Be on the Know: EU Issues affecting You
As the first day of voting for the EU Parliamentary starts today, voters must try to remember that who they elect will be the ones who will decide on the key issues EU countries are struggling with today. These are problems that occur EU-wide, yet are very close to the ordinary EU citizen’s daily life: job opportunities, employment, electric bills, neighbourhood safety…
Before choosing who you’re going to name in your ballot, be sure they represent your opinions on the following issues:
1. Jobs. Mass unemployment is a huge problem among EU countries today. Greece and Spain continue to rate the highest in terms of unemployment brought by the Eurozone crisis. Youth unemployment (age 15–24) is also highest in these countries.
The next MEPs must be able to solve unemployment in the EU, especially when it comes to job mismatches and underemployment. The EU Parliament has a direct hand in the stability and security of your career.
2. Migration. Migration within EU and from abroad is a big issue for citizens nowadays with thinning job opportunities and countries struggling with their resources in the wake of the crisis.
Anti-immigration policies are starting to appear to defend nationals from migrants who allegedly ‘sponge up’ welfare and ‘steal’ jobs. In-migration meanwhile continues to rise as refugees from countries fraught by war seek greener pastures.
Energy. Cost of electricity and fuel is a top concern among EU citizens as purchasing power weakens with fewer jobs. Climate change is also a major driver of increased energy costs and thinning supply.
The crisis with relations to Russia shows that the EU is greatly dependent on Russia for oil and gas. However, looking for alternative sources is difficult since austerity measures by crisis-hit countries are cutting funding for exploration of new resources.
4. Euroscepticism. Because of the inability of the EU to address some EU-wide problems, many citizens and groups are mulling a separation from the EU. One of these is the UK Independence Party (UKIP) that wants to take Britain out of EU membership.
Euroscepticism is particularly strong among countries that face tough austerity measures imposed by the EU and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) following their bailout. More negative feelings towards the EU may drive fewer voter turn-out.