Vox Populi: Aurélien Pommier from Strasbourg, France
1. What are your expectations/hopes from these elections?
The campaign for the European elections has slowly started to kick off in France. So far, only some parties have started to announce –at least in part – their list of candidates for the elections. We will see a proper campaign only when all the major parties gather in the arena. For that, French people will have to wait a little longer. My hope was that the political campaign would already be alive and kicking and that the European project would already be being widely discussed between political parties.
I also regret that the European elections are not (yet) fully-fledged European elections. Indeed, in France, there is little knowledge of the political groups present in the European Parliament (EPP, ALDE, S&D…). It makes sense for the elections to be organised nationally, but I wish national parties would be more pedagogic about the way the European institutions work and what happens once they are elected.
People in France have been showing their eagerness to participate for months. My expectation from these elections would be a nation wide debate on Europe that will go beyond the trends of pro-European progressive and anti-European nationalists, in order to allow an informed vote by European citizens.
2. Do you/people in your member state still have faith in the EU to deliver?
I personally do have faith in the EU to deliver, I can see many legislations or projects that impact the everyday life of 500 million citizens in a positive manner. But if I had one piece of advice for the parties and candidates to reinforce trust in the EU it would be this: be honest with the electors. It must be clear that decision-makers should not promise more than they can deliver. With the European elections round the corner, I can see everywhere that every political party wants to change, rebuild or re-invent Europe. They might be able to do so, but it is more likely they might not be able to do so, or at least not alone. The idea is not to make false promises to voters who will then only be more and more attracted by extremists if the “radical” changes they were expecting are not fulfilled.
3. Will you be voting? If so, who for (if you are willing to say)?
My vote is not yet decided. It will be difficult to make a final decision before every party has finally started campaigning and we know more about their candidates and above all their ideas. I will vote for a pro-European party which will put forward ideas and values with which I identify most.
4. Tell us some very brief persona/biographical details about yourself?
I am a student in European Law at the College of Europe in Bruges. I am involved in several civil society organisations to help enliven the European debate.