The Federalist Party of the United Kingdom was founded as an independent political party at a meeting held in London in February, 2017. However, as an organisation it is possible to trace our history and origins back further.
In 2005 following the rejection of the proposed ‘European Constitution’ by voters at referendums in France and the Netherlands, Europe United was founded as a new pan-European political party by Aki Paasovaara. It sought to address questions which many federalists in Europe were asking about the direction of European integration and its increasing distance from the lives of ordinary people across Europe. Europe United held its first convention in Copenhagen in May 2006, where it merged with ‘United for Europe’, a federalist group set up by Pietro De Matteis earlier that year.
The United Kingdom chapter of Europe United was established in 2010 by Robert Jones, Robat ap Tomos, and Stephan Nedregaard. At the same time, Europe United continued to grow across the continent and launched a number of successful campaigns, including ‘Europeans for Fair Roaming’ which gathered thousands of supporters and was able to lobby the European Parliament to support abolishing mobile phone roaming charges throughout the EU. The UK chapter was lead by Robert Jones (2010-2012), Matthew Wheatley (2012-2014), and Stuart Clark (2014-2017).
Meanwhile in France the Parti Fédéraliste (Federalist Party) was founded in 1995 by Jean-Philippe Allenbach, and contested regional, national and European elections from 1998 onwards. The Parti Fédéraliste of France and Europe United joined forces, forming the European Federalist Party in November, 2011 and lead by co-presidents Pietro De Matteis and Yves Gernigon. In 2015, the United Kingdom chapter of the European Federalist Party agreed to adopt the name ‘Federalist Party of the United Kingdom’ and focus on promoting federalism within the UK as well as Europe.
On Saturday, December 3rd 2016 in Brussels, two different movements merged together with the European Federalist Party and adopting the new brand ‘Stand Up for Europe’ and a ‘city teams’ strategy which focuses on developing local branches and eliminating national chapters.
The UK chapter met on 25 February 2017 in London to discuss this development and consider the future of the organisation. It was agreed that the party should continue to pursue its existing organisational and political strategy within the UK, and thus founded the Federalist Party of the United Kingdom as a separate political party with the declaration:
“The Federalist Party will adopt a greater focus on the promotion of federalism, not just at the European level, but more importantly within the United Kingdom and worldwide. We believe that federalism offers the prospect of a political reform in Britain that can repair and restore faith in our political system, and reconnect institutions of public governance with the British people.”
Since February 2017, the party is lead by Robert Jones. In the local elections which took place in England on Thursday May 4, 2017 the Federalist Party stood its first ever official candidate. This was a landmark event for federalism in the United Kingdom, and our party in particular.
In October 2017 the Federalist Party participated as an observer at the convention of the re-founded European Federalist Party in Brussels.