Press release: Europeans have voted for change: it’s time to act, Europe!

From May 23rd to 26th, Europeans all over the continent and abroad casted their votes in the elections of the new European Parliament and they sent two strong messages: With a turnout of over 50 per cent and the highest turnout in twenty years, European elections can no longer be called second-order elections. Citizens have recognised the importance of the European Union and want their opinions heard.

Citizens have also expressed a strong desire for change. The forces of the European status quo have lost these elections and they have lost them majorly. Thankfully, a majority of the voters seeking change have voted for parties which promote a renewal of European democracy – a social, ecological and sovereign Europe. More voters than ever turned away from the European idea, though, strengthening a new far-right bloc. Building majorities will be more difficult for the next five years. European Federalists have long said that neo-nationalists and illiberals can be defeated if, and only if, we take decisive steps to a more sovereign Union. All political parties must now listen to the voice of citizens and deliver European solutions to European and global challenges.

“From today onwards, the newly elected Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), as representatives of the European people, have the opportunity to make those radical political choices that have been suffocated in the past years, including by the Parliament itself, and bring the EU closer to its citizens. If we, Europeans, and our elected representatives, don’t take daring steps towards deeper integration, others will take the opportunity to instigate regressive reforms. As European federalists, we will be rallying at the first plenary in Strasbourg on July 2nd, calling on MEPs to choose Europe, wholeheartedly and without reservations!”, states Christopher Glück, President of the Young European Federalists.

For the first time, the voter turnout for the European Parliamentary elections has increased with an EU average of around 51%. This is a great reward for the hard work of all civil society organisations working on citizens’ mobilisation, as well as the European Parliament’s services, which heavily invested in bringing up voters’ turnout. Our “I Choose Europe campaign”, for instance, reached out to thousands of citizens in more than 20 countries  leading actions and debates to  convince Europeans, and especially first-time-voters, to go vote. This is  a call to European political parties and institutions to keep working with organised civil society, as only together can we bridge the democratic deficit the EU is still suffering from, and bring citizens to the center of European policies and politics. Commenting on JEF’s own activities Glück adds: “We could not be prouder of the work of our JEFers across Europe – Europe would not look the same without you! There is much work ahead of us to make sure the next European elections give us even more reason to celebrate, and we will start tomorrow”.

About JEF Europe

The Young European Federalists (JEF) Europe is a non-partisan youth NGO with 13.000  members active in more than 35 countries. The organisation strives towards a federal Europe based on the principles of democracy and subsidiarity as well as respect for human rights. JEF promotes true European Citizenship, and works towards more active participation of young people in democratic life. While the umbrella organisation JEF Europe was founded in 1972, its sections have been operating continuously since the end of the Second World War, making it the oldest pro-European and only federalist youth organisation.

More info

JEF Europe
European Secretariat
+32 2 512 00 53