European elections: “Go to vote or others will decide for you"

Parliament President Roberta Metsola called on everyone to vote in the European elections on 6-9 June as decisions taken by elected MEPs affect everyone.

President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola, during an interview.
Roberta Metsola during the interview

From the first comprehensive regulation on artificial intelligence to laws securing social rights for people working on digital platforms or ensuring that appliances can be fixed at affordable prices: decisions taken by the European Parliament have a direct impact on your life.

This is what Parliament President Roberta Metsola wants Europeans to keep in mind as they head to voting stations in June. In a month people across Europe will elect 720 lawmakers to represent them in decision-making at the EU level for the next five years.

“This Parliament gets to decide on a lot of things that matter to your daily life. Do not let anybody choose for you. This is the importance of these elections and this is why we are encouraging everybody to go vote, to choose,” she said in an interview for Parliament’s social media channels.

Among the most recent actions taken by the Parliament, Metsola highlighted the support for environmental legislation with ambitious targets and an “unprecedented” package of rules on migration and asylum to reform the way the EU deals with migrants.

Parliament members also led the way on foreign policy with calls for a cease-fire in Gaza and for Ukraine to be granted EU candidate status.

Over the past year, the President has travelled to most EU countries, meeting especially with young people to explain how all these initiatives are not “disentangled” from what happens at the national level or from the role that Europe plays in the world.

Know the past, work to improve the present

The President is worried that younger generations might not be aware of the struggles faced by their parents and grandparents to secure democracy and the way of life they enjoy today.

Coming from a country that joined the European Union 20 years ago, the Maltese lawmaker noted that her four young children may not fully realise how much her country has changed since its accession. “Are our grandchildren, our children, aware of what democracy is, of how much we needed to fight for it?

“We've seen backsliding of democratic values in Europe and beyond. Democracy requires people to fight for it. If you don't fight for it, it disappears. There are forces in this world, both inside and outside Europe, for whom Europe and its very existence is a threat. And that is what we have to fight against,” she said.

Metsola described the findings in the latest Eurobarometer survey, showing that 71% of Europeans are likely to vote in the upcoming elections, as “optimistic” and “encouraging”. However, in her meetings around Europe, the President had talked to many youngsters who, despite supporting the EU, were undecided on whether they should vote.

“It is that gap that we are currently bridging,” she explained and appealed to the undecided voters: “Go to vote. Otherwise, others will decide for you. Be proud. Europe is your home. Don't let go of it.”