With the European parliamentary elections less than three months away, there is an increasing mobilisation by networks, institutions and organisations to campaign and advocate for the future of Europe. The upcoming elections come at a time of urgency to address vital issues for the future of Europe, from climate change to migration, increasing threats to democracy and freedom of expression, youth unemployment and the digital transition. This is an opportunity for Europeans to voice their concerns and cast their opinions as to how they would like to be represented on Europe’s political stage.
Considering that in the last parliamentary elections in 2014, the EU saw the lowest turnout of voters in its history (42,61%), this year’s elections campaigns focus on engaging citizens in the political debate and encouraging their participation in the voting process. The European Parliament launched its own campaign with the slogan #thistimeimvoting to address the this issue. It invites citizens to become ambassadors for the 2019 elections and provides information on the voting process across member states.
Culture Action Europe developed its own elections campaign, launched in January 2019, calling citizens, organisations, MEPs and candidates to #actforculture. The campaign advocates for the culture and Europe that is democratic, diverse, fair, free, human, inclusive and vital. Accompanied by a toolkit and a special podcast series, the campaign provides material in various languages to encourage action at a member state and european level, calling all political forces to approach cultural issues constructively and respectfully within the European elections.
In consultation with CAE’s elections campaign and our questions for candidates, ELIA and the AEC have prepared a set of electoral test questions that focus specifically on higher arts education. They are set to launch their campaign officially within this month. Also inspired by the #actforculture campaign, EMC have developed their own campaign material with the message Strengthen Democracy! Celebrate Culture! Vote! including a poster and social media banners for spreading the word.
Beyond the cultural and creative sectors, there is a campaign dedicated to the mobilisation of young voters in the upcoming elections with the slogan #ProveThemWrong, urging young people to prove that they are involved and want to shape a better future for Europe. Civico Europa and MAKE.ORG launched the democratic and civic European campaign #WeEuropeans calling on all the citizens of Europe to take part in a citizen consultation, so that we can write a new page in our history together. On 22 March 2019, following this consultation, the proposals that won the approval of Europeans will be presented to the European Parliament in the form of a Citizens’ Agenda during a Congress of Europeans.
European Alternatives, Krytyka Polityczna and partners are launching a mobile campaign, ‘Transeuropa Caravans 2019: The roads to European democracy’ where a group of activists will be travelling throughout fifteen European countries, reaching out to European citizens to promote citizens’ rights, stimulate social engagement, and create the new narratives of underrepresented citizens in the EU.
We support these and any other initiatives that inform and engage citizens in the run-up to the EP elections and that call for democracy, diversity, freedom, humanity, inclusion and vitality in the future of Europe. Let’s take this opportunity to make our voices heard #thistimeimvoting.