…you should be ashamed of yourself*!!!
There is no excuse – nobody who reads any newspaper and / or watches the news can have missed that the European elections are taking place tomorrow**. I just can’t believe one survey made in Sweden which claims that 1 out of 4 Swedish voters do not know about the elections!
My busy friend Å in Copenhagen wrote on her Facebook status the other day: “[I] took a two minutes detour for democracy while rushing between work and kindergarten and speed-voted for the European Parliament. So anyone claiming “I did not have time to vote” will need to look for another argument…”
If you have other excuses why you are not voting – check out this blog (in Swedish) for some reasons why you should vote!
We are 375 million Europeans in 27 countries to vote for the European Parliament, which means that it is the biggest “trans-national election in history” (according to BBC News) and if that isn’t a reason enough to exercise your right to vote, consider that TODAY (6th June) the 65th anniversary of D-Day was celebrated in Normandie! See how far we have come with European integration since that day in 1944! Think of that and don’t tell me that the European Union isn’t important!
Why are Swedes such Euro-sceptics together with the British? Well, I think that it is very much a problem of how we look at Europe – as the Continent, or in other words as them, not us. We don’t feel as European as a Belgian, German, Italian or French. In most countries on the Continent the European flag always flies next to the national flag, and people cross borders and use Euros without considering it “travelling abroad” anymore…
My 89-year old grandfather is one of the anti-EU Swedes (but according to my father he has already voted!) and I think for his generation in Sweden it is a question of fear – they remember the mess of the Second World War, which happened mostly on the Continent and not in Sweden (even though both Norway and Finland were very much involved). So, while Europeans his age remember the war and therefore support the European idea, he and his generation in Sweden still want to keep out to avoid involvement.
What I can’t understand is that the younger generation is still sceptical – haven’t they realised the marvels of being able to travel, study and work anywhere in Europe? Not having to worry about visas and work permits…
And if you are one of the critics of the European Union, without exercising your democratic right (obligation!), I believe that you have no right to criticise – there are lots of Euro-critical parties to vote for!
I am European and I am proud of it! GO and VOTE!!
*) In Swedish there is a saying that goes something like “you will never be a prophet in your own home[town]” and unfortunately O is one of the Europeans who hasn’t voted! I have told him that it is unforgiveable, especially as he has lived and studied / worked in two different European countries, and is married to another European! Without the European Union we probably never would have met…
**) Some member states, such as the UK and the Netherlands have already voted earlier this week.