The European Parliament elections are fast approaching. Now's the time to mobilise people to vote and determine the future of the European Union. In the last European elections in 2014 only 42% of Europeans went to the polls. Trust in the EU remains low, and it would be a mistake to feel reassured by the recent Eurobarometer showing the highest popularity rating for the EU since 1992 and a strong majority agreeing that their country benefits from EU membership. We are facing uncertain times, and increasing political fragmentation in Europe can play into the hands of far right parties. When margins are slim, turnout becomes even more important, particularly in countries with traditionally low turnouts for the EP elections. For the legitimacy of our European democracy it is essential that citizens use their right to vote, critically and based on facts.
Many European citizens are concerned about and possibly affected by disinformation campaigns, data breaches and cyber-attacks interfering with electoral processes. Misleading claims and false information are being used by populist forces. Migration is used as a scapegoat for worsening socioeconomic conditions and the increase of inequalities within and between countries. We are witnessing rising Eurosceptic voices and populistic movements taking advantage of frustration that the EU is not delivering on the social dimension, when what is in fact to blame are neoliberal measures and policies. On the other hand, in recent weeks we have seen a new critical young mass taking to the streets of Europe to ask for immediate actions to stop climate change.
At this moment we need to ask: How do we make sure our messages reach bigger audiences? How do we communicate the work that the EU is doing towards building a social Europe for example to implement the European Pillar of Social Rights? How do we make sure that people cast their vote to demand a sustainable social Europe? As civil society we aim to bring people to vote through creating accessible information, but what is the role of think tanks, academics, policy-makers, social partners and media?
We invite you to discuss these challenging questions with us at our European Roundtable on 11 April 2019 at 12:30 in the European Parliament.
Registration here (Deadline 8 April 2019)
The programme will be updated shortly.
For information please write to: Laura de Bonfils firstname.lastname@example.org
Moderator: Conny Reuter, SOLIDAR Secretary General