Why vote?

The European Election in June 2009 will offer European citizens the opportunity to appoint directly and by direct universal suffrage the representatives who will act on their behalf for five years in the European Parliament.

Hence European voters can influence the political composition of the European Parliament, which is called to act as part of the legislative procedure, on the main trajectories and decisions taken in the European Union. In addition to this, the fact that the parties represented in the European Parliament will be appointing a lead candidate who could become the President of the Commission if that party wins in the European elections, should be a major political stake in this election.

The Parliament is the only institution to be elected by direct universal suffrage.
The Parliament is the only institution which represents the citizens.
On this occasion the citizens can have their say and give their opinion.

Since every national political party presents its own candidates it is up to each voter to choose the representatives who embody his/her ideological or partisan preferences.

Hence European voters can influence the political composition of the European Parliament, which is called to act in the legislative procedure on the European Union’s main orientations and decisions.

The European Parliament elections are a decisive moment for European citizens who want to play a role in the running of the European Union; there are three types of choice they can make:

– a civic choice since the increasing powers of the European Parliament will help the voter influence the decisions taken by the European Union directly;

– a partisan choice because it helps the voter appoint the representatives who increasingly express their opinion based on ideological criteria;

– and a choice of national influence.

A civic choice

As the treaties have succeeded one another MEPs have acquired legislative, and budgetary powers together with major powers of supervision.

In the beginning the European Parliament was dominated by the notion of institutional endorsement with regard to the European Commission and the Council of the European Union.

A partisan choice

As its powers have increased this notion has tended to decline to the benefit of increasingly distinct partisan divisions.

Division does not only affect the development of the construction of Europe which has both its supporters and adversaries, but it also affects real political decisions thereby bringing the differences in opinion between the various parties to the fore.

These political differences emerge not only during voting on the directives and the regulations, on economic issues or on those relative to the “area of freedom, security and justice” for example but also in the political platforms of the various European political parties.

A choice of national influence

Whilst several studies undertaken since 2004 show the weakness of French representation in the European Parliament, the European elections provide an opportunity to choose the representatives who will strengthen French influence on a community level.

Although the European Parliament is now marked by a partisan approach, MEPs’ national sensitivity also finds expression with regard to a number of issues.

Enhancing national influence notably supposes privileging political parties that have a high profile in the European Parliament(the European People’s Party (EPP), the Party of European Socialists (PES) and to a lesser degree, the Alliance of Liberal and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) and the European Green Party and representatives who are best qualified to fulfil the role granted to them via the vote.

But of course, it is up to the voters to decide whether they want to make a choice of national influence or not, which supposes privileging political parties that have a high profile in the European Parliament.