To help keep track of the European election campaigns, the European Parliament Press service provides a daily newsfeed on country-specific electoral facts, events and debates in all member states. Here is the update for 24 May:
VOTING TODAY: Czechia and Ireland are going to the polls today, to elect 21 and 11 MEPs respectively. Tomorrow’s voters are Czechia for the second day, Latvia, Malta and Slovakia.
EUROPE. Lead candidates have travelled the continent to vote. Violeta Tomić (EL) voted early on Tuesday in Ljubljana, Frans Timmermans (PES) cast his vote on Thursday in a booth in Heerlen, the city of his former college, while Bas Eickhout (Greens) in Utrecht. On Sunday, Manfred Weber (EPP) votes in his hometown Landshut, Bavaria; Margrethe Verstager (ALDE) in Copenhagen, Ska Keller (Greens) in Berlin, and Jan Zahradil (ACRE) in Prague. Oriol Junqueras (EFA) casts his vote by mail.
BULGARIA. 525, professors, teachers, artists, researchers and journalists have written an open letter that urges citizens to be active, inform themselves and vote for candidates supporting European values. Published ahead of Bulgarian Education and Culture, and Slavonic Literature Day (24 May) and the European elections (26 May), the letter calls on citizens to firmly support the democratic principles and liberal values, as laid down in the EU Treaties.
CROATIA: Campaign silence kicks off at midnight 25 May and last until 26 May 19:00. State election commission DIP has warned political parties, candidates and media to abstain from any form of political campaigning or reporting on electoral campaigns in the blackout period. This includes publication of photos, statements or interviews of the participants in the elections or any projections of results. DIP also called on employers to organise their business process flexibly on Sunday, to enable their employees to take part in the elections.
FINLAND. YLE, Finland’s national public broadcasting company, has published an “election bot” to help young voters select their preferred candidate. The election bot is based on the data YLE’s general vote compass uses, but targets 18-29 year-old first time voters.
FRANCE, GERMANY. “Who will be your match for the next 5 years?” For those curious to know, in Germany and France, the matchmaking app Tinder is running an ad until Sunday) to help users find the best fit – as far as voting is concerned. When users swipe up, they are redirected to the #thistimeimvoting homepage.
IRELAND. Alongside European Parliament and local council elections, two other votes will take place in Ireland on 24 May. One will be a referendum on easing divorce legislation. The other vote will be a plebiscite in the cities of Cork, Limerick, and Waterford, consulting voters on the question of having directly-elected mayors.
ITALY. Italian football players present their priorities for the next European Parliament ahead of the EU elections. Assocalciatori, the Italian association representing professional footballers, in partnership with the European Parliament, will present a survey that asks for EU action on women’s inclusion in football, fight against doping and violent behaviour during sport competitions in Rome, today (24 May).
THE NETHERLANDS. The first polling station in the country that voted yesterday (23 May) opened at midnight at the train station in Castricum. In The Hague, people could cast their ballot on tram #9. Schiedam’s windmills were flying the European flag (see picture attached). Other polling stations could be found, amongst others, in churches, swimming pools, Lelystad airport, museums, restaurants and sport clubs.
ROMANIA. The Youth Federation in 200,000-strong Bacău, with a group of 50 dedicated high-school students and teachers, have been organising scores of meetings and events within their high-schools to inform their colleagues on the role of the EP and the importance of their vote. That’s how it started two months ago and this is what their journey looks like.
PORTUGAL. ‘We are 28’ is the title of the song recorded by the school class that won the EU’s Euroscola contest, about the importance of voting. The song urges citizens to vote in the European elections and expresses the wish that the UK remains as part of the EU.
SLOVAKIA. Business leaders in Slovakia released a video message on the benefits of the country’s membership in the EU. The “Businesses care about Europe” declaration calls for a globally competitive Europe, that defends democratic principles and the rule of law. It points out that Slovakia as an active EU member can be more relevant globally.
SLOVENIA. Early voting finished yesterday (23 May). According to National Electoral Commission data, on the first two days 20,408 people casted their vote (1.2 percent of the entire electorate). In 2014 European elections, 11,826 people voted in the same period (0.70% of the entire electorate). Several MEP-candidates and President of the Republic Borut Pahor casted their vote during early voting, the latter urging Slovenians to vote. The European Parliament office in Ljubljana encouraged fellow citizens to vote via a Twitter post.
Compliments of the European Parliament