Challenge for Europe

Dans 40 jours, nous irons voter. 40 jours : c’est le temps dont nous disposons pour exiger l’impossible. Idéalistes ? Peut-être. Réalistes ? Surement. 50 propositions concrètes, traduites en français et en anglais, provenant d’acteurs de la société civile européenne, viendront enrichir ce blog jusqu’au 7 juin. Elles sont toutes pour plus d’Europe mais offrent des pistes pour mieux la bâtir. 10 thèmes centraux ont été pris à bras le corps par les auteurs ; la culture et les cultes, la défense, l’enseignement et la recherche, la gouvernance et la citoyenneté, l’immigration, les médias, l’Europe Sociale, l’Europe de l’économie, les médias et l’Europe dans le monde. Alors, dès maintenant, que vous soyez politicien, citoyen, européen ou autre : réagissez, débattez, contestez, approuvez, agitez-vous car l’impossible ne s’atteint que dans le débat d’idées…

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  1. Citizens living and working in other member states should be first,
    not last, to vote in European elections.

    ECAS has published a manifesto for the European elections which places emphasis on the enforcement of European citizens rights and the reforms needed for a more comprehensive and inclusive European citizenship.

    But are existing rights such as the right to vote and stand in European elections in a country other than one’s own being sufficiently used?

    In theory they should be because the single category of the population to which the European Parliament gives most attention are people living and working in other member states. The single largest category of complaints, petitions or requests to individual MEPs concern obstacles to free movement rights, disputes over property abroad or health rights across borders. How come those most affected by European legislation and policies appear least likely to vote in the European elections?

    There are a number of possible explanations:

    – The right is a new one. At the European elections in 1994, 6% of people living and working in other member states voted in the European elections, a figure which had doubled by 2004. But will it increase this time round?

    – Registration procedures still cause confusion and are not sufficiently personalized and available in the language of the voter.

    – Political parties and candidates are not giving enough attention to this group of voters, even though it could provide a counter weight to nationalistic and xenophobic tendencies.

    ECAS calls for a thorough analysis of this democratic paradox immediately after the elections. In the meantime, it is important that those who registered to vote should do so or if they failed to do so complain if the registration procedures were too confusing or difficult.

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