Crossroads for the EU: Why It’s Never Been More Important to Vote

Stephen Gilmore, Lola Boom, Mohamed El Khalouki, Tibo Duhamel, Ilaria Cassani, Melanie Weber, Maren Schmid, Eléna Lefèbvre

This week’s elections to the European parliament are of critical importance. Not only will they set the course for the EU over the next five years, but they will help to shape the longer-term future of the European project.

Europe is confronted with a series of fundamental, intertwined challenges. There is the continued rise of far-right and anti-EU forces, who are consistently polling well in many member states and, according to some projections, could win more than one-third of the seats at the next election. We can also see substantial discontent with politics more generally, notably in movements such as the Gilets Jaunes in France.

Perhaps even more pervasive, and arguably a contributing factor to both of these issues, is a widespread lack of knowledge about how the EU operates – highly problematic considering, in the understated words of academic Bo Laursen and Chiara Valentini, the EU’s “considerable influence on European citizens’ daily lives”.

In this light, cliché though it may be, these European Parliament elections look like being the most important for a generation. The significance of voting cannot be overstated. Yet, if we look at the data since 1979, there is an obvious and pronounced downward trend in turnout across the continent as a whole. In 2014, countries such as Slovakia or the Czech Republic didn’t even hit 20% turnout.

Continue reading “Crossroads for the EU: Why It’s Never Been More Important to Vote”

Unconscious Writers, Unconscious Readers: Democracy Endangered

Lien Verstraeten, Jara Dichas, Melisa Zelaya & Robert Saura

On 12 January 2017, the European Parliament assessed a draft resolution relating to the regulation of automation and robots. However, until today, the EU has not implemented such legislation.

In a continuously changing digital era, the EU has mainly been focussing on protecting EU citizens; in 2016, the Union succeeded in approving the GDPR. The directive was designed to harmonise data privacy laws across the EU and to protect EU citizens’ data privacy.

“Greater efficiency can free up reporters from mundane tasks, but it can also warp what journalism is and what we want it to be”                    Carlson, 2018

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Do You Want to Change the World?Lobbying Might Help You, And Technology Also.

Anna Claudia Pinheiro Gomes, Elisar Khattab, Kristyna Robova, Tzuhan Yu

Forget the suit and the money. Grab your online toolbox and become a citizen lobbyist!

What is the impact of your daily actions on society? Perhaps you always wanted to make a difference in the world, but never knew how to channel this desire.  On a TEDx, Alberto Alemanno, Professor of EU Law at HEC Paris, said that we usually think of only two ways to make progress in society. The first one is to vote. The second, to run for office. One seems to little, the other might be too much. But what if there was a third option?

Continue reading “Do You Want to Change the World?Lobbying Might Help You, And Technology Also.”