"Our goal is simple," said UEF President Andrew DUFF. "It's to get more federalists elected so that the next Parliament will be more progressive and ambitious than this one".
A joint statement agreed by the Union of European Federalists (UEF) and the Young European Federalists (JEF) called for a large congress to be held in the autumn of 2013 (probably in Berlin) to which the leaders of the European political parties would be invited to respond to a federalist election manifesto.
Andrew Duff MEP said: "This manifesto must comprise the agenda for the next constitutional Convention which will have to open in 2015. Above all, it needs to promote the big push towards the federal Europe that appears yet to intimidate Europe's political class. This means fiscal union based on democratic solidarity between states and citizens with a federal economic government. The agenda will have to rectify some mistakes made in the Treaty of Lisbon, as well as considering the conferral of further competences on the EU, for example in the fields
of energy supply and visa policy."
JEF President Pauline Gessant said: " JEF and UEF welcome all the recent initiatives put forward by organizations, personalities, and movements that support the European political union on a federal basis, along the lines of the battle that JEF and UEF, through its national, regional and local organisations, have been waging for years. JEF and UEF will take the lead to organise a European Coalition for a Federal Union in view of the European elections to put pressure on governments and political parties".
In his closing speech to the Leuven meeting, Duff warned not to expect great things of the present leadership of Europe. "One does not have to subscribe fully to Mr Juncker's description of his colleagues as 'ungifted pragmatists' to know that the present European Council -- even with a swap of Hollande for Sarkozy -- will not be capable of saving the European project."
Mr Duff also emphasised the importance of dealing with the British problem up front to find a settlement that was mutually satisfactory for both the UK and the rest of the EU. "The UK does not have the moral authority to stop Europe going forward".
Andrew Duff on +32 2 284 59 98
Pauline Gessant on +32 2 512 00 53