Speaking up about Europe

20 June 2018 | How to kill two birds with one stone and empower young people who are passionate about Europe by giving them skills and knowledge? Organise a book club!

JEF Brussels organised a small event with the aim to have deep discussion around the five topics that are part of the Enjoy Your Future project (youth, employment, integration, borders and criminal organisations). A book club seemed the best format for this: a small group, books and articles to give the background knowledge, and the opportunity for all participants to speak up and voice their ideas about Europe. 

To encourage participants to speak up, we organised a little competition in which we gave a little prize for the best interventions by participants on each of the five topics. This inspired participants to keep talking about Europe, also beyond this event, now that they were strengthened by knowledge and skills. 

Do you want to be part of the next book club? Follow the JEF Brussels’ Facebook Page to stay tuned about upcoming events.

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European Youth Event (EYE2018)

It won’t be easy to summarise how wonderful and exciting this third edition of European Youth Event was! More than 8000 young people from all around Europe ?, more than 300 JEF members, proudly wearing our green and blue colours and debating the need for a Federal Europe! There is no greater feelings than to realise that your fight is shared by so many others! Thank you to all who made #EYE2018 possible, to all the people we were lucky to meet and share moments with  If anything,this event reminded us that young people are the future of this project and if tomorrow our institutions would be made of these young people, we can rest assured that the European Union will be in good hands!  #JEFSpirit

 

United in Diversity
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Europe, would you be my valentine?

14 February 2018 | Spending time with your significant other on Valentine’s day? That’s what we did! We <3 Europe 

Instead of spending time having a nice dinner, drinking some wine and eating amazingly delicious Belgian chocolates, JEF Brussels came up with a better way to spend Valentine’s day: a training on how to spread the love for Europe on social media.

Social media expert Laurens Soenen explained the participants what the different algorithms used by social media websites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn are and how to make the best use of them. The aim of the event was to learn how the EU should brand itself when informing and involving citizens on its policies concerning youth, employment, integration, borders and criminal organisations. 

After that, we also had a brief informal discussion on those different topics on which the EU should better communicate to its citizens.

This event was part of the Enjoy Your Future Project, more information can be found on the Facebook page here.

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Belgium vs Europe: The Battle of Federalism

7 February 2018 | It’s still more than a year before the European elections in May 2019, but it is never too early to discuss the future of European integration.

In the framework of the Enjoy Your Future Project, JEF Brussels organised a debate with two expert speakers to discuss the differences between European and Belgian federalism and how they can be examples for each other. Leonie Martin, Vice-president of the Young European Federalists (JEF Europe), explained the main features and benefits of European federalism and compared it to the current structure of the EU. Karel Reybrouck, PhD researcher in Belgian Constitutional Law, continued the debate with setting out the structure of Belgian federalism with all its specificities (oh yes – there are (too) many of them!). 

There was a lively discussion about whether a federal structure could be a solution to the problems the EU is facing or not, whether the EU should integrate more, which policy areas should get priority, and whether the EU should expand to other European countries.

Interested in debates like this? See you at the next event!

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Gute Morgen Brüssel!

31 January 2018 | Visitors in Brussels! An exciting field trip of 60 German youngsters was the perfect time to inspire them to transform their ideas for the future of Europe into concrete recommendations.

We promoted the Enjoy Your Future game as a basis for discussions on different European topics. We mainly discussed the themes youth and employment, because the German participants were finishing their year of voluntary civil service and it fitted well with their background.

We also organised a quiz on these topics to kick off the event with a playful tone to encourage active participation of the citizens.

Follow this page to keep track of the latest Enjoy Your Future events (and much more)!

 

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New Year, New Projects for Europe

On January 11, JEF Brussels gathered for the first social event of the year. On this occasion we thought that – since a huge turnout was expected – it would be the perfect moment to introduce the Enjoy Your Future project. Indeed it was, and Ine Tollenaers took the lead explaining to attending youngsters what the game was, why it was so important to give it a try, and how to get involved in the project and European politics in general.

JEF Brussels team also got involved to cover more grounds and we managed to use the project as a good way to bring on board many young people.

There were no doubts this mix of social event and innovative project was a win. Many of the interested ones started play the quiz right on the spot and it created insightful debates amongst them.

The event was a success and we were very happy to spread the game during our event. A cooperation that we would be glad to renew in the near future!

Luke Brown
JEF Brussels Treasurer

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What does the future look like? Have your say! #enjoyyourfuture

We are young and we have our whole future ahead of us. In order to enjoy it to the fullest, we need policies adapted to our needs. But how can we achieve this? Often enough our political participation is limited to voting once every couple of years. Do you feel unable to reach decision-makers, get your voice heard and shape your own future? The Enjoy Your Future project is here for you!

Looking at the world around us, we see the European project shaken by Brexit, nationalist pressures, walls that are being built, terrorism and different crises. What does the young generation of Europeans think about these issues and which solutions do they propose?

The Enjoy Your Future project is all about finding out the answers to these questions. In the first step of the project, we will gather the opinions of Europeans between 15 and 35 years old about different hot topics on the European (and national) level: borders, migration, youth, criminal organisations, employment and integration. To make this more exciting and fun, we developed a game! Click here to play.

In the second and third step, it is time for the young generation of Europeans to step up and take a leading role! We will organise meetings to analyse the results of the game and come up with proposals for policies that can be implemented on the national and European level. In the final step of the project, the results will be presented to the general public and the European and local decision-makers.

JEF Belgium is a partner in the Enjoy Your Future project, together with ACMOS Italy, JEF Italy, JEF France, and AEGEE Hungary. This project is funded by the European Commission.

Play the game here.

More information and updates on the JEF Belgium and the Enjoy Your Future Facebook page.

The #enjoyyourfuture project team during the kick-off meeting in Turin

 

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Enjoy Your Future project kick-off in Belgium

The Enjoy Your Future project was kicked off in Belgium, Leuven to be more precise, on the 3rd of December 2017 during the JEF Belgium Training Days. The last day of the training days was the perfect time to unwrap some early Christmas presents: a game, upcoming debates and consultations with the decision-making levels – all about the future of Europe.

To be fair, we were all quite exhausted – proof of that in the picture below. In our defence, it was early on a Sunday morning after two exciting but exhausting training days. Despite the tiredness, our public was happy to hear that this would provide for a real opportunity to influence decision making.

Interested in the Enjoy Your Future project? Play the game here and read the article about the project on our website.

More information and updates on the JEF Belgium and the Enjoy Your Future Facebook page.

Ine Tollenaers presenting the Enjoy Your Future project to the Training Days’ participants

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Ventotene Seminar 2017

Ventotene Seminar – JEF Belgium

From September 3rd to 8th, more than 150 JEFers gathered in Ventotene, a small island on the Italian coast, for the 34th edition of the Ventotene Seminar. The Altiero Spinelli Institute, with the help of JEF Italy, organised this said “milestone in a JEFer’s life” bringing together young Italians, Europeans, as well as people from other regions of the world to learn, debate, discuss, meet and go further with the idea of a European federation.

Indeed, Altiero Spinelli, founding father of the “European federalism” was exiled as an anti-fascist opponent on the island of Ventotene; and it’s on this island that, in 1941 he wrote with Ernesto Rossi the “Manifesto for a free and united Europe”, better known as the “Manifesto of Ventotene”.

What’s my advice to JEFers after one week on this inspiring island lost off the coast of Italy? , The “Ventotene’s Manifesto” should be your bedside book and you should apply for the 35th edition of the Ventotene Seminar as soon as possible!

Marine Betrancourt
Communication Officer at JEF Europe

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Federalist Academy 2017

From July 7th to July 9th, the third edition of The Federalist Academy – organised by the Union of European Federalists – took place in Brussels. Happening every year around the beginning of summer, the Academy is a training event aimed at members who are looking to develop their capabilities as activists and are committed to work on strengthening their JEF/UEF sections.

 

The first edition in Bruges broadly focused on the skills that every federalist activist should possess to lead their UEF or JEF section to success, both internally and externally. The second edition, held in Brussels, delved into the specifics of activism and advocacy, with lectures and workshops covering both the theoretical aspects of federalism as well as effective campaigning and lobbying strategies.

This year’s edition focused on Political Communication with a wide-ranging program aimed at improving activists’ skills in all aspects of communication activities. You can find more information on this year’s programme, along with the presentations of the speaker and pictures from the weekend, on the dedicated page of the UEF website.

“Once again this Federalist Academy was a major success. Its brilliant organisation and inspiring speakers make it 48 hours that you definitively don’t regret”, Martin Maréchal, President of JEF Belgium, who took part in this year’s edition.

Our Secretary General, Sebastiano Putoto, took part in the Academy as a participant in 2015, and then as a speaker in the 2016 and 2017 edition. This year he held, with Valery-Xavier from UEF France, a workshop on the best practices in political communication from JEF and UEF sections. The main message was that there isn’t really ‘one size that fits all’; it really depends on which audience you’re trying to reach, and what objectives you’re trying to pursue. You cannot use the same tools to run an awareness campaign and to reach out to potential new members.

“I’ve been lucky enough to see the Federalist Academy evolve over the past three years, and the federalists that participated with me across the years have all taken up the challenge of actively engaging in JEF, either at European, national or local level”.

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