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“Democracy Under Pressure” - Action Week - JEF Europe calls citizens to action

Brussels, March 12, 2018

“Speak up for those who are silenced in Europe - we will not tolerate to see #DemocracyunderPressure any longer”, is the tweet that is spread and shared across Europe on Monday, March 12, 2018.

“We want to emphasize that Europe is a Union of values and that especially young people across Europe are not afraid to speak up for that”, explains Leonie Martin, Vice-President of Young European Federalists ( JEF Europe). This week, JEF Europe and its sections are organising activities under the slogan “Democracy under Pressure”. Street actions, discussion rounds and other activities have been organised by JEFers.

“The dictatorship in Belarus, but unfortunately also recent political developments in countries like Poland or Hungary, where the founding principles of democratic States are gradually eroded, show that democracy and rule of law in Europe are not a given, but need to be cared for by its citizens”, Martin states.

JEF Europe calls on all European citizens to speak up for those who are silenced, by joining the activities of a local JEF section to clap for democracy, virtually with the thunderclap and in real life in many European cities in the week of March 12 - 18, 2018.


Since 2006, JEF Europe has been organising the “Free Belarus Action” to raise awareness about the Lukashenko regime, characterized as the "last dictatorship" in Europe. The threat to democracy is unfortunately not only coming from dictators in post-Soviet states, but from various groups and situations all over the continent. That’s why the “Free Belarus Action” was rebranded in 2014 to the “Democracy under Pressure Action” to include the alarming developments that put pressure on fundamental democratic values such as the freedom of speech and rule of law in several European countries, not only Belarus. The action week aims to draw attention to democratic values systematically being weakened, wants to raise awareness about the situation in several European countries, as well as to show solidarity within our own JEF family.

The Young European Federalists (JEF) Europe is a non-partisan youth NGO active with 13.000  members active in more than 35 countries. The organisation strives towards a federal Europe based on the principles of democracy and subsidiarity as well as respect for human rights. JEF promotes true European Citizenship, and works towards more active participation of young people in democratic life. While the umbrella organisation JEF Europe was founded in 1972, its sections have been operating continuously since the end of the Second World War, making it the oldest pro-European and only federalist youth organisation.

More statements by JEF Europe on the topic

JEF Europe and JEF Poland Joint Statement on the Rule of Law in Poland (December 2017)

JEF Europe and JEF Poland call upon European institutions to defend rule of law  (July 2017)

Commission starts infringement procedure on Hungary: JEF calls for launch of Art. 7 procedure (May 2017)

JEF Europe and AEGEE Europe call upon the European Commission and the European Council to take action towards the Hungarian attacks on the CEU (April 2017)

Open Letter to the President of the Republic of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko (March 2017)

Situation in Poland: JEF Europe calls upon EU national governments to respect core democratic values (March  2016)