When the EU holds elections for the European Parliament in late-May, a great deal of focus will be placed on one simple question: will anyone bother to vote? It's a question with a great deal of merit. Voter turnout has consistently declined since the first polls were held in 1979 (61.99 percent), with participation dropping to just 43 percent in 2009. In 6 member states, the turnout was below 30 percent - Slovakia being the most shocking at 19.64%.
The most obvious conclusion is that EU citizens do not connect to the European Parliament and have little understanding of how it affects their daily lives. This reality is particularly true amongst the youth of Europe, a demographic truly suffering with the consequences of the economic crisis. Many have placed blame with the EU for this disconnect and it seems members of civil society are taking up the challenge to correct this failure - particularly in the lead-up to May's European Parliament elections. How are they engaging young voters?
Counterpoint host Joshua Goodman sat down with Giuseppe Porcaro, Secretary General of the European Youth Forum, and Samuel Doveri Vesterbye, Executive Producer of "Because I'm Voting" (a youth voter turnout campaign featuring the Pharrell Williams pop song "Happy"), to discuss their efforts to bridge the gap between the EU and young Europeans. For more information on EYF's League of Young Voters campaign, click here.