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 EUROPEAN ELECTIONS 
by Fran on Wed Apr 15th, 2009 at 02:41:01 PM EST
Why Poles hate voting in European Parliament elections

Only 13% of Poles are planning to vote in the European Parlimanent election, the newest Eurobarometer tells us. That's less than in any other country in the EU.

The average for the whole EU is 34%, while among the most interested Belgians 70% plan to vote (which is still not enormous considering that voting is obligatory in Belgium).

People often ask me why the Poles are not interested in European elections. The last time, in 2004, only 21% voted, which was the second lowest in the EU after Slovakia.

Five years ago there seem to have been two main reasons: 1. national elections were approaching, so the political parties were saving their fire; 2. we had recently voted (in large numbers - 58% participation) to join the EU and had just joined. The typical reaction of a less educated Pole was: "I already said yes, what are they asking me again?".

by Fran on Wed Apr 15th, 2009 at 02:58:26 PM EST
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Liberal campaign launch as colorblind as the other European Parties' - European Federalists

Tomorrow the Liberals are having their Campaign Lunch. But without a candidate for the position of Commission President they are not offering much real influence for the voters and are missing a great opportunity for political leadership among the other European Parties that also seem to be unable to present the voters real choices.

ELDR adopted their election manifesto already in October in their Congress in Stockholm. It was an excellent move to have the Congress half a year before the other European parties and it provided a great opportunity to put forward new ideas and to show political leadership. But then somewhere along the road this opportunity was lost - 6 month later there is still no liberal candidate for the Commission from the third largest group in the European Parliament. Instead they have nominated a candidate for the President of the European Parliament - a position that does not even come close to the executive power the Commission president has.

by Fran on Wed Apr 15th, 2009 at 02:58:46 PM EST
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Jon Worth » A manifesto for the next European Commissioner for Communication Strategy

The 2004-2009 Barroso Commission is starting to wind down. Brussels has its eye on the European Elections in June, and the selection of a new Commission due to take office from 1st November.

One of the Commissioners for whom I have developed quite some respect since 2004 is Margot Wallström; she has a refreshingly frank approach that has won her some friends outside the Commission (although few inside it by all accounts) and has been determined and diligent in making the most of a near-impossible task - communicating the EU. However Margot has no intention of serving a further term, and even if she wanted to the centre-right Swedish administration would not nominate her (Wallström is a Social Democrat).

So what should the new Communications Commissioner actually do? I assume the portfolio will still exist; as far as I'm concerned it's still very much needed.

by Fran on Wed Apr 15th, 2009 at 02:59:08 PM EST
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Julien Frisch: European Parliament elections 2009 (80): Eurobarometer, Twitter, and piecemeal approaches to the European Dream
Hm, I realise that this is my 80th blog post on the European Parliament elections. That is not much, taking into account that the first one was published already in early July 2008. At the time I thought there would be many more.

But at the time, I also thought there would be much more attention in the European Parliament elections.

Okay, I admit that there is much more attention than in July 2008. But considering the fact that we are some 7 weeks ahead of one of the largest democratic votes on this planet, "deception" could be the word that describes best how I think about this campaign. And the coverage of what is going on:

Yesterday and today, the most discussed issue in the European news and blogs and Twitter was the latest Eurobarometer survey and the finding that we might face a record low participation. See here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here.
by Fran on Wed Apr 15th, 2009 at 02:59:46 PM EST
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