One year to go
In just over one year, hundreds of millions of Europeans will elect a new European Parliament and decide who will lead the next European Commission. The future of Europe is in their hands.
Our citizens will carefully assess candidates and programmes before making decisions that will shape our continent for years to come. The European Union, a unique shared project underpinned by peaceful cooperation, is under threat by those who wish to destroy what we have achieved together.
This contrasts with recent Eurobarometer survey results indicating a growing favourable opinion towards the EU, despite the UK’s withdrawal - or perhaps because it is inspiring a renewed sense of attachment to our Union. For the first time, 48% of European citizens believe that ”their voice counts in the EU”. Despite differences among Member States, this represents a 10% overall increase over the last ten years. These are positive indicators, but we should not be complacent.
Over the next twelve months, in particular, our citizens will consider what the European Union is doing to protect them, create new opportunities and project its strength abroad. They will expect answers to concerns about migration flows, fighting terrorism, the environment and jobs. We must ensure that our citizens are aware of the results MEPs are delivering every day.
We are putting the European Parliament - the EU’s only directly elected institution - at the heart of the discussion on Europe’s future. Government leaders are now joining us regularly to outline their respective visions to us. This has led to lively debates that will form the basis for the next stage in Europe’s evolution. In June, we will welcome more than 8,000 young people to Strasbourg, enabling us to learn more about the next generation’s hopes and concerns, but most of all, how we can take Europe forward together. This is another exciting step in the right direction for our institution.
The media will play a central role in informing and influencing public opinion in the run-up to these elections. In order to follow campaigns in individual Member States, understand their impact and the changes that they will bring to Parliament in 2019, we have prepared an online press toolkit which will be regularly updated. It includes useful contacts, an election app, background notes, fact sheets, graphics and public opinion data, among other things, to help keep you up to date. We hope you find it useful.