The EU Election 2024: Why Your Vote Matters and How to Make It Count

If you are entitled to vote in the EU elections, you should have received a voting card in your mailbox. So get ready for the EU elections taking place on June 9! You might be wondering why your vote matters, what options you have if you can’t make it to the polls on the big…

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If you are entitled to vote in the EU elections, you should have received a voting card in your mailbox. So get ready for the EU elections taking place on June 9! You might be wondering why your vote matters, what options you have if you can’t make it to the polls on the big day, or what role the European Parliament plays in your life. Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered with all the essential information you need to know about the EU election 2024. Let’s dive in and explore everything from what the European Parliament does  to the significance of your vote. 

What is the difference between the EU elections and national elections?

In the EU elections, you cast your vote to elect representatives who will voice your political opinions and beliefs at European Parliament level. The Members of the European Parliament make decisions that impact not only the EU as a whole but also its member states and ultimately, every individual citizen. One significant difference lies in the scope of influence and decision-making power. While national or local elections address matters specific to a particular country or region, the EU elections tackle issues of broader significance that exceed national borders. The decisions made by the European Parliament affect diverse aspects of life, including trade relations, environmental policies, human rights standards, and economic regulations, impacting millions of people across Europe. The EU elections serve as a platform for expressing not only national interests but also collective European values and aspirations regarding these matters.

Another crucial distinction lies in the structure and function of the governing bodies. In the EU elections, you vote directly for candidates to represent you in the European Parliament, a legislative body responsible for passing EU laws, overseeing EU institutions, and representing the interests of European citizens. In contrast, ordinary elections typically involve voting for representatives who will serve in national or local legislative bodies, with a more limited scope of authority and jurisdiction. EU elections are therefore a unique opportunity for citizens to contribute to the advancement of shared goals and values on the international stage.

What happens if you cannot vote on June 9th? 

If you can’t vote on June 9th, don’t worry! There are other options available. If you’re a Swedish or EU citizen voting in Sweden, you usually vote at a polling station in your district. Your voting card, which you’ll receive by mail about three weeks before the elections, will have the exact location of your polling station. However, if you can’t make it on the big day, you can also vote early at various locations across Sweden. Advance voting starts 18 days before the election and continues until election day itself. Now, if you’re a Swedish citizen living abroad, you can still cast your vote. You can either vote by post or visit Swedish embassies or consulates. In either case, you can always find a way to participate in the election.

Why does voting matter? 

Because it’s your chance to influence the future of the EU! You get to have a say in what kind of society you want, like how migration policies should be, how to handle gang-related crime, and what to do about climate change. It’s a special time when everyone can share their opinions and make a difference in the EU. So, don’t miss out on your chance to have your say and make an impact!

Why does your vote matter? 

Your vote matters because the decisions made in the European Parliament affect everyone. Whether you live in a big country or a small town, run a big business or a small startup, or worry about global issues or local problems, EU laws impact our daily lives. They cover lots of important topics such as environment, security, migration, social policies, consumer rights, and money. When you vote, you help choose the people who make these laws and pick the European Commission, which also has a big say in your life and the lives of many others. Moreover, the EU has to tackle lots of tough problems that no country can solve alone. By voting, you get to have a say in how these challenges are taken on. So, your vote isn’t just a mark on a piece of paper- it’s your chance to shape the world you live in and make it better for everyone.

What does the European Parliament do? 

The European Parliament, consisting of Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) and representatives from EU member states, plays a crucial role in shaping the juridical landscape of the European Union, and its member states. The primary function of the European Parliament revolves around the formulation and establishment of laws that affect various aspects of life within the EU. From economic policies to initiatives combating poverty, addressing climate change, and ensuring security measures, the Parliament delves into a diverse array of issues crucial to the well-being of EU citizens. Furthermore, the European Parliament serves a role of protecting fundamental values such as human rights, freedom, democracy, equality, and the rule of law. A significant responsibility of the Parliament lies in the approval and oversight of the EU budget, ensuring that financial resources are allocated efficiently and in accordance with the Union’s priorities. Additionally, the Parliament exercises its authority in selecting the President of the European Commission and holds Commissioners accountable for their actions, fostering transparency and accountability within the EU institutions.

As this is your chance to use your rights and vote for those candidates you believe will make the world a better place, I urge you to vote. Democracy hasn’t always been guaranteed, and many people around the world still don’t have this privilege. Therefore, it’s important to not take your right to vote for granted. Use your vote wisely, appreciate the freedom it represents, and make informed decisions based on what matters to you. Democracy is a precious achievement that requires active participation and responsibility from all of us. Voting is where democracy starts, and it’s how we shape our future. If we don’t take part, we lose the chance to influence the outcome. Remember, the more people participate in voting, the stronger democracy becomes. So, even if you’re tempted to skip voting out of laziness, think twice about the impact of your decision.

Reference:European Union. (2024). European elections, 6-9 June 2024. Retrieved from: https://elections.europa.eu/

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