2019 European Elections
May 6, 2019
Our biggest campaign in 2019 was about mobilising the vote at the European parliamentary elections – which happen every five years in 28 countries and involves millions of people - a pretty intimidating campaign goal!
For us, it was about more than just increasing the turnout at elections. It was a chance to stop a power grab by the far-right of the European Parliament. For this campaign we ‘hacked’ the EU flag, cutting out the stars and adding symbols representing the Europe we want (made of justice, solidarity, etc). In fact, we believe in Europe, but not the path it’s currently on. We want the EU to earn its stars.
First, we built a much bigger and more powerful movement. WeMove joined forces with the excellent OPEN network to speak about why this vote matters. We pooled resources, stories, ideas, and actions to speak about urgency (stop the spread of hate by the far right) and hope (we can change things in Europe). More than 70,000 people signed our vote pledge. One video, the ”grandma said so” was viewed by 7.7 million Romanians.
We connected up millions of people, online and offline, across many EU countries to say ‘No to hate and Yes to change’ and to vote accordingly. At our biggest street action a week before the vote on May 19th, WeMove and OPEN mobilised over 200,000 people in 51 cities. Demos happened in Germany’s major cities, Vienna, Budapest and more. There were concerts in Genoa and Utrecht. In Paris, we lit up the Eiffel Tower with our message.
The turnout at the European election surpassed 50%, up 8% from 2014. It was the first time since voting started in 1979 that turnout did not drop from the previous one. In fact, it mostly increased in the main countries where WeMove and OPEN were active. And although we cannot claim responsibility for this whole thing, we know that we played a key role in getting lots of people moving.