Twinning news: JEF Czech Republic, JEF Passau and JEF Jena

Czech-German twinning programme with JEF Czech Republic, JEF Passau and JEF Jena

From 18 to 20 November 2016, JEF Czech Republic and JEF Passau held their regular twinning meeting in Prague. This time these two well-connected JEF sections had the chance to welcome another section because members of JEF Jena wanted to join the programme. The three JEF sections spent an informative weekend together in Prague, sharing ideas, discussing current European problems and having good conversations with other young Europeans surrounded by the beautiful Prague.

On Friday, after the arrival of the German groups in Prague the twinning programme started with a welcoming event in the city center. In a bar people from different groups got to know each other while enjoying a local meal and, of course, good Czech beer. Because of the great Czech hosts, who offered accommodations, everybody could sleep well afterwards.

The timetable for Saturday was well-filled. After meeting at the venue – an international ballet school – Michaela Nováková (JEF Czech Republic) welcomed everybody in Prague and introduced into the twinning programme. The introduction of all participants was effective as a kind of ice breaking. Then, Jakub Jermá? gave an opening speech about the topic “What is federalism and how to use it in Europe?”. This speech reminded everybody of the federalist origins of the JEF. At the same time the speech was the starting shot for an intense discussion about what the European Union is and should be.

It was generally agreed that the right structure of the European Union is an important precondition for a working European project. After a long lunch break with good (non-Czech) meal and nice chats, we continued our substantial programme. For a seminar about the topic “How to defend politics from ideological bias and antisystem parties?”, the secretary general of the Union of European Federalists Czech Republic, Ivo Kaplan, was invited to the meeting. He gave some suggestions on how to solve current problems in Europe. These suggestions led to long and good discussions in the plenum.

The last item on the agenda was a presentation of every JEF section that joined the programme. This included evaluations of completed projects and also ideas about future projects. Afterwards the three JEF sections spent the evening in a nice Czech restaurant – again with good meal and beer, of course. Spontaneously, Robin Ibl (JEF Czech Republic) offered a guided tour through Prague by night – a real highlight for everyone.

The Sunday was planned as culture day with sightseeing. Viktor Kratochvíl (JEF Czech Republic) prepared a tour for the JEF sections through the historic city of Prague. It was e great experience especially for people who visited Prague for the first time. Even the weather was adequate. After a rainy Saturday Prague welcomed the JEF sections with (almost) spring-like sun on Sunday. Then, the exhibition Smí?ení 2016/Versöhnung in National Library of Technology was the endpoint of a great weekend that three JEF sections spent together in Prague.

Raphael Kruse

Junge Europäische Föderalisten - JEF Jena