Do you have already plans for 22-25 May 2014? As an EU citizen you should probably go and vote for the European Parliament elections because “[t]his time, it’s different”, as promised by the information campaign launched by the European Parliament earlier this month.
On 10 September the European Parliament initiated its awareness and information campaign, aiming at raising EU citizens’ attention to the upcoming elections next year. With its slogan “ACT.REACT.IMPACT.” the campaign wants to draw attention to the importance of the European Parliament and tackle the frequently criticised lack of legitimacy of legislative and political decisions made at an EU level. Being the only directly elected EU institution, participating in the European Parliament elections is thus the way for EU citizens to directly influence as a ‘European whole’ the outcomes of the EU’s decision making process.
The recently launched information campaign consists of four phases:
The European Parliament has largely profited from each single treaty change, putting it now on an equal pair with the Council on the vast majority of legislative acts trough the ordinary legislative procedure. Legislation is proposed by the European Commission and then jointly co-decided by both, the European Parliament and the Council in up to three readings. Given the low voting turnout of 43 % in 2009, the European Parliament has earmarked a budget of EUR 16 million for its information campaign. Critics have already voiced concerns about this amount of budget. Yet, the campaign costs each EU citizen 0.3 cents only – a relatively decent price.
- the first phase aims at explaining the powers of the European Parliament and its implications on EU citizens;
- phase two will be launched in October and will last till February 2014, focusing on five key topics (economy, jobs, quality of life, money and the EU in the world);
- phase three will be the election campaign as such, calling for participation during the election on 22-25 May 2014; and
- phase four will be launched after the elections and will underscore the importance of the election results for the election of the next European Commission President and the inauguration of the new Commission.
European Parliament Press release