“People first, Brexit later - or better yet, never” - JEF Europe and YEM UK announce intensified twinning programme

Brussels/London/Europe. June 23, 2018

“Europe is more than legal documents, regulations and budget contributions - Europe is about people. The future of Europe lies on the shoulders of our generation. That is why, from today onwards, our network is strengthening these European ties by connecting young Europeans from the UK with the rest of Europe”, declares Emma FARRUGIA, Member of the Executive Board of JEF Europe.

Today, the Young European Federalists (JEF Europe) and its member organisations bring the human aspect back to the story of the UK’s place in Europe. Whether Brexit actually happens at all or not, from June 23, all local branches of the Young European Movement UK have a twinning partner with a European sister branch in another European country.

“Young people from Helsinki, Paris, Gdansk, Dublin, Amsterdam, Brussels and many more cities and regions are from now on directly working together with those in Essex, Aberdeen, Durham, London and others”, shares Farrugia from Malta. The twinning programme of JEF Europe allows young Europeans to live Europe through discussions, exchange visits and many more activities. “This creates many exciting opportunities for young people in the UK to further get to know other young Europeans”.

“While Britain’s leaders are turning their backs on Europe, we are building bridges. Not only do we want to Stop Brexit, but we also want to ensure that the UK is genuinely a European country. We do that by proudly playing an active role in our Europe-wide network – not least on this symbolic day”,  Juuso JÄRVINIEMI, President of Young European Movement UK, continues.

The twinning activities that start today do not stop the enthusiastic activists: Young European Movement UK members will participate in the grand March for a People’s Vote in London. At the march, tens of thousands of citizens will demand a vote for the people on the final Brexit deal.


More information about JEF Europe

The Young European Federalists (JEF) Europe is a non-partisan youth NGO 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.

Similar to the concept of sister city programs, the programme pairs up two or three different local sections of the JEF Europe network with each other. The implementation of the twinning programme varies from online debates over to trips. Inspired by the twinning connections initiated on a grassroots level, the Twinning Programme by JEF Europe was formally established in 2013. This is the first time that all local branches of a country have been paired up in the twinning programme.


More information about Young European Movement UK

Young European Movement UK (YEM UK) is the British national section of JEF Europe. Established in 1972, it promotes European unity in the United Kingdom. In the context of Brexit, it has become known for not only combatting Brexit, but for also making a positive case for the UK’s membership of the EU. The organisation provides a platform for discussions on the future of Europe beyond the question of Brexit, international exchanges, as well as Brexit-related activism.


List of twinnings

Aberdeen - Helsinki

Cambridge + Hertfordshire - Dublin

Canterbury - Amsterdam

Durham - Hamburg

Edinburgh - Aalborg

Essex - Brussels

London - Paris (already established)

Sheffield - Frankfurt

Warwick - Gdansk


Contact information

Emma Farrugia, Member of the Executive Board


+356 7955 8367