I found this via a group on facebook that I have gotten involved in. The group is “Voter Registration Campaign for European Elections 2009” and I obviously being of a political disposition and Pro-EU in my own way support it.
The group was created by Michael Bourguignon a dutch writer on www.eurosduvillage.com.
He has suggested three ways of engaging Europeans with the elections that will take place in 2009 in an article on that website entitled “The Individual’s Responsibility for Change“.
I would recommend reading the full article, but I have reproduced the 3 ways below!
The three ways are
Firstly, the turn-out numbers for this election have always been low. The facts and figures point to a decreasing rate of participation in an already low voter turn-out. This was represented in statements from the then out-going Parliamentary President in 2004, Pat Cox, that stated that “Regrettably, Europe is too absent from European elections in both East and West.” Many analysts saw the elections as presenting the bill for national governments and not taking European issues into hand.
What we need today is a consensus from European parties to engage in their powers of electing Commissioners and other areas where their competence can change Europe. With Lisbon hopefully coming into effect, the powers of the Parliament will be strengthened and parties can have a larger say in choosing the European Commission and European Parliament Presidents. Thus political parties would be able to create platforms that engage in choosing these newly created presidential posts to which citizens can then relate to — personal figures rather than abstract policies.
Secondly, another key component to incorporating citizens into Europe can be taken from the current US elections: creating grassroots campaigns. Europe needs to create a grassroots program where the most unlikely actor can play a crucial role: The Committee of the Regions.
Voting rights are the rights held by individuals and no-where can the subsidarity principle be applied more perfectly than in this area. In order to try to generate a grassroots program the Committee of the Regions must entrust to the local political parties their sense of being able to generate ground action in their areas and call for citizens to get involved. This will bring down the barriers to language and communication and render politics on a local framework to promote a more perfect union.
Finally, what Europe needs to do is to create a European-wide campaign for voter-registration. This will undoubtedly give the campaign back to the citizen and make him part of a larger picture, and finally hope to engage citizens in Europe. Depending on the national voting requirements of each Member State, registering voters, or making them aware how important voting actually is in the overall picture of the EU , will give them a feeling of responsibility for political action and make them feel part European integration. It is a simple formula for imformative action that depends ultimately on individiual responsability to counter the dissatisfaction and alienatation that most Europeans have on when tackling European issues.