« Act, React, Impact » : this is the slogan chosen by the European Parliament to launch its new information and awareness campaign ahead of the parliamentary elections next May. The initiative, launched on 10th September, aims to practically engage European citizens, render them more aware of their fundamental role in deciding the future path of the EU, and ensure wide participation in the European elections.
The European elections will take place between the 22nd and 25th May 2014 and will involve around five hundred million people. Although May is still a long way off, Brussels hasn’t wanted to waste time and has begun its information campaign for citizens. The parliamentary initiative will be carried out in several stages and will gather pace as the election date approaches. The first step was to determine a slogan, launch a video, and to seek to explain Parliament’s new tasks to citizens (firstly, but not solely, the direct election of the President of the Commission) and the consequences for those who live in Europe. From October until February, discussions will take place in various European cities relating to the five key themes of the campaign, i.e. the economy, money, quality of life, Europe’s place in the world and employment. From February, the election campaign will begin in earnest and will accompany the public through to the elections.
However, the Parliament’s campaign will not end with the election results but will also continue in the post-election period, focusing on the new Parliament that will already have plenty on its plate with the inauguration of the new European Commission and the latter’s new President. The Vice-Presidents of the European Parliament for communication have explained the end goals of the campaign and the reasons that spurred them to adopt this initiative.
Vice-President Anni Podimata, member of the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament, expressed herself as follows : « The only way to legitimise and influence EU decision-making is through the European Parliament. There is a perception that EU political decision-taking in the current economic crisis has lacked proper legitimacy. People, EU voters, have the exclusive possibility to determine the political majorities of the Parliament, which will set the course for forging legislation, challenging bad policies and leading the debate in the five years following the elections ».
Vice-President Othmar Karas, belonging to the European People’s Party, stressed instead the importance of these elections and explained, « The European Parliament is the Chamber of EU citizens – we are the citizens’ voice in the EU decision-making process. But this time it’s different. This campaign will lead up to the European elections of 22-25 May 2014, but also beyond, until Parliament elects the President of the European Commission and approves the new Commission’s political agenda ».
The campaign will cost sixteen million Euros and will take place in all twenty-eight Member States and in twenty-four languages. It is now evident that the European Parliament is striving to raise awareness and make it clear to citizens that they have an active and decisive role to play in influencing Europe’s path. With this campaign, the importance that is given to citizens and their views appears very clear, enabling them to understand their position within the EU decision-making process. We’ll leave you with the links to websites dedicated to European citizens : http://europa.eu/citizens-2013/ and the link to the English Act. React. Impact. video : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v4Pv...