I am Simon, a 24 years old passionate European from Ypres, Belgium, currently living and working in Wildau, close to Berlin, Germany. I speak four languages (NL-FR-DE-EN), studied accounting and tax law at the bachelor’s level in Belgium and then completed a double master’s degree in management and European affairs in Germany and France.
I am a member of the Junge Europäische Bewegung Berlin-Brandenburg (‘JEF Berlin’), and actively participate in the work of JEF-Europe’s Task Force on Finances and Funding. Next to this, I represent JEF-Europe in the Strategic Network on Funding of the European Youth Forum.
Motivation for the position:
I am very grateful for having had the chance to participate in different events and seminars organized by JEF. This hasn’t just supported me to develop my political views on Europe, but being a JEF member also helped me to develop my personality – not to mention that I met my girlfriend at a JEF seminar! I am therefore incredibly motivated to give something back to the JEF community!
I know that combining accounting, tax law, management and European affairs at university is a bit weird, but I do like all of these topics. As Treasurer of JEF, competencies in all of these fields are important, which makes the position very appealing to me.
Due to the excellent work of the current Treasurer and Secretary General, the financial situation of JEF-Europe is good, as our funding applications for the Erasmus+ programme and the European Youth Foundation were very successful. However, on the long term, the key challenge for JEF’s finances will be the diversification of funding. Next to this, I would like to think about how we can make sure all of our members have equal access to JEF events financially.
My Vision of the Future of JEF:
I have developed four key tresorial priorities for JEF in the next two years:
Sustainability: I would like to further concretize the funding diversification initiatives that have been taken during the last two years, such as the merchandising project. Next to this, I would like to work on a concrete list of potential partners that could support JEF financially.
Solidarity: it is crucial that all JEF members have equal access to JEF events: we should explore the possibilities to diversify participation fees and give more scholarships to participants with limited financial means. This must not lead to higher participation fees for well-off participants. Increasing the solidarity with national/regional/local JEF sections must also be explored so that strategic objectives of JEF-Europe can be met.
Supportiveness: we need to make sure that information on funding programmes and their requirements are transmitted to national/regional/local JEF sections. Next to this, concrete input on how to apply for funding and financial management must be given to the sections.
Straight: JEF-Europe should continue to make sure its financial management is carried out correctly, keeping in mind the continuously changing fiscal framework. Next to this, the financial guidelines of JEF-Europe must be reviewed and rules on how to deal with donations must be developed.
My Opinion on the needed Political Commissions and Taskforces/Working Groups (What should be the Political Commissions and Taskforces/Working Groups for the Mandate 2015-2017 and Why?)
The Task Force on Finances and Funding should be kept active so that the priorities laid out above can be concretized and put into practice. Not only the directly elected FC and EB members of JEF-Europe should participate in the work of the Task Force, but also representatives of national/regional/local sections are encouraged to take part in its work.