Dear everybody we have been in contact with over the past weeks,
It is time to say THANK YOU and direct a few more words to you.
First and most important for us is to say that this is just the beginning of the #loveyouEU initiative.
When we started this initiative a few months ago, it was driven by the motivation „we have to do something“. We had recognized that many people shared the same feeling and concerns about the negative, counter-productive, hate-driven narrative of nationalists and separationists and those who simply have identified „the EU“ as being responsible for all problems we are facing. Not offering any solutions, but pointing the finger at the weak and often poor, often extremely uninformed or manipulative, these groups still managed to gain strength and supporters over time.
Our first objective was and still is to confront this trend towards negativity with a positive message.
We believe in positive thinking. „Love you“ is a declaration of love. At the same time „true love“ does also mean sticking together in difficult times, supporting each other. „Love“ is not about everything being perfect. Voicing a declaration of love towards the European Union expresses just that: we love this amazing peace project, we defend it when it is under threat, but we also want it to evolve, improve and be developed further.
Objectives of pro-European initiatives for the EP elections
Objective 1: Increase the turnout at the EU elections.
The provisional results already confirmed that this objective has been reached.
The average turnout has been 50.93 % of the people with a right to vote. This is an increase of around 8% compared to the European Parliament elections in 2014. In 13 Member States the turnout has been more than 50% and in Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Luxembourg, Malta and Spain more than 60% participated.
The increase in participation is a success for everyone. However, we should still be clear about the fact that nobody can be satisfied with the fact that only every second person did participate in the EU elections.
Objective 2: Promoting to vote pro-European and not supporting those nationalists and separationists that clearly tend to destroy the European Union and act in a destructive way.
We need to be honest and clear. This objective was not reached. While it is fair to say that the overall total result of right wing parties within all European Member States together falls behind their own expectations, it also has to be recognized that in some countries, such as France, Hungary and Italy, the right wing parties received massive support about which everyone else should be worried about.
See the results of the European Parliament elections 2019 on election-results.eu.
what we have learned
Within our initiative, we never communicated support towards a specific party and we won’t do so in the future. Furthermore, it can be argued that people within many countries helped making these EU elections about climate change. In many countries, such as France, Germany (becoming second strongest party) and Ireland, the Greens received significant support. Especially young people are associated with this trend.
This certainly proves that civil society engagement, such as the Fridays for Future initiatives, have significantly impacted the outcome of the elections.
More can and will be said in the future, but one more aspect is of upmost importance to us from a personal perspective and experience:
In the run-up to the EU elections we recognized that there are so many initiatives, so many people from within different countries, different fields of expertise, with various ideas and messages, celebrating Europe as a continent where people shall work together and respect each other. All those initiatives had and still have one thing in common: they are positive. They celebrate people, the environment and they respect the individual.
These initiatives have never been about everyone having to share „the same opinion“, but in respect of diversity we shall stick and act together in unity, when violence, hate, separation, environmental crises, corruption, manipulation etc. are posing a serious threat. Many of these initiatives have also been about a further declaration: a declaration towards children – the future generations. And it is them who deserve that we take care of this one and only planet.
what comes next
With this in mind, we say thank you for everyone joining us or the many other pro-European initiatives in the past weeks. We are excited to carry on with #loveyouEU with the ambition to continue educating people about „how the European Union works“, to promote civil society engagement, and to promote developing the European Union further.
If you have recommendations, ideas, suggestions, critique, we look forward to reading and learning from you!
Nicolas & Michael