May 26: Not just another European Election
By Spyros Kapralos, R n’ D Head, European Communication Institute
We are about to select our new representatives for the European Parliament. The time is approaching. The political families of Europe and their candidates are now on the run-up to a pre-election campaign.
Being at a critical juncture – stage for the European construction, far away from the real meaning of the European integration, we witness phenomena of anti-Europeanism, extremism and populism which are, beyond doubt, a visible threat to our common future.
Citizens face the European elections as an opportunity either to express their dissatisfaction with the rulers at national level or to send the message for the need of policy change.
Further, the European elections, a process of intense interest and impact on the everyday life of citizens, are sacrificed by governments to the altar of an internal agenda, thus losing part of their essential character.
Although an important part of European societies see their country’s membership in the EU positively (according to May’s 2018 Eurobarometer), participation has much room for growth.
In order to achieve this, public opinion must understand the importance of the European elections, be informed about the European applied policies towards the direction of improving everyday life, and on the other hand, European Institutions should apply an enhanced and novel communication process attempting to highlight this importance.
To actively involve citizens, it is imperative to attempt to change the perception of local societies, concerning relevance of what Europe stands for, to the very cell of European neighborhoods.
Involvement, cooperation, exchange of views, deepening confidence between Institutions and citizens will create a new framework for an emulsified European culture, counter balancing phenomena of anti-Europeanism, extremism and negative developments Brexit- style.
At this crucial crossroads, Europe must defend its principles and values by every possible means. Enhance what we call resilience!
Within a few weeks, citizens have a chance to take matters in their own hands. Mass participation is imperative. European elections are and remain everyone’s concern and an obligation from each of us, to all directions.
Our own duty, same as anyone’s who believes in this structure of peace and prosperity (rightfully ignoring existing sync problems or arrhythmias) is to support those forces and political families who fight for the European Ideal.
Europe needs to make its next steady (or necessary) steps towards the painful road to integration. And those who truly believe in this narrative can only be efficient if they gain the necessary popular legalization.
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