Vox Populi: Lynn Baggen from Maastricht, The Netherlands
1. What are your expectations/hopes from these elections?
My hopes for these elections is that it becomes more transparent and that the parties will bring it closer to the ‘normal citizens’; those who do not know much about the EU or those who have been misinformed. This way, more people are likely to vote which I consider to be the most important thing (BREXIT!). Furthermore, I am in favour of a strong EU and hope that people will vote for non-Eurosceptic parties, so that something like Brexit won’t happen in other countries in the next years. Therefore, the EU will have to change, but not cease to exist.
2. Do you/people in your member state still have faith in the EU to deliver?
I live in Stein, which is a small town in the south of the Netherlands (Limburg). Limburg has always been different from the rest of the Netherlands, which might not make my region the best indicator for the rest of the Netherlands and their faith in the EU. Although we have a prime minister who has lately been pro-Europe, it definitely does not show in my environment. In my region we have one of the highest voting percentages for the PVV, which is the biggest extreme right-wing party in the Netherlands who are moreover anti-EU. However when I ask people why they detest the EU, I notice that they do not have a clear answer and that they are often misinformed. This shows that the EU is still too far removed from the public.
3. Will you be voting? If so, who for (if you are willing to say)?
I will definitely vote, which I consider to be the main thing. It does not even matter who you will vote for. I am not completely sure who I will vote for, but it will probably be the VVD. At least it will not be a hard-Eurosceptic party.
4. Tell us some very brief persona/biographical details about yourself?
My name is Lynn Baggen (20) and I live in Limburg, the Netherlands. I am studying in Maastricht, also known as ‘The City of the European citizen’. Although I lived here for all my life, I only recently started to discover how mixed Maastricht actually is and how grateful I am for the EU that makes it easier for all these different nationalities to study here. I study ‘European Studies’ and I am in my second year now. The more I learn about the EU, the more I want to fight for its existence and hope that with some changes, we will have another successful 25 years of a European Union.