Weekly Roundup: 11 – 17 February

Weekly Roundup: 11 – 17 February

Less than 100 days until we get out the vote, in May! Meanwhile, catch up with our daily articles from last week around migration. A thing is clear: European leaders should not leave migration to populists.

Until next Sunday or…see you this Tuesday, at Google Belgium, if you are attending our first event! 🙂

Let’s take control!

Let’s take control!

Europe is a mess, right? At least that is the impression you get when you turn on the tv or read the news. The last decade seemed to be one crisis after another. From the global financial crisis to the Euro crisis and now Brexit. So why care about the upcoming elections and the future of Europe?

Europe is bureaucratic and disconnected, so many say. It often over regulates the small things and fails to deliver on the big things. Many complain that the costs for Europe are too high and that political leaders only care about their next re-election. Whilst I am clearly biased towards the European Union, growing up in the heart of the European experiment and like millions of others have greatly benefited from Europe’s freedoms to live, travel and work in different Member States, I also realize that our Union is far from perfect.

Yet, just sitting at home complaining does little to change this fact. That is why I am actively engaged in trying to connect today’s policymakers with young people. To give our generation a voice and impact decisions that will affect us.

When political leaders decide on how to address migration, climate change or what to invest in schools and universities it is the young generation that is most affected by today’s decision and need to ensure our voice is heard.

Decision-makers often say “Get involved” but deny us a seat at the table when decisions are made. But the upcoming European elections can change that. It gives us the opportunity to vote for candidates that support a strong voice for the young generation, that will address youth unemployment, invest in education and research as well as address climate change and face up to populism, racism and hate. 

But politics live by engagement – we need to challenge our political leaders, and this is easier than ever before. Using modern technology, we can not only more easily follow what they are doing but we can also amplify our voices and demands.

Nearly 1/3 of Europe’s population is under 30, making us a powerful group. The recent protects by school student in Belgium demanding that the government does more to combat climate change have demonstrated the impact we can have.

Now it is time to make our voice heard all over Europe. The European elections 2019 are our change to ensure that the next five years are shaped for us and by us. So, get involved and go out and vote in May 2019!

Why the hell should I vote?

Why the hell should I vote?

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:

Get informed.

Take control of your future.

If you are a European Citizen, wherever you are, on 23 – 26 May 2019, Fucking Vote!


Image: Unsplash

If not now, when?

If not now, when?

In the almost decade I have worked in European politics one of the most despiriting things I have witnessed is the decline in voters taking part in the elections many of our relatives worked hard, if not died, for us to get.
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