On Saturday, December 3rd, at the Press Club of Rue Froissart in Brussels, three different European federalist movements decided to work as one: Stand up for the United States of Europe, the European Federalist Party and United States of Europe Now. The three movements agreed and voted the same program and bylaws in order to integrate their organizations into a single European movement calling for a Federal Europe based on more powerful and democratic institutions.
With the presence of more than 150 people from all over Europe a new organization, called ‘Stand up for Europe’ was launched and a new board was elected with Richard Laub as President, Pietro de Matteis as Vice-President and Bálint Gyévai as Secretary General.
The opening of the event was honoured by Natalia Gherman, former deputy prime minister of Moldova, Ambassador & Candidate of the Republic of Moldova for the position of the UN Secretary General, who emphasized the importance of the EU in stabilizing and uniting the continent.
A bit of history
The European Federalist Party was founded on Sunday 6th November 2011, when the Parti Fédéraliste and Europe United joined their forces to create the European Federalist Party. Following the 1st Federal Convention that took place in Paris on November 5th-6th the governing board of the new party was composed by Pietro De Matteis (co-president), Yves Gernigon (co-president), Hélène Feo (vice-president), Jan Van Arkel (vice-president) and Nico Segers (treasurer). On Sunday November 6th the members of the Convention adopted the Statute of the Party: that was the beginning of a long journey! With the crisis at its worst, the European Federalist Party successfully led a pan-European campaign to show solidarity to the Greek people. The campaign under the title: “We are all Greeks, we are all Europeans!” was run in cooperation with several civil society organisations from all over Europe.
One year later, during the 2nd Federal Convention a major milestone was set: the Manifesto of the European Federalist Party was drafted and adopted. The Manifesto has been the basis to develop the European Programme for the European Parliament elections in 2014 through a participatory process open to all our members around Europe. Despite the crisis the European Federalist Party continued to grow and it is currently represented in most European countries. As the awareness that only a federal Europe could help Europe to quickly exit the crisis, a new campaign was lunched. This new campaign with the title “The Crisis is Over: if you want it” gained wide coverage Europe-wide.
Another campaign that the European Federalist Party led with great motivation has been the campaign to “Save Erasmus!” to defend the Erasmus Programme put at risk by the cuts to the European Union budget proposed by the Member States of the European Union in 2013.
The 3rd Federal Convention that took place in Brussels on November 9th-10th and marked the launch of the European campaign for the European Parliament Elections! It’s now up to you to write our history!
The Early days
When France and the Netherlands voted down the “Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe” better known as the “European Constitution” in 2005 many Europeans started to question how to move forward. Europe was clearly losing its citizens. The European project as thought by its founding fathers was increasingly distant from its citizens, too technical, uninspiring, incomprehensible.
It is in those days that the first we can find the first steps towards what is today the European Federalist Party.
The Europe United was founded in 2005 by Aki Paasovaara and the first convention was held in Copenhagen in May 2006, marking the merger with United for Europe, a federalist group created by Pietro De Matteis earlier that year. After the first convention, a new Board was named consisting of Aki Paasovaara, Ivan Bavcevic, Francesco Cerminara, Mikael Latreille, George Masterton, Pietro De Matteis, and Brigit McCone.
Throughout the years Mikail Latreille and Bengt Beier successfully led Europe United through various campaigns including a mobilisation of pro-Europeans to push Czech President Václav Klaus to sign the Lisbon treaty (the “Sign now” campaign) and a broad campaign aimed at reducing roaming costs (“Europeans for fair roaming” campaign).
In parallel, in France a French Federalist Party (Parti Fédéraliste) founded in 1995 by Jean-Philippe Allenbach has been increasingly active. Under the leadership of Jean-Philippe Allenbach (1995-2005), Christian Chavrier (2005-2007), Michel Le Tallec (2007-2009) and Yves Gernigon the party ran in the 1998 and 2004 regional elections and in the 2004 EU Parliamentary elections. In 2011 it joined forces with Europe United to create the European Federalist Party.