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Euro blues


The first thing to say about the elections to the European parliament is that the turnout across Europe was almost exactly the same as in the last time in 2009 at 43%. Despite the campaigns of anger by the Eurosceptic and far right parties against the EU, voters continued to show a lack of interest in the EU parliament and doubt that EU institutions were relevant to their lives. The NO VOTE party won again. Voter turnout has steadily fallen since 1979 when it was 62% with the no vote party starting to win from 1999 when the euro emerged.

Voter turnout is not uniform across Europe, however. Around 90% Belgian/Luxembourgists eligible to vote turned out (although that figure was the lowest so far). Belgians have a vested interest in the EU, with the Commission based in Brussels and with the country’s unity partly dependent on the continuation of the Union. The only other countries with a turnout greater than 50% were Italy, Malta, Denmark, Greece and Ireland. Significantly, of these, only Greece experienced an increase in voter turnout over 2009. Also countries with strong Eurosceptic parties like the UK, France or Finland saw an increase in turnout, but in all cases with still an abysmally low turnout. What was shocking was the very low turnout in most countries of Eastern and central Europe: only 13% of eligible Slovakians voted.

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