The next elections to the European Parliament are expected to be held
between the 23rd and 26th of May 2019.
According to the public data on the European Parliament website,the 2014 EU elections saw the lowest voter turnout since 1979 when elections were first held. The official data shows that turnout reached 42.61% in 2014, compared with 49.51% in 1999 and 61.99% in 1979.
Turnout is generally seen as an indication for the EU Parliament’s democratic legitimacy that callsinto in question the legislative credibility of the entire European Parliament.
According to a post- 2014 election survey commissioned by the EU Parliament participation in the May 2014 European elections varied according to the gender, age and occupational category of the respondents.
Turnout was again highest among the oldest respondents. Some 51% of the 55+ group voted in the European elections, while only 28% did in the 18-24 age group. This is relatively unchanged from 2009.
There are clear differences according to age and occupational category when it comes to the time at which the voting choice is made, but almost no difference by gender.
Young people were more inclined to decide on the day of the elections or a few days before (28%, compared with 11% for the 55+ group).
As a leading network of social and healthcareservices diaconal organisationswe are deeply concerned about the unpredictable results of the upcoming EU elections, which could underminethe integrity and benefit of actions by the Union.
The “Spring 2018 – Standard Eurobarometer” released by the European Commission showed that only 40% of Europeans have a positive image of the EU. Although the youngest Europeans (18-24) are more positive about the European Union than the oldest (55+), far fewer of them turned out to vote.
We, therefore, think that all the possible initiatives that could encourage young people to vote should be seriously considered as a matter of common interest.
As stated in our 2018 Annual General Meeting Final Declaration, our network is “inspired by the hope of the Gospel and as advocates for social justicewe are clearly working for the common good and for a stronger social Europe.”
Today more than ever, we think that in order to strengthen the rights, voice, and democratic power of society’s least privileged groups and thereby contribute to the social cohesion in our societies we must oppose all forms of extremism and polarisation that encourage exclusion.
To do so, we decided that we cannot avoid launching a campaign to promote the importance of the Union and encourage young Christian youth and young social workersto exercise their right to vote.
We decided to take part in the general European effort to encourage young people to vote to targetChristian youth and young social workers +18-30 y.o.
Our campaign title “#TIMETOVOTE” focuses more on the urgency of voting to face an imminent danger. The idea is that it is now time to vote not only to protect the European project that has brought 70 years of peace, prosperity, andsolidarity to Europe but also that their vote is fundamental to support a fairer and more equal Union in opposition to extremism and egoism.
What can you do?
Use our guidelines to organise small meetings with young social workers and volunteers to explain them why it is important to vote for the upcoming elections and get in touch with MEPs from your constituencies to ask them to join you.