Jeunesse européenne fédéraliste1948 (Montreux [Switzerland])
Young European Federalists
The Federalist Movement was founded in 1947 in Montreux (Switzerland). JEF was born as the Youth Section of the Federalist Movement and it began its activity in several europeans towns in 1948. The defeat of the European Defence Community in 1954 caused a major crisis among Federalists, which affected also JEF. Altough JEF sections were active everywhere, no international coordination existed. Several common actions in the late sixties, mainly the Campaign for the direct election of the European Parliament, led to the recreation of JEF Europe with the Congress of Luxembourg in 1972.
In 1983, JEF had about 10,000 members in 17 countries and was the only major youth organisation whose specific purpose is to work for a United Europe.
Actually, The Young European Federalists is a supranational, political movement active in most European countries. It is an autonomous youth organisation which has no party political affiliations or commitments. It participates in the exchange of opinions and experiences with other political movements, but will not identify with any of them. JEF's interlocutors are political parties, European, national and local institutions and associations, as well as the general public. In this sense JEF is a political movement, but not a party. JEF is not interested in the direct management of political power: it concentrates its action on the achievement of international democracy through the establishment of federal systems in Europe and in the world. The aims of JEF are to work for the creation of a European Federation, first step towards peace and World Federation, and for a freer, more just and more democratic federal society. JEF works for increased international democracy, primarily, but not exclusively, within the European continent. It seeks to implement the principles of federalism, the origins of which can be found in the writings of Proudhon, Kant, Marx, Spinelli and others. Federalism proposes a decentralised, self-managed society, in which all persons affected by a decision may participate in making it. All decisions must be reached by democratic institutions at the most appropriate level. The action is carried out by organising meetings, conferences and seminars, publishing leaflets, journals, newsletters and magazines, organising campaigns and demonstrations.