08 June, 2004
European federalists launch appeal to the European citizens: go vote and take part in the shaping of the future of Europe
The European elections, which will be held from 10-13th June are historic. For the first time, people from the 10 new member states who have been separated from the free part of Europe for half a century will be able to participate in these elections. Across the 25 member states around 342 million people are called to go to the polls in order to elect a new European Parliament.
"The European elections are a unique chance for the Europeans to take part in the shaping of the future of Europe. We urge all citizens to seize their democratic right and go vote", says Jo Leinen, President of the Union of European Federalists (UEF).
"Nowadays, more than 70 percent of national legislation stems from the European level. The powers of the Parliament, the only directly elected body in the European Union, have been substantially strengthened during the past years. Hence, every single vote can make a difference", Mr. Leinen underlined.
According to UEF there is the danger that the European elections are once again misused as a referendum on the performance of the member state governments. That neglects the importance of the issues to be decided by the European Parliament.
The coming months and years are decisive for the creation of a democratic and efficient European Union. Only by giving the European Parliament a strong mandate, it can fulfil its role as the voice of the citizens and accordingly influence the direction Europe takes. "Against this background, we appeal to the European citizens to reinforce democracy in the European Union by going to the polls and thereby strengthen the place of the European Union in the world", the President of UEF concluded.
Three members of the Bureau of UEF run for the new European Parliament: Jo Leinen, President of UEF and Member of the outgoing European Parliament (Germany), Alojz Peterle, Vice-President of UEF and former representative of the accession countries in the Praesidium of the European Convention (Slovenia), as well as Thomas Mann, Member of the outgoing European Parliament (Germany).
Contact :  Bruno Boissière, +32.495 44 14 13

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