European elections 2024. EurHope : to keep our future in our hands, we need the Revolution of Hope
May 9th, 2023
European society stands at a crossroad: we face war on the continent, rising inflation, an increasingly obvious climate crisis and the pandemic. The next European elections will be crucial. Our destiny lies in our hands. We need a strong voice to make Europe more resilient - together! A sustainable path for this future can only be taken with young people on board. Therefore, JEF and Make.org are launching the unique, non-partisan, massive and participatory initiative “EurHope” which will reach 10+ millions citizens in a collaboration with academics, NGOs, European regions, cities and transnational institutions. It will outline the future that the European youth jointly envisages and spearhead the mobilisation of young European citizens, ahead of the elections.
At the previous European elections, in 2019, the participation of young citizens increased by 14%-points. The general turnout rose from 42,6% in 2014 to 50,6% in 2019. This development must be welcomed since it shows a growing support for a democratic Europe. Still, a further growth in this light will not come without additional efforts.
In 2024, Europe will be in a drastically different situation than 5 years before: on top of the factors listed above, an increasing number of forces challenge the EU’s drive for more and more cooperation. All of this changed the expectations that – particularly young – citizens have from the EU and especially the European Parliament: to be a stronghold of European democracy and further integration. This establishes new challenges, as well as an opportunity for European development. Voters are to decide on the shared destiny of the Union – first and foremost: young people.
Therefore, the prospect of the 2024 European elections sending a strong unified and democratic voice is imperative for a strong, free and sustainable EU. In that context, the goal of the project is to increase the citizens’ engagement towards the European Elections 2024 and ultimately the voter turnout. This is done via implementing three core activities: setting up large-scale, pan-European and multilingual online engagement tools, implementing street campaigning activities (with 10.000+ volunteers) and advocating for the citizens’ priorities towards European political parties. All of this together will lead to a raised awareness about the elections, as well as to a better knowledge of party positions. Ultimately, it will maintain a high – and possibly increased – voter turnout during the elections.
Building the biggest Europe-wide engagement campaign in three phases
To achieve this goal, we launch this Europe-wide innovative participatory campaign, supported by the European Parliament. It will engage millions of citizens in their diversity, focusing on youth. Jointly, participants of the consultation will identify and shape Europe’s priorities and solutions for 2024 and beyond. This process will reach up to 20 Million young European citizens over the course of one year – from May 2023 to May 2024.
The initiative will be rolled out jointly – from JEF Europe, as well as Make.org (more information about our organisations in Annex 2) in three phases; (the timeline in Annex 1). All phases are interlinked and only generate their whole power due to the connections between them.
Phase 1: Identification of priorities. May 2023 – November 2023
The initial consultation will be launched on 9 May 2023 (Europe day), during multiple events all over Europe. A possible question for the consultation on priorities could be “What do you care about the most, approaching the European Elections?” (work in progress). The goal is to reach 10 Million citizens and get 1 Million participants on the platform, representatively balanced from the 27 Member States (and potentially some candidate countries, such as Ukraine). The specific target of the outreach campaign will be young citizens, even if the consultation will be open to everyone. The communication is set to happen online, but also in the streets, during events, at meetings, etc. by the JEF volunteers across the EU Member States. In September 2023, preliminary results will be presented during a high-level, public JEF event in Brussels. The consultation will end in October 2023. The results will be used to advocate towards European political parties during the period of their programme definition.
Phase 2: Collection of solutions. November 2023 – January 2024
This phase will be opened during the Congress of JEF Europe in Madrid, in November 2023. This will also be the moment of the official revelation of the (young) European citizens’ priorities – the “citizens’ agenda”. From this moment onwards, European political parties will have the opportunity to submit their solutions to the identified priorities.
Phase 3: Engagement & Campaigning. January 2024 – May 2024
The final stage will be set in the hot phase of the election campaign. In late January, a multilingual engagement tool, displaying the proposed solutions to the identified priorities will be launched. It will provide the opportunity for people to engage with the solutions put forward by European political parties. Furthermore, civil society organisations will also have the chance to react by expressing their views about the solutions they are interested in. This tool will be used for volunteer street operations on the ground – all over Europe (activating the 10.000+ registered members of JEF volunteers). In parallel, online advocacy activities and digital campaigning are ongoing. The results of the engagement process will be presented during a high-level event in Brussels: potentially in partnership with the European Broadcasting Union. We envisage a revelation of iconic solutions during a debate with (the possible) Spitzenkandidaten.
Currently, the project preparation and detailed planning are ongoing. Considering the launch of the initiative in spring 2023, both JEF Europe and Make.org are right now pulling together their resources to ensure a timely start. In light of the ambitious goals that are set, great efforts are required to achieve them.
For this, the next step is to build a strong coalition of committed, pro-European and engaged institutions and civil society actors. A strong base of diverse partners will enable the great movement that is foreseen by this project.