Between the 22nd and the 25th of May, each EU Member State will hold their separate elections for the parliament of the European Union. Sounds boring, doesn’t it? A lot of people seem to think so, anyway. People reading this who don’t live in Europe probably don’t care about it at all, and even those who do live in Europe and who are able to vote, chances are only about 40% of you will actually participate in these elections. Because who cares what happens with the European parliament, right? Well, I do, and so should you, because these elections might just have enormous consequences for the entire world.
If you’ve followed the European news, you’ll know that a lot of people in Europe are against the EU, so much so that a far-right coalition within the European parliament has greatly grown in strength. Even now over 10% of the parliament consists of politicians who oppose the EU, and if Marine Le Pen and Geert Wilders keep going on this course, it will get even worse with their far-right eurosceptic coalition being polled at almost 40 seats. And that’s not just a problem for European cooperation, which would become even less efficient if too many politicians get the chance to hold back progress, but it is also a major problem for immigrants and the freedom of a whole lot of people with different ideals from these far-right parties.
As the Telegraph reports, if the polls are correct, Le Pen and Geert Wilders will receive public funding worth over 2 million pounds (2.2 million euros and 3.4 million dollars), which they can use to promote their ideals even further. We would be giving 2 million pounds to a guy who makes people chant “fewer, fewer Moroccans” and to a woman who is about to take over France with policies that can greatly endanger the equality immigrants have strived for for years. Both of these politicians are currently at the top of the polls in their own country, because the masses like that sort of thing. The masses aren’t immigrants and all they know about Europe is that the Polish and the Romanians steal their jobs. Add a couple of promises to reel in the elderly and you’ve got a dangerous coalition ready to take over Europe.
So that is why, if you’re able to, you should vote. Why you should care about what happens during these elections. The masses will vote for these people to oppose the EU for the simple reason that they fear the Eastern Europeans are taking their jobs. They will ignore that the EU makes it so much easier to travel, so much less costly, and that it makes all of Europe so much stronger and so much more prosperous. There are countless of reasons why the EU is of tremendous importance for today’s world, so we cannot let that all fall apart in its early stages just because we fear immigrants. Just because we aren’t immigrants ourselves.
These elections are important because if parties such as the “European Freedom Alliance” get to power, they will be able to ruin Europe. They can block cooperation just because it pleases the masses who once met a Romanian on the streets who did something they didn’t like. They can break that future of a united and equal Europe that can exist without those arbitrary divisions. So please, when election day comes, go and vote. Don’t think that it doesn’t matter, because it does. What happens at the end of this month is going to have a major effect on all of us, an effect that will last for years and that could set all of Europe on the wrong path, as well as on the right one.
Please have a look at the day on which your country will vote. I will probably be reminding you again the coming weeks, but it’s good to be aware already! Also, since I’m typing this anyway: I have been accepted for an internship in Bahrain this summer, so expect some posts on Middle Eastern issues towards the end of June! I am very excited about it, so I can’t wait to share some of my insights from the region!
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See you next Monday!
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