What’s that? If the numbers are not yet haunting you in your dreams, don’t just take a mental note. No, go to your local Brussels tattoo parlour and make a lasting note of this historical message on your right forearm: 22 -25 May. Time to vote in the European Elections. Important. Full stop.
Why are we openly attempting to pressure you into doing something you will most likely regret? (Or not. Yes, I’m looking at you, hash tag YOLO person). It is no secret that the European elections have not exactly embarked upon a smooth democratic voter turnout ride. Since the first European Elections in 1979, each round of the quinquennial elections has seen a decline in voter turnout. The message that the European Parliament represents all European citizens could use a greater compliment than these bleak illustrations. The biggest culprit in this development has often been named and shamed as ‘young people’. Paradoxically, the same ‘young people’, and we will address the issues around boxing and labelling soon enough, are facing social and economic changes that seem to reduce their interest in participating in the elections.
26, an intern and still living at home? Social norms have changed with time, and the elections should be addressed in the context of these changes. The bloody, new tattoo on your forearm does not force you to vote, but the ink work will act as a constant reminder that you have good reasons to voice your concerns as a young person and an intern in Brussels. You have already witnessed, or soon will witness the events from a front row seat.
We need you, Brussels based interns and trainees, to investigate, record, and write for us. Grab this opportunity and conduct an interview with an MEP, share with us your personal take on youth (non) voting. Most of all, tell us what makes you care about the elections beyond the buzzwords from your job or those posters telling you to "Act. React. Impact."
Before we kick start our brand new section with an interview with John Lisney, the coordinator of the League of Young Voters, we want to remind you that EurVote will replace our monthly thematic section at least until the end of the EP elections. By then you will hopefully have had enough time and space to vent your ideas here on IV, where they shall rest in peace beneath the digital tombstones of a genuine effort in helping to a-change the times.
Happy reading, writing and voting!
IV editor, EurVote