the right experience and ripeness, in this period of my life, to help the organization to face the challenges of these interesting times which we’re currently living in.

My Vision of the Future of JEF
The economical crisis, since 2008, and more recently the issues of immigration towards Europe and the one on the relations between Greece and the rest of the EU, have brought into the European public debate the limits of the current EU, thus that it is clear that it has to be reformed. The problem is that, more or less everywhere in Europe, the debate has been dominated by conservative-nationalist forces that advocates for the disaggregation of the UE while us, the federalists advocating for a further integration towards a federation, have been left more or less voiceless in the debate. We need to exploit the momentum given by this historical period and try to penetrate deeper into this debate Europe-wide. In order to achieve such a result, I think that JEF should work on 3 steps.

Step 0: enhancing the organization by:
– supporting national/local sections in the recruitment processes: by means of developing a recruitment campaign at European level and/or by helping local sections in developing their own recruitment campaigns;
– strengthening JEF’s presence in the whole Continent: the fight for the European Federation must be fought all over Europe and not only in some Countries, but currently JEF appears to be under-represented in some European regions;
– promoting pan-European and inter-regional inter/actions: as a direct consequence of the aforementioned reasons, the cooperation between national/local sections should be stimulated, especially for  what concerns the debate. “Building bridges” has been a good example of a project that goes in this direction and it should be proposed again;
– making sure that every local section has access to educational materials (books, pamphlets, also in electronic format) on federalism theories, on the current state of the EU and explaining why we need a federation. We are the “Young European Federalists” and therefore, every member should be aware of what it means;
– making sure that every section can exploit as well as possible their own possibilities for funding and fundraising, by developing a plan at European level and then supporting local section in the implementation.

Step 1: enhancing political discussion and production by:
– creating a new platform for political discussions: currently, political discussions within JEF are being held mostly on Facebook, which is not a platform designed for such activities, it is exclusive (who is not registered cannot participate) and there are privacy issues as well. The creation of an intranet would help a better organization and development of political discussions;
– stimulating the debate: the EB and the PC chairs should be responsible for feeding the debates, starting new threads of discussion at least on weekly basis, participating to these discussions and making sure that every section is involved;
– helping the political commissions: we need the right resolutions on the right topics at the right moment in time. The EB should make sure that every section is involved in the policy-making process, by asking to every national section to designate a national responsible for the debate and the political production. Physical meetings of PCs should be promoted also outside of FC meetings, if possible, and also altogether with UEF’s PCs, as it has been already done. The EB should provide to the PCs a list of topics for which a new resolution is needed, in order to develop a coherent set of resolutions over the time. The submission and revision of resolutions to be discussed during a physical meeting of a PC should be optimized, in order to have a better management of the time;
– promoting the drafting, every 6 months, of a report which gives clear federalist answers to current issues being debated all over Europe: some examples could be the Euro, EU’s economic policies or the issue of the immigration in Europe. That report would be accessible to everyone, also for those who are outside the JEF’s network, and could be used to break into different levels of the civil society.

Step 2: enhancing communication of the results by:
– developing new communication strategies: the modern communication is based a lot on the visual communication, Instagram is going to be the social network of the near future and we need to find a way to communicate something through specific images (infographics);
– transforming some motions in petitions, therefore leaving our network and asking direct citizens’ support;
– promoting JEF’s public image by means of a new merchandising project;
– creating local ‘editorial offices” (where missing) for the network of “Le Taurillon”, and reinforcing the translation system.

My Opinion on the needed Political Commissions and Taskforces/Working Groups
I think that the current configuration should stay unchanged. As said before, much effort should be put into the PCs (step 1) and in TFs like the ones on finances and sections (step 0), visual identity (step 2). One bad point I’ve noticed during my years of activism is that some PCs or TFs have low participation outside FC meetings. I think that this could be overcome by asking to national sections to appoint one responsible for the PCs and for the TFs.

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