Tuesday 12 May 2009

Update on the European Elections (and media coverage)

France 24 has set up its own page on the European elections, where you can see the current president of the EP, Hans-Gert Poettering, facing questions from young people on issues and how Europe can/should deal with them.

Personally, I found Poettering's answers very disappointing: he waffled on and didn't answer some of the first questions put to him. On one question he didn't make it clear where the responsibility for decision-making lies - blathering on about the need to work together rather than properly addressing the issue. Since his role was to explain what the EP could do for citizens and to encourage young people to vote, I have to give him a fail on this occasion - he gave no real sense of what the EP was for and what it could do for citizens.

Another story is Sarkozy and Merkel's common campaigning for the EPP - and Merkel's thinly veiled criticism of the UK Conservative's championing of enlargement while not facing up to the need for reform by embracing the Lisbon Treaty. Though it seems not to have made much of an impact over in the UK (the BBC haven't reported it anyway), it will probably be used by the Liberal Democrats and Labour to bash the Tories' weakeness/highlight their isolation in Europe.

The LibDems have just launched their election campaign. I wasn't impressed with their Public Election Broadcast (PEB) on the BBC: no mention of Europe, just a promotional video for the still new-ish leader Nick Clegg. Quite disappointing, since Clegg used to be an MEP. However, at the launch Clegg stressed the need for the EU and gave specific examples of how it was a positive force for Britain.

The Irish Independent and the Irish Times have increased their coverage of the European elections, with sections of their papers devoted to the campaign leading up to the June 5th polls.


  1. When I looked for the Conservatives' programme for the European elections yesterday, they nothing new to offer, only the pre entry in force referendum and the old We would not let matters rest phrase.

    Since they are leaving the EPP-ED group, they don't seem to care, and petty details like Germany and France will hardly register...

  2. The site I've been using the most as a reference point is Micandidate.eu . All the candidates are gathered in the one place which is handy.

    Although EU profiler is useful for helping one identify which political party best represents their interests/ideals. Micandidate allows you to identify candidates from the various political parties. This is useful because on election day we vote for candidates and not parties.

    What are the opinions on Micandidate out there. It seems like a good idea but surely there's something I'm missing ?

  3. I haven't used Micandidate much, but it looks like it could be useful in finding out a bit about the candidates.

    While we vote for candidates in some countries (e.g., Ireland [north and south], Malta, Cyprus]), in the others it's mostly list systems, though on some you can rank the candidates.

    It would be a lot better and easier if it was PR-STV across the EU for EP elections, with people able to vote for candidates rather than lists.