My name is Simon Paetzold and I’m a 22 year-old student from Germany. Since 2013, I’ve been active as a board member in the local section of JEF-Münster which is part of JEF Germany. In Münster, I study politics and economics and currently I am at Sciences Po in Lyon for an Erasmus-semester. Having spent a few months in Brussels for an internship this year, I am even more motivated to become active in the Federal Committee of JEF-Europe.
Motivation for the position
I would like to run for a position within the FC 2015-2017 because I want to contribute to the development of JEF as a transnational federalist organization. I have seen from various international seminars as well as FC-Meetings the great potential of JEF as a transnational organization and it is always very enriching to work together with JEFers from other countries. Particularly in today’s world it is crucial that we as Europeans work ever closer together to construct a real political union to live up to the challenges that we face. I want to work within the FC to develop federalist positions for our organization to advance the European idea of cooperation and solidarity. This is why I am applying for a position in the FC 2015-2017.
Since the FC 2014 in Bologna, I have been taking part in the FC-Meetings as an observer and found the Resolution Drafting Process of the PCs very challenging. During the Mandate, I want to contribute especially to the work of PC1 as a chair/vice-chair. I would like to make the resolutions adopted by the FC more visible to the national, regional and local sections to trigger a debate in the general public as well as within our organization.
My Vision of the Future of JEF
In the future, I wish for JEF to keep up and advance the work for a united Europe. We have come a long way already and still the European project is not complete. For the coming two years with the British referendum, the ongoing migrant and refugee crisis and the future architecture of the Economic and Monetary Union, European integration is confronted with great challenges. In this time, JEF has to retain its rather revolutionary spirit under the slogan “simply a generation ahead” and call for the needed steps forward. We as an organization have to find ways to set up a transnational dialogue and cooperation within our network. I hope that the work of the FC will be discussed not just at the European level but also in the local sections. The FC should become with its decisions more responsive to the members so that the FC reflects the organization as a whole and that a dialogue between different levels of JEF can be further strengthened. at the same time I wish for JEF to bring the European idea closer to our fellow citizens. I hope that even more young people will join us to work together for the idea of a United Europe.
My Opinion on the needed Political Commissions and Taskforces/Working Groups
The Political Commissions should focus as they do in the current FC on Institutional Affairs, Internal Affairs, and External Affairs. The EU will be confronted with challenges regarding its institutional setup and JEF should have a strong voice that contributes federalist ideas to this debate. With the Migrant and refugee crisis, the importance of an EU-foreign policy and the continuing economic crisis in Europe the EU is confronted with great challenges internally as well as externally. Therefore, the Political Commissions of Internal and External Affairs need to continue their very productive work to develop JEF’s ideas heard concerning these policy fields. With regard to the Taskforces, the FC should continue focusing its work on establishing links between the national, regional and local sections. The Twinning-Program as a mean to enhance the transnational community of JEFers, as well as organizational advice, which is of great importance to support New and Small Sections should be provided by the European Level. As cooperation between the three FCs, there could be a new task force that works specifically to reach the individual members with the resolutions of the FC.