28 February, 2005
Between Aim and Reality: Ratifying the European Constitution
On 25-27 February 2005 the 6th International Seminar, organised by JEF Germany, in cooperation with the Altiero Spinelli Institute, UEF and JEF Europe took place in Berlin. During 2 days, it gathered over 80 participants from all over Europe, in order to discuss the ratification process of the new European Constitution.
Discussions took place in 3 panels: the first featuring the internal (federalist) analysis of the ratification process, the second with guests from the European Commission and a German MP, and the third with guests from YEPP, LYMEC and FYEG.

On Saturday morning, after a panel at the representation of the European Commission to Germany, a street action took place, in order to launch the German YES Campaign. A huge balloon featuring the logo of the YES campaign was released and info material distributed. Unfortunately the weather did not play for the motivation of the young federalists :o)

In the afternoon working groups took place about the following issues: the Constitution and CFSP, the Constitution and social policy, the Constitution and citizen rights, the Constitution and education policy and PR Strategies / Financing and Finalising the YES Campaign. The participants discussed in smaller groups what influence the European Constitution could have on those areas and how best to conduct the campaign in favour of its ratification.

The main conclusion of the various discussions remains, that although the Constitution is a very positive step that needs to be defended and ratified by all 25 EU member states, a lot still needs to be done in order to inform citizens about its contents and positive sides, and to counter-act the false statements and negative publicity spread by the adversaries of its ratification. Although it has already been ratified in 4 countries, including one by referendum, special attention needs to be devoted to the referenda in France, Poland and the United Kingdom.

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