EU Elections 2009

18. August 2009 – 08:43 by Interns at 21c

The 2009 European elections were held from the 4th to 7th June, in the 27 Member States of the European Union. These elections are designed to elect the new Parliament by which over 500 million Europeans are represented. During these European elections, political campaigns were hardly recognized in traditional Medias such as print and television but have beaten the record on Internet. In recent years, the European Parliament started a process of raising political awareness amongst young people and has been encouraging them to vote by using Web 2.0 media. However, the initiative is in its origins and may take several years before we see the change.

In Britain, the defeat of the Labour Party was expected. But its magnitude was surprising. In fact, the British National Party (BNP), from British extreme right, will for the first time enter the Parliament after winning two seats in the European elections. The success of the BNP is a new blow for Gordon Brown, increasingly challenged within his own party. The Labour Party, weakened by the MP expenses scandal, was relegated to third place with only 15.3% of the vote, behind the anti-UKIP (United Kingdom Independence Party) with 17.4%, and the Conservative Party, which wins the elections (28.6%).

This tendency for the extreme right is reflected in the resurgence of distrust in politics that has been prompted by the scandal of excessive repayment of personal expenses of many MPs and some ministers.  The enemies of British Nationalism continue to parrot the claim that the BNP is a “racist party.” This claim is most often repeated because the BNP unashamedly addresses itself to the issues and concerns of the indigenous British population, and because it seeks to ensure that British people remain the majority population in this country.

Opponents point to the fact that the BNP has an all-white membership policy, and that they address issues concerning only white people while the UK is a multiethnic place. The European elections are not without consequences on the future of the United-Kingdom. Indeed, the future relations between Europe and the Great-Britain can be serious damaged. Therefore, we think that the EU parliament should continue with their online campaigning to increase turnout.

by French Interns at 21c

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