More than 200 federalists, including both international and local delegates, are expected to attend the Congress, which will be held at the historic premises of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg and at the Strasbourg Eurometropole Council.
The Congress will open with a public session on Friday afternoon, with speeches by Elisabeth GUIGOU, President of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the French National Assembly and Elmar BROK, President of the UEF and Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament.
A cross-party panel debate with federalist MEPs Brando BENIFEI (S&D | Italy), Mercedes BRESSO (S&D | Italy), Elmar BROK (EPP | Germany), Enrique CALVET CHAMBON (ALDE | Spain), Jonas FERNANDEZ (S&D | Spain), Sylvie Yvonne KAUFMANN (S&D | Germany), Andrey KOVATCHEV (EPP | Bulgaria), Jo LEINEN (S&D | Germany), Andreas SCHWAB (EPP | Germany), and Tomáš ZDECHOVSKÝ (EPP | Czech Republic) will reflect upon their experiences in the federalist movement and share their visions for the future of Europe.
The congress is also an occasion to commemorate the founding of the UEF. For the past 70 years the UEF has been a leading voice in European politics, promoting unity and campaigning for key milestones. It marks the beginning of a seven-month celebratory period, culminating in December 2016 with a special event in Paris, the city where the organisation was founded. An exhibition and booklet entitled “70 Years of Federalist Campaigns for a United and Federal Europe” have been put together exploring the history of European federalism and include the first ‘euro’ coin and the frontier actions on the Franco-German border in the 1960s to the march of 100,000 people through the streets of Milan in 1985 and more recent campaigns right up the present day. Both exhibition and booklet demonstrate how the European federalist movement has played an active role in calling for the most important developments and achievements throughout the history of the European project.
On Saturday UEF political commissions will discuss the reform of the EU institutions, the future of the Economic and Monetary Union, the EU’s global strategy and European border management and internal security. The congress will be an opportunity to debate and vote on resolutions on various current policy matters.
The Union of European Federalists (UEF), is a supranational political movement founded in 1946 dedicated to uniting Europe along federal lines.
The UEF was officially brought into life on 15 December in 1946, in Paris, shortly after World War II, in the belief that only by uniting into a European Federation could the states of Europe overcome the divisions of the past and ensure a future of peace and economic prosperity. Throughout the past 70 years the UEF has been a leading voice in the promotion of European unity and an early campaigner for key milestones in the development of the European Communities and then the European Union.