Philippe Adriaenssens, President of the Young European Federalists (JEF), states: “No single MEP who truly cares about the legitimacy of the European Parliament can afford to ignore the chronically decreasing voter turnout and the engrained national character of the ‘European’ elections. The creation of an EU-wide Constituency is the only valid cure that is currently on the cards to solve the disconnection between the outcome of the elections and the selection of the Commission President on the one hand and reverse the widening detachment between EU Citizens and European decision-makers on the other.”
On the initiative of JEF, seven youth organisations have agreed on a joint Open Letter insisting that MEPs from all political groups support the ground-breaking proposal to create an EU-wide Constituency. The Young European Federalists (JEF), European Democrat Students (EDS), European Young Socialists (ECOSY), Federation of Young European Greens (FYEG), European Liberal Youth (LYMEC), European Youth Forum (YFJ) and Democratic Youth Community (DEMYC) are unanimous in demanding that an additional 25 MEPs be elected from transnational lists during the elections to the European Parliament and each EU Citizen thus have two ballots, one for national lists and the other one for EU-wide lists.
The representatives claim that: “The Duff Report on electoral reform is a unique chance to raise the popular legitimacy of the European Parliament. Creating an EU-wide Constituency will finally increase voter turnout, enhance the European dimension of the elections, personalise the election campaign and galvanise the development of the European political parties. [...] The introduction of transnational lists will turn the existing EU parties into real campaigning organisations and encourage the candidates for the European Commission to seek support beyond their own member state. Voters will choose for European politicians who presented their programme in several EU member states.”
Adriaenssens concludes: “Even though each of the signing organisations has different points to stress, they are united in their message that all MEPs, regardless of their political affiliation, should support the basic idea that EU Citizens should not be limited to voting for their own national candidates only. Introducing an original and exciting transnational element to the elections would finally generate a ‘European’ touch to the national debates in the media and create more awareness about EU politics. The ultimate aim is that European decision-makers feel accountable to all EU Citizens instead of their national electorate or home party only and thus permanently act in the European interest.”
Philippe Adriaenssens, JEF-Europe President, president(at)jef.eu, +32 472 33 41 27
The press conference will take place on Monday 27 June, from 17.30-18.30, in the Information Office of the European Parliament in Belgium, Rue de Trèves, 3 (place du Luxembourg), 1050 Bruxelles. Please note: the only entrance is via the main doors at Place du Luxembourg.
Registrations for people requiring an EP badge can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org until Thursday 23 June at 1 pm. In view of the usual security check, please do mention all of the following details: 1. Name, 2. First name, 3. Date of birth, 4. Nationality, 5. ID or Passport?, 6. ID or Passport number.
- Open Letter signed by the Young European Federalists (JEF), European Democrat Students (EDS), European Young Socialists (ECOSY), Federation of Young European Greens (FYEG), European Liberal Youth (LYMEC), European Youth Forum (YFJ) and Democratic Youth Community (DEMYC).
- JEF’s webpage about its EU-wide Constituency campaign.
22 June, 2011
Seven Youth Organisations Urging MEPs to Create an EU-wide Constituency
European youth organisations from across the entire political spectrum representing several millions of young Europeans are demanding in a joint Press Conference that MEPs muster the necessary courage for a bold reform of the way European Parliament elections are conducted. The event will take place on Monday 27 June from 17.30-18.30 (EP, Brussels) in the presence of MEP Andrew DUFF, Rapporteur for the electoral reform of the European Parliament.