60 Ideas for Europe

By voting for the European Parliament (EP) of the EU, all Europeans are allowed to have their voice heard in Europe, and as such the European elections raise the democratic value of the Union. However, few Europeans make use of their right to vote for the EP. Since 1979, with the first direct elections for the EP, voter turnout for the European elections has been falling. Among important reasons underlying the high level of absenteism are often mentioned: disinterest in European policy (partly caused by knowledge deficit), political distrust, and limited media attention dedicated to the European elections.
Eurobarometer (2007) is giving proof of limited knowledge about the EU and the EP in all member states, and about a growing demand from the citizen to be informed more profoundly about the EU.
Hence, why not pleading for various information campaigns the months before the European elections? Why not considering the elections as the perfect context to remember the European citizen about the importance of Europe and its Parliament?It is a paradox that the number of participants to the European elections has been decreasing since 1979,while the legislative power of the EP has on the contrary grown significantly.Today, the majority of national legislation has European origins (directives, framework decisions). Financial means should be made available to inform the citizen about the importance of Europe, and to remember all about the advantages the Union has brought about.

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  1. Potentially one of the most important aspects of the 2009 European Parliament election campaign is if and when the European level parties nominate their candidates for the president of the European Commission (and if the governments of the member states can agree to merge the post as president of the European Council with that of the Commission to give the ‘face’ of Europe democratic legitimacy).

    In addition, voters should be smart enough to take the growing importance of the European Parliament into account by a massive turnout.

    EP elections are of the ‘second order’ no longer. It is time for people to realise that.

  2. Yes an the EU needs to reach out to it’s citizen and not wait till national govements do it for them.

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