Abstentionists, brace yourselves! The project React and (Re)Vote by the Young Europeans – France is coming to get you. Or was, during 2 and a half months before the European elections. This project, which took place in several cities in France, was meant to encourage European citizens to vote for their European representatives, and to help them making an enlightened decision.

Racist and sexist quotes some MEPs say them too!

We do not always agree with somebody else’s opinion. Especially if this opinion is radically different form yours or from generally accepted political and social views. We made this observation and decided to screen shocking quotes of current Members of the European Parliament and candidates for the European elections in May.

But what does « shocking » mean? By shocking, we meant sexist, racist and insulting quotes pronounced by MEPs and candidates. We wanted to pass a double message to future voters: first, that abstention might give advantage to these candidates, and second, that MEPs are also accountable to the citizens and must behave responsibly. A poll we realized with the association ANACEJ showed that many young French citizens planned to abstain from voting because their priorities are not carried in the political platforms – which sets up our next challenge, which will be to reconcile the young generation with European politics.

Regular street actions in 7 cities in France

To achieve these goals, we created striking banners with 10 selected quotes. Starting mid-March with a first street action on the Place du Trocadéro in Paris, we ran regular actions in Paris, Angers, Reims, Lyon, Lille, Nancy and Strasbourg, asking people in the streets, universities and markets if they agreed with the quotes. And we can frankly say that nobody ever agreed with them.