Never voted in a European election before? Fear not, YEM UK is here to cover all what you need to know for election day tomorrow!
– Who do I vote for anyway? The European Parliament is currently composed of 766 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) who are elected by the 28 EU Member States.
The UK is currently represented by 73 MEPs, which is then broken down into 12 European electoral regions. But, which region am I in anyway? You can find out more about which electoral region you are in here.
– No, really – who do I vote for? Who are the candidates?
A full list of candidates can be found here, which is broken down into electoral region and the party in which they represent. Once elected, each candidate will sit in the European Parliament according to which European political party they belong (such as, the UK Labour Party MEPs who will sit with the Party of European Socialists, the current second largest grouping of the European Parliament). For example, a candidate list for the Conservative Party representing the East of England is as follows:
East of England
- Vicky Ford MEP
- Geoffrey van Orden MEP
- David Campbell Bannerman MEP
- John Flack
- Tom Hunt
- Margaret Simons
- Jonathan Collet
or a candidate list for the Liberal Democrats representing Wales is as a follows:
- Robert Speht
- Alec Dauncey
- Anna White
- Bruce Roberts
– But, really – why should I bother voting anyway?
Many policy areas affect Member States in a number of ways, whether it is the environment, agriculture, international trade or consumer rights. As a Parliament, that has the power to approve, amend or reject proposed European laws, wouldn’t you want to have your say on this?
Are you a business person that regularly exports to the Single Market? Are you a university student, who in the next year will be on the going on the Erasmus scheme, studying in another European country? Are you a looking to retire in another European country? Whoever you are, these things do affect you. What really matters to you? Do you want change in Europe? Then don’t miss your chance to vote.
– Still unsure of what impact you could have? Want to know more?
There is a vast array of information out there, but here is a few links to a number of websites that offer all what you need to know (even a game, to give you an idea of the work of the European Parliament, and how the MEPs that represent YOU – actually vote)
European Parliament – Information Office in the United Kingdom
European Parliament – elections2014
VoteWatch Europe (see how your MEP voted in the European Parliament)
– Why not even see how we, YEM UK and our European partners are engaging with young people to encourage them to vote in the upcoming elections?
What Europe do you want?
– Still not convinced?
Whether you are in, out, pro-European, anti, eurorealist, want Europe to focus more on renewable energy, support for small and medium businesses, ease the regulatory burden, an X on the ballot paper is a simple way to shape the future direction of the European Parliament for at least, the next five years. You wouldn’t want to miss that chance would ‘ya?