Published on: 04/02/2009
Making European Vote count – U count 4 EU! Mobilizing National/Regional/Local authorities, media, civil society and the private sector for increased turnout and citizen participation on the upcoming European Parliamentary elections. This initiative aims to help citizens, authorities and civil society understand better our trans?national European election process, increase election turnout and provide tools for collaboration with the European Parliament for stakeholders. It also aims at providing the EU Parliament with relevant policy petitions with 1 million signatures attached for each one. This Gov2u program intends to create a cross national network of multi level authorities, civil society, media, and the private sector adopting the “ucount4eu” bug with the aim of increasing participation and voting turnout. Our aim is to have all content translated into local languages through local partners and distributed through the network to all participants. The measurable output would be an increased number of voters and a maximum of 5 pan?European citizen driven policy recommendations.

Policy Context

The fact that a considerable majority of Europeans are either uninformed or uninterested in the European Parliament elections is well known to us all. So is the fact that since the first elections in 1979, voter turnout has fallen with each successive election – going from 66% to 48% in 2004. A number of recent reports, including the 2008 Eurobarometer survey conducted for the European Commission and the study conducted by the EU-funded CIVICACTIVE project, show us the stark reality that turnout and interest will continue to decline unless decisive steps are taken to change this pattern.

Description of target users and groups

All European citizens

Description of the way to implement the initiative

Ucount4EU (www.ucount4eu.eu) is an entirely volunteer driven initiative headed by Gov2u (www.gov2u.org). The campaign will harness the power of the internet to bring together European citizens to discuss the main policy issues on the Parliament’s agenda through a structured Citizen Discussion space and later, through targeted Petitions to the European Parliament on these same issues. The site will of course include extensive information on the elections, candidates and resource materials for volunteers interested in getting out the vote. In this effort we cooperate with national, regional and local partners and supporters from both private and public sector, who work with us on a volunteer basis, in order to raise awareness on the project in their respective countries.

Technology solution

eparticipation platform including argument visualization tools Technology choice: Open source software

Main results, benefits and impacts

- Collect signatures from citizens and deliver a minimum of 2 petitions to the EU Parliament with at least 1 million signatures each - Good coverage in all media outlets within and outside EU - Increased voter turnout

Return on investment

Return on investment: Not applicable / Not available

Lessons learnt

Project under development Scope: International, National