EFP Newsletter – March 2012. Results of the 1st European Federalist Convention!

European Federalist Party Newsletter: A stronger European Party closer to you!

Message from European Board

Dear Fellow Europeans,

Thanks to the work carried out by Bengt Beier and the other former Presidents, the Party has grown significantly throughout the past few years, focusing on achieving tangible results and bringing real value for you and for each and every European citizen.

The successes represented by the “Europeans for Fair Roaming campaign” and the “Sign Now! campaign” pushing President Vaclav Klaus to sing the Lisbon Treaty are just two examples. Since last November, when the Parti Fédéraliste and Europe United joined forces to create the European Federalist Party, we have made a step further in the political life of the Party. Hélène Feo, vice-President of the EFP is running for President on occasion of the French Presidential elections, and we aim to do the same for future elections in other European Countries. This will allow us to prepare ourselves for the coming European Parliament elections to be held in 2014, when we also aim at presenting our candidates.

We are therefore working to strengthen our presence on the ground as we cannot achieve anything without your active support! Today the EFP has sections in Austria, France, Germany, Spain, UK as well as local representatives in Belgium, Italy, Finland, Greece, Ireland, Macedonia, Netherlands, Portugal and Sweden. We are now working on the establishment of two new sections in Belgium and Italy, and we are about to launch the first-ever non-European section in Asia, where some very active European federalist are currently based. The latter will allow us to increase our visibility globally and reinforce our network.

A strong party needs committed members able to share their opinions and ideas. For this reason a new website and a forum have been recently set up. These are the central places for communicating with you and the public. We therefore kindly invite you to check them regularly to keep up to date on the work of the Party and to get involved in the discussions and debates on the future of our party. Please also check our Facebook pages: we have a “European page” as well as several national pages.

Finally, I wish to remind you that at the bottom of this Newsletter you will find the information on how to renew your membership!

I wish to thank you for your continuous support, and I look forward to working with all of you!

Pietro De Matteis
EFP Co-President

In this Newsletter:

  1. Foundation of the European Federalist Party.
  2. Hélène Feo for French Presidential Elections.
  3. State of play of our Europe-wide Campaigns.
  4. Networking.
  5. RENEW Your Membership/Donate! Help us to help Europe!

1) Foundation of the European Federalist Party

On November 5th and 6th 2011 the representatives and members of Europe United and of the Parti Fédéraliste met in Paris and decided to join forces to form the European Federalist Party! Its primary objective is to build a European Federal State better suited to respond to the increasingly pan-European challenges facing our citizens, such as the current Eurozone crisis. With this aim in mind, the new Party will propose candidates for all European electoral campaigns in the coming years and, most importantly, will do so presenting a common political programme throughout Europe. With active chapters in five European countries and many thousands of members, supporters and followers, we are already the largest ever political movement for a democratic and united Europe! The governing board is composed by Pietro De Matteis (co-president), Yves Gernigon (co-president), Hélène Feo (vice-president), Jan Van Arkel (vice-president) and Nico Segers (treasurer). More here…

2) Hélène Feo for French Presidential Elections

The EFP has endorsed the candidacy of Hélène Feo, vice-President of the European Federalist Party for the upcoming French Presidential elections in April 2012. In order to enable her participation, we are currently seeking to gain the 500 signatures required from mayors and local officials. You can find more about our candidate here…

3) State of play of our Europe-wide campaigns

a) Europeans for Fair Roaming Campaign

After about one and a half years since its launch on occasion of the Salzburg convention in 2010, the Fair Roaming campaign against mobile roaming charges in the EU has grown into an extraordinary success: our call has been endorsed by 12 members of the European Parliament, thousands of individuals and 14 organisations representing nearly 150,000 people. We had the opportunity to meet and discuss with Commission officials, MEPs and high-level stakeholders and were able to successfully lobby for a new EU regulation reducing roaming charges. This campaign has given us access to key policy makers and improved our visibility in Brussels and worldwide. In fact, we have recently been mentioned for the second time in the New York Times. Follow this campaign on Facebook.

b) ECI Process and Citizen’s Rights

From April 1st 2012 on thanks to the ECI citizens will be able to collect one million signatures to formally demand the European Commission to propose legislation. The European Federalist Party (formerly known as Europe United) participated very actively in the policy-making process that led to this important outcome. We wrote contributions for the open consultation and statements for the media. We also participated in the public hearings and conferences, and talked to MEPs and to members of the European Commission. On the 15th of December 2010, the European Parliament and the Council finally agreed on a regulation that took into account many points raised by the European Federalist Party, including an easy registration process and online gathering of signatures. A success for the EFP and for all European citizens! More here…

c) Other ongoing campaigns

In addition to the “European Citizens’ Initiative” and the “Europeans for Fair Roaming” campaign, we led or participated in several other campaigns and projects:

With the Eat Greener campaign, calling for more support for regionally produced organic fruit, we managed to get in touch with important stakeholders in the agricultural sector and gain valuable experience in the planning and preparation of pan-European campaigning. Just a few weeks ago, the European Commission presented new proposals for the European agricultural policy that include some of our goals.

The European Federalist Party also supported calls for a European right of association as a member of the EASEA network. Together with many other organisations and hundreds of MEPs we successfully lobbied for the European Parliament to vote in favour of a European Association statute. This has yet to be followed up by legislation of EU institutions.

Finally, we keep supporting the call for the creation of a transnational list to elect Members of the European Parliament on occasion of the next European Elections in 2014.

4) Networking

Thanks to our activities, we were able to successfully expand our network of partner organisations and engage in fruitful cooperation with many other NGOs, stakeholders, and politicians across Europe. This includes close and constant contact with likeminded groups such as JEF, UEF, Democracy International and consumer and citizens’ representations as well as countless government and EU officials. In addition, we took part in several dozen conferences and meetings on issues of relevance for the future of Europe (more info on the website).

Permanent Forum of European Civil Society

Just this past week on March 1st, we took part in an extraordinary meeting in Brussels to discuss the creation of a Constitutional Convention for a European federal state. Organized by the Forum of European Civil Society, it involved debating over the main principles underlying a Constitution, as well as the democratic framework of the federal state. The meeting counted with several high profile participants, including MEPs Andrew Duff (Liberal Democrat and UEF President), Monica Frassoni (Greens), and Philippe Maystadt (Belgian Minister of State and former EIB President). You can find most of the questions covered here. There will be a follow-up mass citizen gathering in Brussels on June 28th-29th, 2012, so be sure to stay tuned for further information on that event!

5) RENEW Your Membership & DONATE! Help us to help Europe!

Especially during tough economic times, your financial support is fundamental. We therefore invite you to consider showing your support for the federalist cause by becoming a Full Member of the European Federalist Party, by renewing your membership and by donating. Please remember that our organization continues to be fully run by volunteers. To bring forward this continental-scale project we need financial as well as human resources.

Payment can be made by bank transfer, by credit card or by Paypal. Please follow this link to make your payment.

If you wish to have a more active role in the EFP through national or local sections, please write an e-mail to Pietro De Matteis, EFP co-President (e-mail: pietrodematteis@gmail.com).