The European elections

European citizens are going to the polls. The Dutch voted on the 22nd but for most countries the elections will take place over the course of this week. What do EUR students think of the elections for the European Parliament?

Thanasias Zias (27) from Greece, Master student in Strategic Managment at RSM.

“I got a mail for the European elections, but I am not really sure how to vote. I think you have to register in the embassy or something. But I haven’t really checked that to be honest,

I thought it was too much of a hassle. Usually I vote when I’m home, but here I’m not going to do it. I think that people should vote and that it is an obligation, though. But this time, it just did not happen for me.”

“The main concern in Greece obviously is the crisis. So you would want to vote for people that will represent you, your ideas and your values about that topic. People that push these issues forwards. The thing is, I think that we are represented by very few people in the European parliament. Because Greece is a small country. I am not sure if their voices are getting heard.

“I am also  uncertain if the European Parliament has something to say in Europe. I believe the central bank and the European commissions have the main say. There are many other powerful institutions in the European Union. That makes me critical if the parliament has a major influence on the political processes in Europe.”

Shirin Engel (19) from Germany studies IBCoM.

“I have voted  in local elections but I haven’t voted for the European elections, yet. I am planning to vote on the 25th of May, which is the date of the European elections in Germany. I think it is important to at least participate.

“Unfortunately I do not really know much about the voting procedures. The reason is that I am only able to vote since one year. So I haven’t been that much involved into the whole event yet.

I am not completely sure what the main issue in Germany is. The thing is that Germany focusses a  lot on its national and local problems. European concerns are also a topic, but not all the time. I think that social equality in Europe is important as a subject, though.”

Ivan Kalinichenka (20) from the Netherlands, Economics and Business Economics.

“I voted in the European elections yesterday. The outcomes of the elections were not really that astonishing. A much bigger surprise for me were the results of Geert Wilders right-winged Freedom Party (PVV). They actually lost way more than I thought they would. The anti-European sentiments were at an all-time high, but they still did not manage to turn this opportunity into an succes at the European elections.

“My own opinion: I think that the people who wanted to vote for the PVV did not show up at the polls. Only 37 percent of the population voted. Most citizens who aren’t happy with the European parliament actually don’t participate in its choosing.“