As the polls open for the 2014 European Parliament elections, the PDU gives ten reasons why should bother voting.
- The European Parliament will only get stronger, compared to theTroika, if it has a democratic mandate. If we want a more democratic Europe, we need to ask for it at theballot box.
- We need a pan-European response to the events in Ukraine. If the crisis on our eastern border has shown anything, it is that member-states cannot afford to follow their completely separate agendas with regards to security.
- After so much effort to promote the idea of democratic change in Europe, a failure to support theParliament would send a very bad signal about the tolerance of bureaucratic rule.
- Voting is a symbol of continental solidarity 100 years after the start of the First World War.
- An unused vote is effectively a vote for the Eurosceptics – and if you’re thinking of voting Eurosceptic, see if our appeal changes your mind.
- Under the Lisbon Treaty, this could be the first time that Parliament nominates the president of the European Commission. As we have seen from the TV debates, we have a strong range of candidates to represent the people of Europe in the higher bureaucratic echelons.
- The elections are run on proportional representation, so you can actually vote for who you want to rather than for who might win. This will be of particular novelty to voters in those countries, like Britain, who are used to the first-past-the-post system.
- We need a pan-European approach to environmental issues, particularly climate change. After the sluggish outcome of the Warsaw Conference, this is even more important.
- We need to keep democracy and the rule of law as attractive ideals for future member-states. The possibility of accession to the EU has provided a major incentive for countries to improve their governing structures – we should not sacrifice this now.
- It is the first chance to express opinion on a European level since the start of the eurozone crisis. Whether you are for austerity, or against it, or somewhere in between, then you can have your say on Europe’s economic future.
Image: ‘The hemicycle of the European Parliament in Brussels.′ courtesy of Ash Crow via Wikimedia Commons, released under Creative Commons.