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On the road to European Federalism: Challenges & Expectations Ahead
Saïd El Khadraoui (MEP, Belgium, Socialistische Partij.Anders)
Peter Oomsels (Vice-President of Young European Federalists)
EPN has the pleasure to invite you to its conference organised in the context of the European Parliament Elections of 2014, where the keynote speakers, Peter Oomsels (Young European Federalists) and Saïd El Khadraoui (MEP) will discuss federalism and the future of Europe. This event will be held on the 8th of March 2014 between 11.30 and 13.30. The debate will be moderated by Mete Öztürk, a Brussels-based journalist specialized in European issues reporting for Zaman newspaper, the top-circulating daily in Turkey.
The idea of a Federal Europe has a long history dating back to the 19th century. Nevertheless, for the past years European federalism has taken a new turn. The Spinelli Group, an initiative launched in September 2010 and gathering more than 110 MEPs, promotes the injection of a federalist momentum into the policy-making process and policies of the European Union. Eurosceptics call for a drastic reduction of European competences while pro-European consider that the solution to the current problems could be found in further integration. But is European federalism desirable? Can it help Europe recover from the crisis and win back the hearts of its citizens? Would it be possible to direct the European integration process toward a Federal Europe? Would this solution be accepted by the citizens? With the European elections coming closer, which party and, above all, which European project will win the race? Such critical questions and more will be discussed at the panel.
11:00 – Beginning of registrations
11:30 – Introduction by the moderator on “European Federalism”
11:40 – Presentation by each speaker on “European Federalism”
12:00 – Questions and answers
12:10 – Introduction by the moderator on the “Future of the EU “
12:20 – Presentation by each speaker on the “Future of the EU”
12:40 – Questions and answers
12:50 – Closing remarks
13:00 – Drinks
Saïd El Khadraoui
Mr. Saïd El Khadraoui is a Belgian MEP from the Socialistische Partij.Anders (Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament). Before being a MEP, Mr. El Khadraoui worked in the office of the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Home Affairs. Since 2007, he is also the International Secretary for sp.a.
Mr. Peter Oomsels is the Vice-President of Young European Federalists (JEF) as well as Ph.D researcher at KU Leuven Public Governance Institute. Before holding this position, he was the National President for Young European Federalists Belgium (JEF Belgium) and then the Federal Committee Member for the Union of European Federalists (UEF).
The Report of the Event
With the European elections coming up, the debate about the future of Europe is raging. The Eurosceptics and the Euro-enthusiasts are defending radically different projects. Among the Pro-Europeans, there are growing talks about a federal European Union. To handle this crucial topic, EPN was glad to welcome Mr. Said El Khadraoui, MEP, and Mr. Peter Oomsels, Vice President of Young European Federalists. They exposed their visions on what a federal Europe would be and what it would bring. They both agreed that a different Europe is needed, more political and closer to the citizens. In their views, a federal Europe wouldn’t imply the centralization and the disappearance of the diverse identities but it would give to the European Union the power to act when a problem arises. In the debate following the conference, questions were raised about citizens’ participation, the social crisis and the UK referendum. This conference highlighted important points regarding the future of Europe and interesting issues on which we should reflect.