Voter turnout has been dropping steadily in European Parliament elections since the first vote was held in 1979. Despite the European Parliament gaining in power and importance following each new treaty, at the last European elections in 2009 only 43% of people turned up to vote compared with a high of 61.99% in 1979. With the next election almost four months away in May 2014, will the trend continue?
Will YOU be voting? Remember, if you want to show public support for your party or group, you can vote for one of the political ideologies in our Debating Europe Vote 2014!
We’ve had several questions sent in on this topic. One of them came from a student from Romania asking simply: “How can we increase the number of voters in EU elections?”
Now, we often speak to people at the European level, so this time we decided to do things a little differently and get a reaction from a couple of national politicians instead. First, we spoke to Duarte Marques, a Portuguese MP whose party sits with the Centre-Right group in the European Parliament.
How can we get more people to vote? By showing that Europe is useful. By showing that all of us have the responsibility to vote in order to choose the representatives who will decide our future. If we want somebody to fight for us and our rights and future, we have to choose them. So, it’s simply a responsibility for everybody to vote. Otherwise, just sit on our couch watching TV and criticising others. You want to do something? You want to see something changing? Then go to vote! Otherwise others will choose for you.
But why should people bother to vote? Will European Parliament elections really have much of an impact?
Nowadays, most of the laws in our countries are decided in the European Commission or at the Council or at the European Parliament. So, people need to understand that these votes taking place in Brussels in this Parliament are changing our lives. And the impact is growing stronger as the power of the European Parliament steadily increases. So, we need to care about the MEPs we elect as they make a difference – sometimes more so than our local parliaments!
We also spoke to Deborah Schembri, an MP from Malta whose party sits with the Social Democrats group in the European Parliament. Malta actually has one of the highest voter turnout rates of any country in the EU, so what would she say?
You can create an interest in politics when you show people that what they are voting for will actually make a difference in their lives. And I think this realisation will push European voters to actually vote. In my country, we don’t have much of a problem with voters not voting because they feel that it will have an impact and help them out.
Which is a good point, but how do you show people their vote will make a difference? Do YOU plan to vote in the European Parliament elections in May 2014? Do you think your vote makes a difference? Is voting a duty that all citizens should undertake? Or does not voting also send a message? Do you want to start making your voice heard NOW? You can vote for one of the political ideologies in our Debating Europe Vote 2014!
definitely a DUTY….however the choice of NONE should also be included
LMAO .. Just as in the US the sheep vote and the wolves rule, the same system is being formed in Europe .. Unknown unelected bankers ruling over dumbed down masses who think their vote counts, if voting REALLY made a difference, it would be illegal.
Europe as a political, cultural and economical project is our future!
Choosing our MEP is my most important electoral choice :)
of course it is a duty!!! -.-
And yes i obviously intend to vote!
No because in the representative democracy, politicians lie to be elected, turn down everything they said in their campaigns after being elected and still tell you that you are guilty because you just vote on them if they lie to you. NO MORE “representative” democracy. We NEED Participative Semi-Direct Deliberative DEMOCRACY.
Of course I vote, and nobody needs to force me, because this is REALLY important!!!
I will be voting for the first time.
The key is the impact that European Elections has in the everyday life of a Europe. The more Europe we bring in the member states the more people will be there to vote for Europe.
I was really looking forward to the european elections, as I just turned 18 and it would have been my first time voting, but apparently the small town where I have been living for 5 months or so does not have any interest! I can’t seem to find the form I have to fill in in order to participate, and that makes me really sad. A city nearby provides them, but I can’t vote there because I live elsewhere. It would be great, then, if you found a way to raise awareness and inform in a more specific way people and lower level institutions in each country. Cheers!
We should elect the President of the EU directly. I think if there were faces belonging to political movements, then it would bring these thing more close to people. Maybe it’s not possible this year, but in 2019 we definitely should vote about two things; 1: our favourite political party in our homeland 2: the president of the EU.
All EU parties should name a candidate for being the President of the EU. (Today this function is called the “President of the European Council” and isn’t direclty elected by people.)
Of course. I think that’s very important if we want better politics in Europe.
All European Citizens, nedd to focus on the next elections in order to contribute to a better Europe. In times of crisis, Europe should be a “bunker” to protect the countries in financial needs, but also should serve all the european countries, having as main prerrogative, the union of efforts. The next European Elections, will be the most importante of all time,because its our future and the future of a true Europe of Federal States, that`s in cause. Voting in the European Elections of May, is very important, in order to help improving and built a better Europe for all. Don`t Forget: in May, your vote is fundamental!
I think we should elect an EU President (which is now called the President of the European Council). If faces are connected to political movements, then it brings the election closer to people. So what I think is that we should have two papers on the elections:
1: to vote for a party from our home land (just as we have done it so far)
2: to vote for a president candidate (all EU parties should name a candidate)
There should be TV debates to be held between the candidates and the EU politicians should appear in national TV channels more as well. And we also need a European TV channel spoken in English, French and German and subtitled to all EU languages.
And one more idea: I think in the EU election campaign national political parties should use both their own logo and the logo of the Europarty that they are members of. Because lot of people do not even know the Europarties, and if they know them, then they do not know which national party belong to which Europarty.
yes i will definitly will be voting for the nationalist party
so it`s MEP’s continue to vote against their country
cand o sa respectati cetatenii romani fara sa-i discriminati?????
I will vote for any party that will take us out from this euro-nightmare. No more euro ! No more UE ! UE is an anti-democratic system, we vote for the parliament, that has no power at all, and the ruler is the Commission, that is unelected !!
I agree with HT´s idea on an European TV Channel. That would help people understand why Euro and European institutions are so important. The power of the media helps wrong ideas to be spread and people to be confused and therefore make bad decisions. Citizens should know who their MEP´s more profundly as well as the job they do everyday in european institutions. This would bring citizens closer to EU and that would make their vote count. I am voting for these elections as I normally do. Information is power and the more and better informed people are, the better their decisons will be.
I can’t think of anything less boring then an EU propaganda channel no doubt showing all the “wonderous” projects my tax is being spent on with lots of smiling faces and EU flags neing waved
Far better give a totally independent television company full access to record everything that goes on in the EU inttitutions and make a factual documentary to be broadcast throughout the EU
…and the workscope, salaries and expenses of all EU employees should be publically available on the internet so the taxpayers of Europe can see what they are getting for their money …..that would be much more useful information when it comes to deciding who to vote for…..
Vote makes the different! Strong and United Europe!
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I plan to vote in the European Parliament elections next May.I think voting isn’t a duty that all citizens should undertake.
I plan to vote in the European Parliament elections next May.I think voting isn’t a duty that all citizens should undertake.
Yes and it should be a duty because note voting is choosing too. BUT WE ALSO NEED DIRECT DEMOCRACY!!!!!
Oxi! No ! The idea of Europe has vanished! Forget it!
What we need is a channel of unbiased, non politically correct journalists, to give the European people the absolute truth about their current circumstances and what is really going on. For example, In the UK we get very little, if anything at all, about the demonstrations and riots in European countries rising up against immigration. The British control of censors filter this out stiffly.
Our government speak of open discussion on this, however, that is total propaganda. They never tell the truth about how little the immigration from the EU into the UK is compared with those coming from outside. They say they don’t want to discuss that because, wait for this, they can stop entrance at the borders to those people but not to Europeans coming in. I almost fell over laughing when I heard the idiot Rees-Mogg giving that old chesnut a run for its money the other day.
He didn’t say the true reason is, many Commonwealth countries and elsewhere akin to Hong Kong, have British passports that give them the right to reside. They don’t want to broach that old onion. They would then have no voters for Conservatives at all. Because they lied all along about the open door policy and that they backed Labour when they forced it on us.
They don’t tell the British public about the Human Rights social chapter on working conditions and expectations that will benefit us all. All they site are the HRC decisions on immigrants remaining here without giving the story of why. They relentlessly dwell on ‘European immigrants’ taking our benefits, costing us a fortune and we can’t get rid of them because of HR. They do not tell them most of the people who are immigrant benefit takers come from the Middle East, Africa and India. Which far outweighs any we get from Europe. They also harp on about Europeans taking our jobs. But if you look at London anyone can see that is not so.
They don’t want the people to know the truth about anything to do with Europe because the upper crust elite feel they will make far more money through modern day slavery coming via the third world The know how to do it coming from the USA and the rest of the third world.
We need the truth and we need it fast.
This morning we heard Gordon Brown, ex PM, asking for more money donations to send to Syria to help educate their children so they don’t fall behind. He openly said the UK had sent £100 million pounds in aid there so far. Yet, we have thousands and thousands of our own children being made homeless, falling behind and at starvation levels because this government says the poor must be punished for the cause of the banks gambling habits. Whilst the bankers continue to pay themselves millions of pounds a year one way or the other. The only people being punished are the very poorest of all. Yet our government begs for us to pay out more charity to those who are not our own, whilst our own suffer and they refuse the EU help of aid for them. We need a media and television service that tells it straight to the British public as well as the rest of Europeans.
We need UKIP exposed for what it really is, a pack of very rich members of the House of Lords paying for the simpleton Farage to wind us up with stories of ‘we will save you from the threat of Europe’ which is stealing our money. Ha! what a laugh. They are going to make it all alright when we stop those nasty Polish, Bulgarians and the rest coming in to savage us via all the employment we don’t have.
So what we need is an unbiased news that gives in depth exposure. End of story. You see what years of lying to us and forbiding us to speak the truth has done. Brought us to the point of ruin.
As usual Catherine some very well reasoned points
No-one would deny we have a non EU immigration problem but uncontrolled EU immigration is also a problem, it may be a smaller problem but it is a problem non the less, and as this is an EU forum, debate on EU immigration is all that matters here
As I see it immigration from ex commonwealth countries is completely of our own making, there is no-one else to blame except previous UK governments where as EU immigration is something forced upon us by a bunch of unelected idealists with their totally flawed plan of “freedom of movement”
I will vote for a party with a platform clearly Eurosceptic
Again you seem to be blinded by prejudice. When the UK joined Europe it took us into a union that not only did we have ultimate political input but major political input. Did you know for example that our lawyers, British lawyers, drew up the Human Rights legislation? Do you think we the UK have been muffled in European politics? If you do, know that to be utter nonsense spun to us all as a get out . We took a leading role not a junior role.
What do you think Catherine Ashton is all about? Aside from the fact that she’s a disgrace as a British representative, she’s in the driving seat of policy and taking her lead from the UK government. Which does not change with any degree after an election. How do you count for the same faces over decades. It’s all done with smoke and mirrors and set up to hide it from you.
Not to mention the Americans run a huge part of Europe with our British input to back them up, making them the leading light there.Why do you think they don’t want the British to pull out and are making unveiled threats toward us should we dare? They fear loss of their heavy lobby for trade con tricks they are waiting breathlessly to pull off. Knowing the Europeans are blindfolded when it comes to their fancy foot work in trade deals.
You also are blinded to what is really going on there. It is us and the USA that have leaned on Europe to take most of the human rights steps they have done. Not the other way around. Are you completely out of touch with the heavyweight the US has around all parts of the world, backed by the British every step of the way? Who do you think was at the back of the Gay rights and marriage brigade? The Europeans on their own? It began in the USA with New York City followed by the spread to San Francisco, then their infiltration throughout the entire North American continent into the UK and Europe. Stonewall the big mover and shaker of that little or not so little lobby is American based and funded by the very rich homosexual brigade who worked on the issue once it was up and running. Likewise the diversity issue. This began in the US in the fifties and early sixties. Not in Europe. The Rainbow lobby was the mover and shakers there, a black organization working on this since John Kennedy was in power and before.
Do some research.
And this article from Migrationwatch tells you, once again, that immigration into the UK was a deliberate act in order to diversify the UK with those from the Commonwealth who have ‘the right of abode’ in so called Great Britain. So neither Farage and his crew, or any party can do anything about our severe immigration policy, as it comes from outside of Europe not within it. The multiculturalism shenanigans carried out via immigration was a prerequisite of US UK = EU policy. It was not ‘done’ under Labour alone, it began at the time of Enoch Powell and his Tory masters and became a Western intention to lower the pay across the board. Encouraging the rich to get richer and return the poor to the horror of previous centuries. Made easier by bringing in the poverty stricken from around the globe. Slavery was like mothers milk to them.
So your idea that Europe is to blame because of open border policy toward the Eastern block newcomers is utter nonsense. And the idiocy you comfort yourself with that should we remove ourselves from the EU we will be able to return to the cosy Britain we once found solace in, is a sign of having been labotomized.
Politicians are at the back of our demise and those politician are centered in all Western societies not simply Europe. Too change this pattern of destruction we must change our party manifestos right across the entire continent. And duck the US and North America if they want to economically ruin their peoples lives. That is up to them and their economist smart asses. We, meaning Europe, as a whole, must get out from under that sack of slit before we have any more shoved down our gullets.
Europeans, on the whole, make better workers and are more culturally equipped for assimilation than those from outside it. They, from outside, find it hard to accommodate our traditions and differences, as they are so vastly disconnected to what they see as a normal existence through dire exploitation at home.
You are being hoodwinked and loving the mess you are taking yourself in.
I will vote for the most pro federalism party
If the Eu was more democratic it may encourage people to vote . We all know though that the real power , the decision making, is at the unelected commission
Ban the death penalty.
Give the UK its fishing grounds back (costing the UK £3billion/year).
Make English the one and only official language.
Ban the death penalty.
Give the UK its fishing grounds back (costing the UK £3billion/year).
Make English the one and only official [UNIFYING] language.
Unfortunately, voting has nothing to do with the democratic governance. It’s just an imprint of the citizens’ desire. Nothing more. The power is being practiced from unauthorized centers outside the European parliament. Europe suffers from a great democratic deficit!
Of course voting has nothing to do with democratic governance BUT it has everything to do with DEMOCRACY.
Voting is only to do with democracy if the system itself is democratic. Otherwise voting is irrelevant. Voting alone does not democracy make.
I would like to remind Duarte Marques that the idea is to end the system where foreign politicians like him can vote on legislation that would apply to our country.
Duarte, we do not want your Eurosoviet Union, we do not want political integration and we do not want fiscal union (because it would require us transferring 15-20% of our GDP to countries like yours).
Besides, where does he get the idea from that the European Parliament is democratic? It is nothing of the kind! Saying something is democratic doesn’t actually make it so. The definition of democracy alone is enough to prove that anything EU isn’t and cannot be democratic, simply because of ‘lack of demos’.
And then I haven’t even mentioned the disproportional representation, the system that is essentially 28 national elections run on different models and the utter lack of any legislative initiative. However the key ingredient is and will continue to be ‘lack of demos’. No demos = no democracy. No demos exists on EU/European level.
I’m more than tired of Portuguese, Spanish, Italian and Greek politicians and them from Eastern Europe who’se only goal is to vote themselves and their countries more of OUR money.
Also, voting isn’t synonymous with democracy.
I am from Austria. Only 46% voted at the last EU election 2009.
The non voters had been 4 times stronger than the strongest party.
I am candidate for the next EU-election. My declared election target is to rise voting from 46% to 67%.
The whole economic crisis is only a huge calculation error. This is also the name of my book available in English and German.
Here You can see a preview of my election campaign tour with English subtitles
By holding referendums and respecting democracy.
I think you’ll find that this was out more than twenty years before we joined
It’s all there in place without any input from us, freedom of movement, social benefits…we just had idiot politicians that signed up to it all…….and they only allowed us to join when France decided it needed our money to fund it’s agriculture policies
So don’t try and kid on that we have had any influence on the fundamental policies of the EU
And so, Paul X, you believe the Victors of WW2, the US and the British, just stood back and let the Germans, French, Italians and the rest, have their way, without those despotic figures running the show through the Marshall Plan do you? Well good on you. Dreaming is a fun thing to do but has very little to do with reality. You need to read some serious books on the profits of war and especially WWII. Conquest is only fulfilled when the winner takes all.
Why do you believe we are stuck with US forces all over the European continent? Especially heavy in the UK and Germany.
And before you get to believing America gave this ‘aid’ to Europe as a gift, think again. It was a loan with enormous interest akin to the robbery of Wonga. So think again and clear you brain of idiotic patriotism. Europe was an American investment, not an act of charity. And as a result they ran and still run a large portion of the whole affair.
As I wrote before, ignorance is bliss.
Sooner or later we will be The United States of Europe! But it is equally important to understand the huge diversity of ethnic backgrounds that is in itself a great heritage and a powerful engine for the future development of Europe. In Romania, for instance the highly educated people have great expectations from the European political institutions in order to have the rule of law and the independent justice enforced! I am sure that as the European Federation will become a reality more and more european citizens will be involved in the elections for the European Parliament! I will definitely vote, as I did also in 2009!
These highly educated people don’t seem to understand that the EU is undemocratic.
And a United States of Europe? Not if we can stop it!
We do not want to give up wealth to Greece, Italy, Romania or Bulgaria. Because any federal system would require the richer countries to give up wealth. Aggregating wealth at the highest level is a ridiculous pipe dream, totally impossible.
The EU must be disbanded and we must return to EEC.
Also, we must be able to expel people from other countries who displace our own by working for less.
Blimey Catherine you can certainly go off on a tangent?
Yes this country was bankrupt after WW2 and yes a lot of countries owed a lot of money to the US, but what the hell has that to do with the Treaty of Rome, last I looked there are no American signatories on it?
You seem to bring America into every debate? Considering you despise the US so much why are you so pro the EU attempting to create a mirror image of it across the Atlantic?
Why do you believe a United States of Europe will have none of the failings of the USA?
My “idiotic patriotism” lends me to believe that we are better off as a continent of countries rather than a continental country
Well, Paul X, I beg to differ. Europe is the largest economic and most efficient trading block on the planet.
The UK would be out of it’s mind to leave this continent of power in order to become a satellite of the ruined USA. That country has gone to pot and therefore primed for further annihilation. It is a nation of war mongers, their only serious money making contingent. They have nowhere to go except via the spread of disunity and bloodshed. Why do you think they can’t let go of the Syrian war game? They need the chaos as it is bread and butter to them. Which, in our changing world, is unsustainable.
The fault with the US is not its structural system of government. It is the abuse of that government, rested in the hands of the super rich who have no intention to alter it for the betterment of its people. Europe can be kick started as the thinking is basically opposed to that of the American rich boy instrument of debt.
The Presidency has assumed more and more power diminishing the rights of the workers there. The ordinary workers no longer represented. Whereas in Europe, presently, there remains a sense of principled thinking for the benefit of all it’s people. Although the balance is being eroded rapidly by US influence and of course our old friend greed.
Does this sound familiar?
And here we go.
You have demonstrated your lack of understanding of Economic affairs several times in the past – take it from me, the UK [after a short hiatus] would be better off out of the EU.
Joining an ANGLOSPHERE UNION (incorporating the 5 eyes nations + others TBC) would mean greater land resources, greater sea resources, greater bloc wealth, fewer people and a superior legal (common law) system.
I rest my case.
I will vote and hope that the member states will respect the outcome of the election for the new president of european commision.
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This link leads to a way the British could make their own rules on voting and be able to do away with the ‘minority rule’ we presently have. It could spread throughout the EU if the people collective want a say in how they are led and by Direct Democracy we could rule for the betterment of ourselves rather than the advancement of the greedy. It would remove the threat of minority parties like UKIP taking over from unwanted politicians we presently have which lead us further into poverty by stealth.
How clever people want to remove the UK from our European trade expectations. What a bright people they are.
And note this man wants to remove taxes from corporations and businesses as well as National Insurance payments for our NHS. Sink our health care and relax regulation on small companies. What a joke. He is full of it and those who go along with him are likewise.
The Anglosphere Party is simply the UK hard right wing who are preparing us to become the 51st state of the USA. A country of third worlders.
Of course that would be like mothers milk to the British. ROTFWL.
Your words lack verisimilitude as per usual. The Anglosphere would include at least 5 nations NOT just the USA and UK!
Yet another ‘useful idiot’ [in actuality ‘useless idiot’] spouting fervent vitriolic inexactitude in support of the highly-flawed undemocratic, Nazi-founded EU.
If the UK is to remain in the EU, the EU MUST change, it must allow the UK to cherry-pick AND it must restore UK fishing rights that currently cost the UK £3billion/year in addition to the tax the UK pays to prop up ungrateful poor [generally Southern] EU nations.
Traitors like you (Lord [or should I say Lady] Haw-Haw) should be challenged at every available turn for you seek to impose inequality on the EU nation [the UK] that did more than any other nation to counter National Socialism in the EU countries.
If you are British as you claim [your regular grammatical mistakes with prepositions and the indefinite article say otherwise] then you are a disgrace to the human race never mind the UK.
PS: I hope your extirpated comment had nothing to do with little ol’ me! :)
Illiterate buffoons who have sparse, if any, formal education or desire for knowledge are rife within our society, sadly. Some of them running for office.
I intend to vote in the European elections this spring. I’m a brit who lives and works in another eu country (yes many of us do). It would help if there were tv/you tube debates by all the parties (with some language options please) so we could better understand each candidates position. Also a simple leaflet on how to vote plus who the candidates are. EU voting is a bit new to many of us so it must be real simple. Last point..I hear lots of my fellow Brits complaining that the eu is undemocratic…well get out and vote then!
Everything is going so global in these days that event governments are powerless in front of these huge corporations. This is just one argument in favor of the United States of Europe: to become more able to react over the greediness of some of these companies like the ones who are extracting gold or fracking, without any care for the local people.
I think that it is more efficient in order to prevent the invasion of the eastern citizens in the western countries to export the wealthy way of life and to improve here the quality of life. Sooner it will be better. Naturally, the human being feel more attracted to the land where we belong to, where our roots are. So, you don’t have to be worried about the immigration’s tsunami. The European Structural and Investments Funds are the instrument for equalising the wealth around our European continent. I hope that you will visit Romania and you will be positively surprised by some aspects of the daily life here.
I my opinion there should be first at all a fully political union. Europe must speak with one voice and there must be one fiscal rule, one justice rule, one energy rule etc
First at all is mandatory justice .. a person must find the same rules in Germany, Italy, Greece
When citizens will see that Europe exist as unique political entity, will partecipate to COMMON life .. otherwise every EU contry will be a isolated entity…
To Marcel … you have NO idea how is life in Italy .. we have high taxes but services are poor .. vote for one or other is the same .. they are all thieves but I want vote .. otherwise only way is war .. killing politicians – phisically
Remember that Italy pay more than other countries to ESM found and receives quite nothing.We have already a partimonial tax . Central goverment cutted a wide list of money transfer to local entity,so to keep money balancing these increased local taxes
And who’s fiscal rules will be used across all of the EU?
Apply the strict Northern policies to the relaxed South and create riots in the streets (exactly as austerity has done) or apply the relaxed Southern attitudes to the North and have EU wide corruption?
For example, by making sure that EU Representatives (ex. Rhen) do not make statements praising the behaviour of the politicians in charge of the economic policies of the countries that had their banking system bailed out, disregarding the sacrifices and hardships that the citizens are enduring.
Os partidos politicos com assento no Parlamento Europeu devem montar novas estratégicas para convencer os eleitores Europeus a fazerem o seu direito civico por mais Europa de oportunidades Como Europeu e a viver em Portugal eu estarei lá a fazer o meu direito civico e esse direito é a defender uma Europa de justiça e o bem estar de todos os cidadãos da Europa
How about this person wanting to ban any anti-Eu parties?
How is that democracy? You expect more people to vote when there is absolutely no choice but to vote for pro-EU parties? Typical EU arrogance from someone who is happy for the people to pay their wages but they must not be allowed to have an opinion
I will not be taking part in the EU elections.