[Press Release] Youth Representatives Adopt Citizens Constitution for EuropeCategory: News, Press Release
The European Youth Convention's 150 Members produce a grand vision for the continent overcoming the flaws of the current European Union.
Strasbourg, 12 March 2017 – They want to fix the European Union:
150 representatives of youth organisations from 38 countries have adopted a Citizen’s Constitution at the European Youth Convention (EYC) in Strasbourg. The event applied an advanced, consensus maximising methodology and took place from Thursday to Sunday at the European Parliament and the Regional Council. Organisers are the Young European Federalists (JEF), a non-partisan youth NGO with 30,000 activists across Europe.
In the constitution, the EYC Members present their vision for a better Europe: a fully developed democratic state capable of delivering for its citizens. "The European Youth Convention tells decision-makers across the continent: we need change! The youth wants to empower the European Union and at the same time make it more accountable", said Jérôme Quéré, President of JEF France.
By drafting the text, the youth representatives tackled many of the EU's pressing problems, among others:
- The migration crisis would be solved by a common EU asylum system, distributing refugees according to the capacities of states.
- A European Agency for Cyber Protection would fight internet crime and fake news.
- A European Foreign Minister, EU Embassies and a European army would ensure that the Union finally acts united on the world stage.
Furthermore, the delegates took a stance on the current integration debate. They safeguarded the freedom of movement and rejected any further options of opt-outs for member states. Additionally, they declared EU citizenship open to all inhabitants "provided that they commit to respect and promote the EU’s values and rights".
While the EYC Citizens Constitution gives the EU more powers, it also increases its democratic legitimacy and accountability: The Union transforms into a federation of states, whose government would be controlled by a European Parliament and a European Senate, the latter replacing the European Council.
The EYC took a fresh approach to developing a constitution. Jérôme Quéré explains: "The past years of EU politics have been based on the least common denominator, causing nationalism to spread. In contrast, the European Youth Convention aimed for a maximum commitment by and consensus among its members. That is why we have partnered with the Malik Institute, whose social technology Syntegration® brought about just that; it enabled participants to produce the Citizens Constitution in highly inclusive spirit."
The Young European Federalists designed the European Youth Convention as the starting point of a comprehensive debate on the future of Europe. They appointed 16 participants to EYC Ambassadors to advocate the Constitution in their countries and organisations. Furthermore, JEF will present the event's results to the civil society at the Etats Généraux de l'Europe in Lille on 18 March, as well as at the March for Europe in Rome on 25 March.