UK-based European publications join forces in information campaign about EU elections

Press release, 23 April 2024 – Europe Street News and a group of European publications based in the UK are joining forces to inform EU citizens in the country about the upcoming European Parliament election, taking place between 6 and 9 June 2024.

Across the European Union, EU citizens will elect 720 members of the European Parliament for a mandate of five years. The around 5 million EU citizens who live in the UK, now outside of the European Union, remain in principle eligible to vote, but this will be the first European Parliament election after Brexit and there will be changes in the way many of them will vote compared to the past.

In 2019, as the United Kingdom was still an EU member, EU citizens in the UK could choose to vote for a candidate in their home country or in the UK. Brexit has removed the possibility to vote for a UK candidate, so EU citizens will have to choose candidates in their home countries.

All EU member states set their own electoral rules. Regarding citizens abroad, some countries allow them to vote from consulates, by post, by proxy or electronically, others require them to travel back, others do not allow them to vote at all.

As the UK will not take part, media coverage about the European elections will be limited, especially with regard to the modalities of the vote.

This is why a group of UK-based European publications will work together to inform EU citizens about the elections.

The information campaign will be run by Europe Street News, a news outlet specialised in the European Union and citizens’ rights, together with El Ibérico, French Morning London, Londra Italia, Londynek and Ziarul Românesc. These publications have long been serving, respectively, the Spanish, French, Italian, Polish and Romanian communities in the UK in the national languages.

The project will consist in sharing a series of articles about the European elections in English and in the respective European languages, and distributing them via websites, newsletters and social media to reach a maximum audience.

The campaign received the support of the European Parliament office in London.

Susanne Oberhauser, Director of the European Parliament Liaison Office in the United Kingdom, said: “We are pleased to be able to team up with Europe Street News and all the publications involved in the project to join forces in informing EU citizens in the UK, the biggest EU diaspora in the world, about their rights as regards participation in this largest supranational democratic exercise. In this super-election year half of the world’s population will be called to the urns. And there is one election where we Europeans will have our say on how the EU will stand up to both external and domestic challenges that will shape our future”.

“This will be the first European Parliament election without the UK and it is important that EU citizens living in the country are aware of their voting rights. What is decided at the EU level matters for us, whether it is for family ties or for issues like pension coordination, access to healthcare and education, consumer protection when travelling to EU countries, but also on broader topics such as the economy and climate change,” said Claudia Delpero, Founder and Editor of Europe Street News.

“It is also important to have a say on the future of the EU-UK relationship, when it comes to areas such as scientific cooperation, youth exchanges or the revision of the EU-UK trade and cooperation agreement next year,” she added.

“On the 7th of May in Poland we will celebrate the 20th anniversary of our accession to the EU. Many things have changed since then, as has the understanding and perception of the European community itself. That is why this year’s European Parliament election is a hot topic both in Poland and among Poles living in the UK,” said Adriana Chodakowska, Editor in Chief of Londynek.

“There are over half a million Italians in the UK who may feel somewhat detached from EU institutions after witnessing their host country’s departure from the European Union. It is essential that they receive accurate information about the upcoming European elections, a topic that has received little attention from the UK press. We are deeply honoured to collaborate with the European Parliament for such a significant initiative,” said Francesco Ragni, Founder and Editor of Londra Italia.

A survey carried out for the European Parliament in 2023 shows that EU citizens in the UK are on average more interested and more positive about the EU than the general EU population, but they are less likely to vote in the European elections. Respondents mentioned a lack of information and being abroad as key barriers.

Photo by Fano Miasta on Unsplash

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