I just started working for the European Commission in Brussels. During my Master’s in International Relations and European Public Affairs, I had stays in Germany, France and Argentina. Having also worked and lived in other parts of Europe, I feel profoundly European. Since 2009, I’ve been involved in the work of JEF and UEF at many levels of the organizations: As president and board member, my focus has been on local and regional sections in Germany as well as Franco-German cooperation, before I got more engaged at the national and European level. Most prominently, I organized a pan-European negotiation simulation on a modern day Elysée-Treaty in 2013 (Elysée 2.0 -Vertrag(en) leicht gemacht!). During the last two years, I’ve been mainly engaged in the Political Commission on Internal European Policy and grew very fond of it. Realizing how much you can achieve for Europe by getting engaged in JEF was extremely rewarding and so I keep striving to make Europe a better place on a human level.
Motivation for the position
The more I got engaged, the more my enthusiasm for JEF has grown over the years. Encouraged by many highly stimulating international gatherings and having put a lot of energy in the PC2 for the last two years, I feel that I can effectively contribute to its work. Building on the experience and knowledge that I gained, as well as the PC’s track record, I want to maintain continuity of the great work done so far and challenge ourselves to do an even better job. This motivates me to dedicate myself to the FC for the next two years. I am especially motivated to help JEF in defining its political agenda. Working on our federalist ideas and coming up with concrete solutions everyone can grasp is key to JEF’s mission. I want to render this challenging activity more inclusive and effective: I will thus commit to improving the internal and external communication and linking the work of the PC closer to the EB, while opening up the discussions for a broader public. We need to aim at reaching out to Europe’s youth with a more articulate social media approach as well as with direct exchanges (conferences, seminars, street action etc.). Amplifying JEF’s messages and improving coherence on different levels is key to the success of our work.
My Vision For the Future of JEF
If you want to build a ship, teach people to long for the sea – JEF is destined to nurture this longing for the prosperous ship of Europe! Through ideas and actions alike. We have a great track record of pushing federalism and being a generation ahead – 60 years and counting! But Europe is about never contenting oneself with what has been achieved, and so is JEF. As a platform for continuous exchange and dialogue between the diverse members, subsidiarity and inclusion are guiding principles – they are what makes JEF so rich. FC and EB can better coordinate actions and address ideas and concerns from all over Europe. When harsh winds beset Europe, JEF needs to brace itself and be more vocal to get our messages across. Articulating clearly and with passion what we stand for goes hand in hand with concrete actions like seminars, conferences and demonstrations for democracy, freedom and federalism. Nationalism is on the rise and Europe doesn’t look good. It is crisis-struck and facing internal and external threats. We need a united Europe more than ever and not effectively increasing our visibility is not an option. We need pervasive communication and push social media outreach way further. Stepping up cooperation with other like-minded organizations is vital to get more public attention, but also to push JEF’s financial diversification. We must continue to be a strong and young voice in EMI and UEF. By connecting the various levels and sections of JEF, we need to help especially the new and small sections. Programmes like the twinning of sections will only help to strengthen our JEF spirit. With an accountable, inclusive and transparent leadership, we are a strong actor in campaigning for a federal Europe. We are the ones who must stir the debates and provide innovative platforms for shaping the future of our continent.
My Opinion on the needed Political Commissions and Taskforces/Working Groups
As to the Taskforces, most of the current ones should be retained, while the importance of current crises and the increased need for media attention calls for stronger action in these fields:
Rapid-action body dealing with imminent threats to European unity (Grexit/Brexit/ Refugee-Crisis etc.). Responsible for elaborating and mobilizing short-term action on issues of utmost importance to JEF and Europe.
A body responsible for improving the external image of JEF and for getting JEF the much-needed attention it deserves in pan-European debates.
Small and new sections
A body responsible for giving assistance to small sections and the development of new sections.
Partnerships and network
A body responsible for developing new partnerships and deepening existing ones.
Body focusing on improving our internal communication culture by furthering modern communication tools and developing ideas on how internal debates should be structured. It will also focus on holding statutory meetings more efficiently and pleasantly by working on clear and easy-to-follow rules of procedure.
Fund-raising and finances
Body to work on short- and long-term strategies for ensuring the financial sustainability of JEF. Focusing on the potential for increasing efficiency as well as endeavouring new funds should be on an equal footing. The Political Commissions of JEF fulfil their purpose of nurturing the debates and should thus continue to look like this:
Institutions and governance
Platform to discuss the ever more apparent multi-speed Europe as well as core issues including economic government, legitimacy and institutional reform.
Internal European policy
Platform to discuss internal EU policies to come up with federalist-inspired solutions for social and youth issues of concern to our society.
External affairs and global Europe
Platform to discuss external EU Policies and to come up with federalist-inspired solutions