Abstention and lack of knowledge about the European Union will be a test for the European elections in Portugal

Abstention and lack of knowledge about the European Union will be a test for the European elections in Portugal
This article was originally published on Portuguese

The European elections are the least mobilized of citizens in Portugal. On June 9, will the Portuguese follow in the footsteps of the recent legislative elections and vote?


During the last European elections in 2019, Portugal recorded the highest percentage of abstentions since joining the European Union.

From 1987 to 2019, the numbers for abstention and participation in European elections have reversed. Within three decades, the country's abstention rate went from less than 30% to just over 30% of participants. This is a number that places Portugal alongside Croatia, Slovenia, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, where less than 30% of voters went to the polls.

Political discontent is a major reason for this situation, but some observers say that abstention from voting may decrease on June 9, like the recent legislative elections.

However, there is hope for a possible decline in the rate of abstention from voting during the June 9 elections, similar to the trend witnessed in the last legislative elections on March 10, when the participation rate reached 59.84%.

“The Portuguese feel that they are European, they belong to Europe and they know the benefits that the European Union brings them, but it remains to communicate with European institutions and understand how they work. This question is more difficult, because we are talking about “institutions that are far from Portuguese territory, but invested in one way or another in Recent years in various forms of communication, even through social networks.“, explains Francisco Cordero de Araujo, Visiting Assistant at the Faculty of Law of the University of Lisbon (FDUL).

See also  Chelsea: Quando Lampard criticou Villas Boa por sua inexperiência

“It will take some time for these results to emerge, but I feel there is a growing sense of responsibility on the part of those in Brussels and Strasbourg to get the message out and highlight the importance of the EU.”he adds.

Lack of knowledge about the European Union or the European Parliament is another reason to justify abstention from voting. according to European Policy Barometer In the Francisco Manuel dos Santos Foundation, less than half of the Portuguese people can name a Portuguese member of the European Parliament or the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen.

“We are facing two different problems. For example, understanding how MEPs can communicate better about their work, but also realizing that decisions made in different institutions have an impact on our daily lives. I think it is a question of literacy and European political literacy, and it has to start.” in schools.”“, says the project founder “Bone 230”It has developed studies in the field of civic engagement, promoting political learning, and combating abstention through informed voting.

As the European elections approach, young Portuguese, like Romanians, stand out among the 27 member states in terms of voting intentions. according to'European Barometer on Youth and DemocracyIn a report published by the European Commission, 77% of Portuguese between the ages of 18 and 30 intend to vote for the nomination of the 21 Portuguese MPs who will sit in the European Parliament.

Francisco Cordero de Araujo, “Young people are becoming more interested in Europe”especially because“They have grown up with Portugal already being in the EU and with a more active voice, and they are benefiting from benefits like the Erasmus programme.”.

Who will benefit and who will be harmed by abstention?

The European elections should also reflect the national elections in terms of the growth of the right. Given the proximity of the election, it is expected that the majority of voters have not changed their beliefs, and if Chiga was the party that made the most progress on March 10, the same may be true today.

See also  Segundo o seu agente, "Cristiano Ronaldo não merecia tanto tempo para ganhar a Bola de Ouro".

“The more right-wing parties, in particular, have better representation in the national parliament and are expressed more in terms of electoral popularity. I believe that the parties that are part of this more right-wing political family will benefit from this election, in particular because they have not had No representation yet.”estimates Francisco Cordero de Araujo, who studies international law, EU law and political science at FDUL.

European opinion polls conducted so far indicate that the upcoming elections may lead to a change in the composition of the European Parliament. Radical and populist parties from the left and right are expected to win votes and seats, while more moderate parties in the center will not be able to. This is also the researcher's conviction.

“The parties currently holding seats in the European Parliament will almost certainly be different. There will be more Portuguese parties and some that already exist will lose strength. If the more moderate parties fail to adapt in terms of communications and if the number of abstentions decreases, it will mean the decline of the parties.” The other [plus radicaux] “We have succeeded in attracting voters who vote and believe in these messages.”

Portugal will once again have 21 MEPs, but this time they could represent completely different political backgrounds.

The latest poll conducted by the Catholic University for RTP, Antena 1 and Público newspaper shows a technical tie between the AD (31%) and the Socialist Party (30%), with the right-wing coalition having a slight advantage over the Socialists. Chiga emerges as a third political force with 15% of voting intentions, while other parties are below double figures. The Liberal Initiative got 6%, the Bloc, Writers and Christian Democratic Union 5% – the threshold needed for election – and the National Action Party only 1%, which would leave the animal and environmental party outside the European Parliament.

See also  Robin Dias responds to Cristiano Ronaldo at the European Championships level

You May Also Like

About the Author: Germano Álvares

"Desbravador de cerveja apaixonado. Álcool alcoólico incurável. Geek de bacon. Viciado em web em geral."

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *