As a European citizen born and raised in Argentina, until I moved to Belgium, I never felt connected to EU politics nor compelled to vote in its elections. As it is the case of millions of other people, my great grandparents emigrated from Italy to Argentina in the early 1900s and passed on their citizenship, without us having to learn the language or even visit their motherland (even if I did both due to a sense of responsibility and ‘’coherence’’).
If I am Italian, I should speak Italian. I should know Italy. However, I didn’t feel the same about politics.
I remember receiving by post the ballots to vote in every Italian election, and thinking, I don’t even know these people or their proposals, how the hell am I going to vote for someone If I have no idea if they represent my values, my views of the world? What is my connection to this election when I’ve always been thousands of miles away?
My perspective on EU voting has radically changed in the last few years, not only because I now effectively live in Europe, but also because I understand better how Europe’s course of actions affects the entire world. EU’s policies on migration, renewable energies & climate change, trade, development cooperation (only to mention some) have a huge impact on you and your family, no matter where in the world you are. If you have the chance, don’t you want to have a say in your future? I do, pretty much.
I’m tired of seeing examples of big time political decisions that will affect many generations to come being made after non-compulsory voting where the youth was hardly represented. But there’s nobody to blame for that if we don’t show up to vote. In 2019, we have the chance to determine Europe’s course of actions and send a message about the kind of European project we want to be part of.
All in all, I tell you the same I would tell my 18 year-old self 10 years ago when first receiving the ballots by post:
Take control of your future.
If you are a European Citizen, wherever you are, on 23 – 26 May 2019, Fucking Vote!