Your voice in Europe, your vote on May 25th

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EU citizens have the right to vote in their European country of residence

If you are a European citizen you have the right (and many would say duty) to vote in the upcoming European elections, which are taking place on May 25th, 2014 in Spain. But if you’re not registered, your voice won’t be heard.

You might think that what happens in Brussels or Strasbourg is too far away to affect us here in the Canary Islands, but nothing could be further from the truth. Increasingly, what happens at European level has a direct impact on our daily lives, particularly given the Canary Island’s status as an ‘ultra-peripheral region’ and every vote counts.
The closing date for inclusion on the electoral register is January 3oth.

Who can vote?
Citizens from the following countries, resident here in Adeje, are eligible to vote: Germany, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Denmark, Slovenia, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, the UK, the Czech Republic, Romania and Sweden.

However, to make sure you can exercise your vote you must be registered on the electoral census and the residents register – the ‘Padrón’– and have indicated your wish to vote in Spain in these European elections – this is to ensure that you don’t vote in more than one country. (Elections are taking place over a number of days, so theoretically it would be possible).
The Electoral Census office have sent letters to many European citizens who have not already signed on the electoral census. However, if you haven’t received any communication but would like to vote, call into the Adeje citizens bureau (OAC) in the Town Hall and say you wish to register on the electoral census for the right to vote. You must be on the municipal residents register (Padrón) to do so. If you are not on the Padrón you can do this at the same time. You will need to bring your passport and your resident’s certificate ensuring that your address is up to date. There will also be a short period of time, still to be determined, after the closing date, when you can check that your details have been properly registered.

As times are changing, so are we. Since the last European elections, the rules of the game have changed. The European Parliament now has more power, both to set the political direction of Europe and over the day-to-day decisions which affect us all. A more powerful European Parliament means more influence for everyone, more ability to deal with our problems, more ability to change what needs changing, more assertiveness to conserve what we want to keep. Your vote really counts, so make sure you have it, and use it.

(Photos: European Parliament)

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