Young European Federalists left disappointed with “no progress” at EU summit in Sibiu

, by Juuso Järviniemi

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Young European Federalists left disappointed with “no progress” at EU summit in Sibiu
Photo: CC0

On Europe Day (9 May), EU member state leaders met for a summit in Sibiu, Romania to lay out the next steps for the future of Europe. The summit had already been announced by Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in 2017, and it had originally been intended as a grand relaunch of the EU after Brexit. In the end, there was no Brexit, and no grand relaunch.

In a press release, the Young European Federalists (JEF-Europe) castigated European leaders for “celebrating three years of no progress”, as the vague Sibiu Declaration offered a “non-vision for Europe”. Reference was made to the September 2016 Bratislava summit, held months after the Brexit referendum, which had produced a similarly bland final declaration.

“It feels like the Sibiu Declaration could have been written just then – three years ago – with the only difference being that today we have different European leaders sitting around the table”, the press release reads. Instead, JEF-Europe President Christopher Glück said that “we need a federal Union, because the only way we can successfully address European challenges is through new, ambitious European solutions”.

JEF-Europe’s disappointment came after an earlier press release urging to ‘not just celebrate Europe, but to choose Europe’ on Europe Day. Executive Board member Emma Farrugia said that “unlike European leaders today, we decide to look into the future, our common future and work to change Europe for the better”, as the press release stated thousands of federalist activists were advocating for a “much-needed, comprehensive and democratic reform of the EU” on Europe Day.

The Sibiu summit was the last one to be held before the European elections on 23–26 May. In the next ordinary summit on 20 and 21 June, leaders are set to approve an overall strategic agenda for the next five years, and to discuss “high-level appointments”, above all that of the next European Commission President. However, in Sibiu, leaders agreed to an emergency summit on 28 May to already have a first discussion on distributing EU top jobs after the elections.

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