JEF-Europe Press Release – 13.06.2007 – for immediate release
Young people expect more from Europe: Today the Young European Federalists (JEF-Europe) are sending a demand letter to Chancellor Merkel, all European governments, the Commission President, the European Parliament President and the sherpas (those known) to ask them not to castrate the European Constitution. On 16 June, their demands will be backed up by a pan-European action in support of a European referendum.
JEF Europe’s president, Jan Seifert, firmly rejected the idea of a mini-compromise. “If anything in the Constitution must be changed, then it is that we need supplementary articles creating closer integration to solve pressing challenges like immigration, energy security and climate change.”
The JEF President continued: “Young people in Europe are tired of governments sacrificing the Constitution in domestic political games. After decades of patchwork, we finally got a Constitution that provides more democratic and efficient institutions, codified fundamental rights and a framework understandable to the citizens. Why boil the balanced compromise from the Convention down to nothing?” Seifert asked the governments.
“The Convention-method was the right step to involve the citizens and parliamentarians in amending the current constitutional texts of the European Union – the Treaties. This basic democratic right to participate in such an important matter may not be sacrificed for old-style “behind-closed-doors” negotiations, neither by sherpas nor in an IGC. We do not need another IGC to result in a minimum compromise as it happened with the Nice Treaty,” explained Seifert.
JEF is living up to its words. On 16 June, JEF’s network of 35 000 activists will spread across the streets of European cities to collect signatures supporting a referendum on the Constitution. This pan-European action is part of the “Let the European People Decide” campaign, which demands a pan-European consultative ballot on the European Constitution on the same day as the European elections in 2009. (www.europeanreferendum.eu)
More information and pictures from the referendum day action will be available on www.jef.eu on Sunday, 17 June.