Message from Deputy Speaker of the Seimas Gediminas Kirkilas: European parties must engage citizens in the European elections

30 October 2013, Last updated at, 11:03 EEST
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Gediminas Kirkilas. | author: I. Šilenkova

“European political parties have an exceptional task now, with the European elections approaching. They must engage EU citizens, as many as possible, and bring them to pre-election debates and to ballot boxes,” says Gediminas Kirkilas, Deputy Speaker of the Seimas and Chair of the Committee on European Affairs, in response to the 50th COSAC discussion on the European elections 2014 as a platform for debate on the future with its citizens.

Mr Kirkilas notes that the 2014 European elections will be a particular exercise because the European Parliament has already had time after the previous elections in June 2009 to strengthen its power enshrined in the Lisbon Treaty that came into force in December 2009. EU citizens should have already felt the impact, particularly in discussions on EU multiannual financial framework 2014–2020. He hopes this will encourage them to consider their suffrage right in a serious manner.

“At the same time cooperation and competition between national Parliaments and the European Parliament in considering EU affairs and in decision-making should be a factor for citizens to cast their votes in 2014. The political parties, however, should do their homework and make sure citizens comprehend that the people they elect to the European Parliament and their national Parliaments precondition decisions to be taken in the EU and their effect on their daily lives,” he says.
 

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