From the 22 to the 25th of May, 27 countries and over 500 million inhabitants will be given the choice to elect their 751 representatives at the European Parliament. But ow is it happening all over Europe ? Are campaigning, political issues, and Euroscepticism the same in Spain and Belgium, Lithuania and Great Britain ? How do young activists, young candidates and campaigners see their political engagement at a week of the elections? Together with La Souris Verte, the French Young Greens magazine, we are travelling Europe to get you inputs and insights from all over, from those who are making the elections from the inside. Today, an Interview with Maria Kola, an activist from the Cyprus Young Greens.
The Ecosprinter/La Souris Verte: Hi Maria, how are you ? Who are you?
Maria : Hey! I am Maria Kola from Cyprus and I am one of the active members of the Young Cyprus Greens. This year I am also the Campaign Coordinator for the European Elections for my country.
The Ecosprinter/La Souris Verte: So you are engaged in Cyprus in the European campaign. How do you feel about it? What are the main challenges in Cyprus?
Maria : I feel that this is an opportunity for me to help changing the situation especially on the subject of abstinence of young voters. The biggest challenge for us in Cyprus is the fact that the Green Party, has no young candidates. That happened, because the Cyprus Green Party is running for the European Elections in collaboration with the Social Party of Cyprus, in a combination of 2:4, respectively. It is difficult when I am telling to young people why they should go and vote and trying to “convince” them that this matters for them and the party that I am campaigning for, they do not have any young candidates.
The Ecosprinter/La Souris Verte: Why did you choose to engage yourself with this campaign?
Maria : I engaged myself to this campaign to learn new things about campaigning butat the same time to affect the young people of my country to make them see why their vote matters to Europe. Also to show young people that we are the present and we have a say on any decisions that are taken for us, and voting is one of our chances to show that we are existing and we care. In additions, until now we did not have the chance to elect a Cypriot Green as a member of the European Parliament (MEP) and this year we have two people running for the elections, so we decided that is a good opportunity for us to make a stronger campaign and the Federation of Young European Greens is giving us the help we need.
The Ecosprinter/La Souris Verte: Is there is one particular proposition that is important for you among those presented in the campaign project ?
Maria : All propositions are important in the campaign project. I guess the most important subject for us is on the economic sector, and I completely agree on what is written on it on the campaign project.
The Ecosprinter/La Souris Verte: Tomorrow, how do you see Europe?
Maria : For “tomorrow” I am hoping first of all to see a GREENER Europe! I hope to see a stronger European Parliament, with encouragement to work on the topics that the candidates have already engaged themselves and to do that in a more democratic way. I also hope to see the EP taking decisions without any affection of troika and helping countries get back on their feet sooner.