This Time I’m Voting is a campaign run by the European Parliament (EP) in order to encourage European citizens to vote in the upcoming elections.
The campaign is supported by thousands of volunteers across Europe who are committed to promoting the campaign, and ultimately motivating the public to vote. However, social media is the main platform used to promote the campaign, aiming to attract the attention of young users.
Sanne De Ryck, EP press officer, said: “It is indeed important for young people to go out and vote as we are all aware that it is now crunch time, that the future of Europe is at stake. Young people have a whole life ahead of them and will face the consequences of the 2019 European elections.”
De Ryck said social media is ‘part of the answer’ to grab the attention of potential young voters.
The campaign has over a thousand volunteers in Ireland and over 88,000 volunteers across the EU, and aims to inspire citizens to campaign for issues they feel passionate about.
Sarah Buttle, 23, a recent Griffith College graduate, will vote in the upcoming elections and hopes young citizens will do the same. Ms Buttle said: “I would encourage all of my friends to use their vote to help shape the future of the EU. EU issues affect us all, whether it’s migration, privacy or climate change, and having elected MEPs that can voice the Irish opinion, our vote does matter.”
Ms Buttle supports the This Time I’m Voting campaign and hopes the elections will see a big turnout from Irish voters. She said: “The upcoming elections in the EU need an increased voter turnout, especially within the youth.”
Jack Moloney, EP press officer for Ireland, said: “Ultimately, we wish to increase interest in European affairs and de-mystify the electoral process. I have often been asked ‘what does the EU do for me?’ or been told that Brussels is too far removed from everyday life. Our active, young and intelligent participants have already begun to communicate on their own behalf why Europe matters to them and I have found it to be truly amazing.”
The EP also organise events to promote their campaign and on Wednesday December 5, there is a EU pub quiz held in the Boar’s Head pub on Capel Street, Dublin. European Parliament elections take place from 23 to 26 May 2019.