Greetings of JEF Executive Board – Brexit is a tricky one for federalists

JEF-Europe is one of the few youth organizations, if not the only one, that openly advocates for a federal Europe. And it does that not only by organizing youth events like seminars, training, exchanges, conferences and so on; but also through policy analysis and proposals. This last point denotes JEF as a credible actor also in policy-making processes.

But, in order to develop appropriate policy proposals processes, appropriate debates are needed – and publications like this one go in the right direction, spreading federalists’ views and triggering debate inside and outside JEF, hoping to improve this aspect also on a European level as much as possible – we, as the board of JEF-Europe, will try to do that. So, thank you Eurooppanuoret and keep up the good work!
Coming now to the topic of this publication.
The so called “Brexit” matter is a tricky one, especially for federalists. If British electors will decide to leave the EU, they will show that the EU membership is reversible – this will show EU’s intrinsic and structural weakness and will probably trigger similar processes elsewhere, especially in these times where euroskeptics are at their highest popularity peak more or less everywhere in Europe.
On the other hand, having the UK (or someone else) leaving the EU could also mean getting rid of one of the heaviest opposers of the European political integration: this could even lead to the formation of a group of States willing to gather in a federation (maybe the Eurozone?), plus others not so integrated but tied somehow – the so called “two-speeds Europe”, that could represent a severe hit to the dreams of European unity but could represent also the most pragmatic approach to a European federation, even smaller than expected.
Anyway, only time will say what will happen after the British referendum – but in any case, even if with a majority of “do not leave the EU” votes, this whole process showed that currently the EU is weak and some Member States are even thinking about a withdrawal.
This situation is ascribable at the almost-never-ending economic crisis that his hitting Europe since 2008. The inability of the European Governments to find agreements, to overcome the current intergovernmental decision system of the Council, to equip the EU (and the Eurozone) with an only Government or at least with single policies on financial, economic, monetary issue (that may sound obvious for countries sharing a single currency), led to a prolonged economic crisis that fed people’s discontent and the rise of nationalist/euroskeptics parties and movements.
Those parties and movements could say that the EU is inefficient without the EU proving them wrong, increasing in popularity and earning good results on national elections, being therefore present in many national Governments. The refugee crisis intensified this perception of a weak/inefficient/useless EU.
I would dare to say that federalists are the only hope, in this framework, since they are the last ones left saying that if the EU is not working, the solution is to enhance it, rather than to dismantle it. “Unity is strength”, as used to say, and only a united and federal Europe can face the multiple problems of this globalized and interlinked world, providing European solutions to European problems.