May is one of the finest months in Cambridge: the sun is usually out, and so are the punts, filling the river with happy faces! Students, however, tend not to see either, being hidden away in their favourite library corners, revising for the upcoming exams. Not so this year, however: the Cambridge University European Society, local branch of the Young European Movement UK, has got great plans to get everyone out and about!
On May 2nd, a mere five days before the UK General Election, the EUPAC (EUropean Political Action Committee) project will culminate in a day of campaigning and debating. From sunrise to dusk (er, we mean 9am to 5pm), our activists will be in Market Square, engaging with locals and tourists alike on European and electoral themes, taking photos, distributing (home produced) leaflets outlining the benefits of EU membership for the UK, and generally making themselves noticed. At 6pm, over 100 people are expected to profit from one of the last occasions to see four of the five candidates standing for the Cambridge parliamentary seat debate on foreign affairs and European issues. With the Lib-Dems fighting hard to maintain their seat despite Labour’s rise in the polls, we are anticipating some heated exchanges!
One week later, on May 9th, post-election euphoria (or depression, depending on one’s political outlook) will be swept away by celebrating in grand style Europe Day. Not only, for the first time ever, will the European flag fly over the Cambridge Guildhall for an entire 24h – the Society will also be covering theriver in flags of the 28 Member States of the European Union. Metaphorically, of course! All of the relevant national societies have indeed been invited to join the European Society for an afternoon out on the punts – only requirement, to bring a flag along!
By Davide Martino, Vice-President of YEM Cambridge