Centenary of 11 November

A hundred years ago, the bugles called on the front and the bells rang in the rear to announce the armistice. The European youth had paid the highest price in its history. Of the 9 million dead and more than 6 million injured, most were under 35 year-old. Let us salute those who understood early that only the friendship between our two peoples, based on a common organisation of States, would bring lasting peace to the European continent. The 1925 Locarno Treaties, under the leadership of Gustav Stresemann and Aristide Briand, were an almost unique attempt to allow French-German reconciliation, before the rise of nationalist dictatorships. It was not until the end of the Second World War, the creation of the European community and the signing of the Elysée Treaty in 1963 that the German and French youths finally recognised themselves as brothers.

A hundred years after the end of the First World War, our generation bears an immense responsibility. Knowing the value of the union between our two peoples, we will do everything we can to strengthen it instead of letting it weaken. As a tribute to the young Europeans who died on the battlefield, we commit ourselves to keep fighting so that the friendship between our two nations will never be extinguished.

This op-ed was co-signed by our French and German members – Jeunes Démocrates and Junge Freie Wähler.



The faltering Franco-German relationship

On the 7th of April was held the 18th Franco-German Cabinet Meeting in Metz, a city located in a territory at the heart of the Franco-German relationship, the Alsace-Moselle, a long disputed land today symbolising the reconciliation between these two countries.

The issues at stake were particularly key to the migrant crisis and the terrorisme risk in the background: two issues on which the two countries have divergent views. The advancing of their cooperation for growth, employment, cultural and linguistic exchange and youth mobility was also discussed.

A symbolic rather than an operational meeting

Despite the importance of the topics on the table, this Cabinet Meeting did not pave the way for significant progress to be made. On the migrant issue, no complementary solution to the EU-Turkey agreement was discussed, although the migrant influx in Europe is far from being hampered. A solution would be the establishment of a European Corps of Border and Coast Guards, to regulate the arrival of migrants in respect of the asylum right, a value that should be commonly shared by all EU Member States.

On the crucial question of terrorism, even though the recent adoption of the PNR directive, a somewhat lighter version to the one defended by the ALDE group, is a notable progress.   France and Germany, along with the other Member States, do not go in-depth to design a common and efficient response to the threat. The reinforcement and extension of Europol’s prerogatives was not put on the table, although weaknesses in intelligence and police cooperation bear a clear responsibility for the attacks of 2015 and 2016.

Even if France and Germany pledged for further cooperation in various domains and if a Franco-German Council for Integration will be set up to answer to the refugee integration challenge, no serious commitment were taken on youth cooperation, a crucial topic for the next European generations. A misunderstanding seems to remain after France’s negative signal sent to its neighbour with its decision to suppress bilingual classes, which enable pupils to study both English and German.

This is time for France and Germany to defend the common necessary responses

It would be a mistake to see in the stagnation of this bilateral relationship a problem only for France and Germany. Their demographics, economics, politics and their statutes of Founding Members make them the engine of a still largely – unfortunately – inter-governmental Europe. Their disagreement or, worst, their lack of reciprocal interest, are particularly detrimental to Europe at a moment where it faces existential crises. This is time for national governments, especially for France and Germany, to take responsibility and defend the common necessary responses. With national elections looming in both countries, that remains an unlikely move.

Tristan ATMANIA (@ATMANIATristan)

Photo: Présidence de la République

A new Youth Employment Policy for Europe!

Youth_Employment_PolicyOn Saturday,  November 16th and Sunday, 17th, Jeunes Démocrates and Jeunes Forces Démocrates welcomed delegations from Young Democrats for Europe (youth organisation of the European Democratic Party) for a “working weekend” on Youth Employment and Europe, only a few days after an international summit in Paris which brought together European Heads of State and Government on the same topic.

 Youth employment is our priority, like that of a large number of our fellow citizens, and we know that Europe is the appropriate level to promote it. More…

Francia, CAPPA: “Bayrou vota Hollande invocando unità nazionale”

Parigi – “All’indomani del faccia a faccia in TV Sarkozy-Hollande e a poche ore dal voto decisivo per la Francia e per l’Europa, è chiara l’indicazione che François Bayrou, leader del Modem, offre ai francesi” così dichiara Marco Cappa.

“La sua campagna è stata improntata a tesi fortemente europeiste per offrire una strategia che mirasse al superamento della crisi, al rilancio del sistema educativo d’oltralpe e ad una maggiore moralità nella politica” – prosegue Cappa, che guida l’organizzazione giovanile del Partito Democratico Europeo, co-presieduto da Rutelli e Bayrou – “L’Europa e i mercati hanno bisogno di stabilità, di accelerare il processo di integrazione, di rafforzare la connessione economica e fiscale. Non è il tempo delle sirene euroscettiche e turbo populiste della Le Pen o di Mèlenchon.Costoro hanno parlato alla pancia dei francesi, non alla testa. Sarkozy, d’altro canto, ha messo in campo una campagna di rottura rincorrendo la Le Pen.”

Dal suo quartier generale di ‘Rue de l’Universitè’ di Parigi – conclude Cappa – Bayrou ha detto quindi che voterà, a titolo personale, per Hollande invocando però un percorso di unità nazionale che includa le forze responsabili del paese. Auspichiamo quindi il modello Monti anche in Francia per uscire dalla crisi insieme.”


Marco Cappa
Portavoce Nazionale API Giovani
Presidente Giovani Democratici Europei


Roma, 3 Maggio 2012

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