That Express front page was a gem, I saw it on BBC News 24's 'tomorrow's headlines' roundup. The story's complete bull though:
The controversial plans have been drawn up by the Young European Federalists, a 35,000-strong organisation that has received hundreds
of thousands of pounds in grants from the EC.
So, far from being an actual EU policy, it's just an idea that someone's come up with.
first, I would like to thank LindonBSwindon for being the first to make a sensible comment about this article - that it is utter nonsense.
Being used to commenting on blogs here and there and especially on the BBC, I know how one simple comment can degrade into a flamewar, or at best a completely superfluous 'debate', let me make clear that this comment is a single rebuttal and that I will not respond to follow-ups.
As the Vice-President of the organisation cited here - the Young European Movement -, I would like to clarify several things.
my first comment is on the story itself. I am sure anyone with half a common sense will have realised it is nonsense. None of the EU's institutions have ever contemplated such a move as is described here. The great thing about writing an article with words such as 'it emerged' and making something up, is that you never need to back it up.
One thing is clear, and it is that the Young European Federalists (JEF; website: www.jef.eu
) is in no position to 'draft' any 'plans' on behalf of any EU institution.
The organisation that I represent, the YEM, is described as 'the British arm' of JEF, though our official link with JEF is more that of an affiliation. However our president is not the Rt. Hon. Charles Kennedy MP, who is the president of the European Movement - UK, but rather Tomas Ruta, who like myself is a full time student.
Neither the YEM nor the EM receives any funding from the European Commission or any European Institution, as is stated on our common website, www.euromove.org.uk
The European-wide organisation JEF has only received funding from the EC for specific projects in the framework of the YOUTH programme, for which spending is closely monitored, the conditions of which you can find on http://ec.europa.eu/youth/youth-in-acti ... c74_en.htm
The daily express' story stemmed from a website hosted by JEF advocating a single EU olympic team. This is the opinion voiced by a youth organisation and in no way is either a project of the European Commission or a position that would be imposed on athletes without their knowledge.
I am as ever amazed that such distinguished personalities as Mr. Farage and Mark Francois MP accept to comment on such nonsensical stories featuring our organisation when they have repeatedly refused to condescend to meet us in public debates about Europe.
anyone wishing to contact me or the organisation I represent can find email addresses on our website, www.euromove.org.uk
The YEM is currently in the process of filing a complaint with the Press Complaints Commission about this article.
Vice President, Young European Movement.