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Why You Should Care About the EU Elections and How to Vote Properly?

Why You Should Care About the EU Elections and How to Vote Properly?

As Europe gears up to vote this weekend, the continent will be electing a new European Parliament. This election holds significant importance, and understanding why it matters as well as knowing the proper voting procedures can help you make an informed decision. Here are 3 important points that you should know and in-depth look at why you should care about the EU Elections and how to vote properly.

1. Why Does It Matter?

You might wonder why this election is important to you. The seemingly cryptic election posters may not be very helpful, but the issues at stake are crucial and directly affect many aspects of daily life and broader societal trends. Here are a few reasons why this election matters:

    • Immigration: The European Parliament plays a pivotal role in shaping policies related to immigration. Decisions made here can influence the movement of people across borders, asylum policies, and integration measures.
    • Rise of Far-Right Parties: The growing influence of far-right parties across Europe is a significant political trend. The composition of the European Parliament will impact how these parties shape legislation on national sovereignty, EU integration, and more.
    • Erasmus and Other Programs: Educational and cultural exchange programs like Erasmus, which benefit millions of students and young professionals, are funded and regulated by the EU. The parliament’s stance on funding and policy direction will affect these programs’ future.

2. Who Can Vote?

Voting rights are another critical aspect to consider. Here’s what you need to know about eligibility and new changes:

    • Eligibility in Germany: For the first time, Germany is allowing 16-year-olds to vote in the European elections. This change is part of broader electoral reforms aimed at increasing youth participation in politics. However, it’s important to note that to vote, you must still be an EU citizen.
    • Excitement About New Reforms: The inclusion of younger voters has generated excitement and anticipation, particularly with new citizenship reforms set to take effect later this month. These reforms aim to streamline the process for acquiring EU citizenship, thereby broadening the electorate.

3. Can You Take a Selfie at the Voting Booth?

In the age of social media, sharing your voting experience might seem appealing, but there are strict rules regarding behavior at the voting booth:

    • Selfies are Illegal: Taking a selfie at the voting booth to show your friends that you voted is illegal in Germany. This rule is in place to ensure the privacy and integrity of the voting process. Even high-profile politicians have been caught and reprimanded for this mistake in past elections.
    • Maintaining Electoral Integrity: The prohibition on voting booth selfies is part of broader efforts to maintain the confidentiality and security of the electoral process. It prevents undue influence and ensures that every voter can cast their ballot in private, free from external pressures.

Understanding the importance of the upcoming EU elections and knowing the proper procedures for voting can empower you to participate meaningfully in the democratic process. Being informed helps you contribute to shaping the future of Europe. Stay aware of significant policy issues and new voting reforms. So, make sure you know your rights, follow the rules, and exercise your vote responsibly.

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