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Date : Tuesday, 29 January 2019

Erasmus vote power - Active citizens for an active Europe



The aim of this project is to motivate the #ErasmusGeneration to go to vote for the European elections, which will take place between 23 and 26 May 2019, by explaining - country by country - the procedure they need to follow.

The project will include:

  • A call for Erasmus Ambassadors, one per EU country. 🆕 THE CALL is NOW OPEN! 🆕

  • A training event at the European Parliament for appointed ambassadors.

  • A collection of national regulations on how to vote from abroad.

  • National events in EU countries.

  • Recommendations to the newly Elected European Parliament.

  • Evaluation and follow up phase.

Why this project?Statistics show that during the EP Elections in 1979, 62% of EU citizens voted. Since then, the turnout had experienced a substantial decrease, despite the minute rise of 0,9% in 2014. Citizens not going to the polls are mostly people lacking education, unemployed, under 35 - over 65 or coming from underrepresented countries. In 2013, the Erasmus Voting Assessment project has been launched with the aim of investigating through scientific research across Europe the voting behaviour of Erasmus students in the EE. The study evaluated the impact of the ERASMUS programme on students' European citizenship and participation in democratic processes.35% of the EVA respondents that have an ‘Erasmus experience' (as opposed to respondents who have not studied abroad) believe that participation in the Erasmus programme has made them more interested in and willing to vote in the EP elections. The problem we identified is that most of the students are not informed on HOW they should vote, the deadlines for the bureaucracy to vote from abroad (in 2014 lots were not able to exercise their right). There is not (yet) a European regulation on this matter and, so far, the most active European citizens could be prevented from voting. 

The Eurobarometer Survey "Democracy on the move - One year before the 2019 European Elections" shows that half of Europeans are interested in the EU elections and people cite the fight against terrorism (49%), youth unemployment (48%), immigration (45%), economy and growth (42%) as their priorities for the election campaign. For all these reasons the project aims to foster European citizenship and promote the European Parliament as the only European Institution democratically elected by the citizens. With this project, we will have a particular focus on the Erasmus Generation (current and alumni), being - among all the target groups - the most pro-European and interested in issues such as youth unemployment, economy and growth but - at the same time - facing problems to vote while abroad.

The Erasmus Generation comprehends different parts of society (students, professionals, unemployed, etc) but they are all linked by an experience abroad. They saw Europe at its best and they can properly be Ambassadors of the EE19.Specifically, the project will contribute to Erasmus' understanding of the Union policy-making process and encouraging democratic engagement by establishing a closer link with what the EU does and presenting the European elections as an opportunity not to miss the get their voice heard. This project will allow them to get information on how to vote from abroad during their mobility or stay abroad and to get a basic knowledge of EU policies and priorities. In this way, we will reach also d those that are too lazy to get information on the voting procedure.

We will select one Erasmus Ambassador from each EU Member State and, after a training event to be held in Brussels at the European Parliament, we will assist the Ambassador to organise one event in the country where he/she is for mobility, with the assistance of our Partner Universities, local associations and Foundations Members. Online and offline communication will be going on in a coordinated way.The final aim of the project will be to push the newly elected European Parliament to adopt a harmonised legislation on European Elections, valid in all Member States.

Call for Ambassadors (link)
A new European Parliament will be elected by all EU citizens on 23-26 May 2019.
Aware of the importance of this event for the whole European democracy, garagErasmus wants to engage with the Erasmus Generation to raise awareness on the upcoming elections, especially focusing on how people currently in mobility experiences abroad can cast their vote for the elections from their host countries.

If you are currently abroad, you are probably wondering how you could vote from your host country for the European Elections. Unfortunately rules are different very different from country to country and many European citizens don’t know the procedure to follow to cast their vote from abroad. 

How does it work?
garagErasmus Foundation is looking for Ambassadors (one per EU country) willing to get trained on our campaign for the European Elections and to organise later on one event in their hosting country to spread practical information about participation in the European elections!
Become an Ambassador and you will have the chance to:

  • Take part into a training event organised inside the European Parliament in Brussels on the 8th of February;
  • Receive promotional material on the European elections and how to vote from abroad;
  • Act like and Ambassador and organise your own event in your host-country to spread information. This is your chance to engage for European democracy. Thanks to your efforts, more people will know how to participate concretely in the elections.
...What about the training?
The training will provide the Ambassadors with an overview of the institutional campaign for the elections and will make them the main actors in the most important event for European Democracy. Moreover, it will engage participants in skill-building workshops on essential campaign skills such as the use of social media, advocacy approaches and communication messaging. The event will combine presentations, interactive workshops, small group activities and individual feedback sessions.
The event is free of charge; accommodation is provided for the night of the 8th of February in shared room in a hostel.
Participants have a travel cap of 100 Euro. Reimbursements will be done on the spot, upon receipt of proof of payment and boarding pass.
Light lunch and coffee breaks are foreseen for the entire duration of the training.
Participants are required to arrive no later than 10.30 am at the European Parliament for accreditation and security check.
Agenda of the event will be shared with participants. The event is open to the public, upon registration.
After the training, you will be asked to organise an informal event in your host country (aperitif, conference, informal dinner, linguistic tandem, etc.) in order to spread the information you have received at the training.
Each Ambassador will be provided with a budget from garagErasmus Foundation.
REGISTRATIONS: 20 January 2019 (applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis; please apply ASAP)
Please remember to register ONLY if interested in the project.
Erasmus Vote Power - Call for Ambassadors (PDF)
Download File

This Time I'm voting

The European elections will take place between 23 and 26 May 2019. In the run up to this event, the European Parliament has started building an online community of supporters for the cause of voting. The idea is to engage people in convincing others about the importance of the elections and the need to take responsibility. More information: https://www.thistimeimvoting.eu