EU28/Cannes. Around 500 film directors, makers and stars signed a “European Manifesto” at the Cannes film festival on Tuesday. The text signed by, among others, Belgian directors Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne, German director Wim Wenders, and UK actor Ralph Fiennes, calls on Europeans to stand up for a “free and democratic Europe, a Europe of freedom of thought and expression” by voting in European Elections 23-26 May.
EU28. Parliament/s official 30-second “Choose your future” TV ad has been shown more than 1600 times on 79 major European TV channels in 25 member states, and Switzerland (click here to view the 33 language versions). The initial “Choose your future” short film (3 min.) has been viewed 130 million times on social networks since its launch on 25 April. With “Stop Scrolling,” the video addressing young voters 18-24 in all member states, reaching 8 million views within the first five days of its internet journey.
BULGARIA. Bulgaria’s answer to US medical drama series Grey’s Anatomy, “Stolen Life” dedicated an episode to the upcoming European elections and the importance of voting. The episode revolves around a patient who is admitted to hospital, one day before the Election Day on 26 May, and manages to persuade the administration to open a voting station inside the hospital.
ESTONIA. As of 20:00 on 20 May, 14.3% percent of eligible voters have already cast their ballot in the European elections electronically or at early voting locations. 94,558 votes have been cast over the internet. Votes can be changed by another i-vote or at early voting stations today at 18:00 and 20:00, respectively. Election Day is Sunday (26 May).
FRANCE. The European Parliament’s office in Paris and Radio France are hosting the event Votre Europe (Your Europe) tomorrow (23 May) 8:45 to 12:45 at the French public radio headquarters, Maison de la Radio. No less than 14 French heads of lists will have 15 minutes each to answer questions from a journalist and citizens, via the #VotreEurope hashtag. Live broadcast here.
GERMANY. Bread rolls clad in blue and yellow: German company Ambermedia taps into its network of 8,000 bakeries all over the country, and has provided them, this week, with paper bags decorated with the European flag and a reminder of the date of the European elections. Bakeries are also open on Sunday, which is the day Germans cast their vote.
HUNGARY. Local celebrities sporting a blue hoodie with the EU stars have joined the #szavaznifogok Instagram campaign, or posted to their own site, to encourage people to get out and vote. Check former EU correspondent and media personality Kriszta D. Toth and influencer iamfulop.
ITALY. European low-cost bus operator Flixbus offers free vouchers to people taking a Flixbus bus from Thursday to Sunday (23-26 May) to reach their constituency to vote, in an initiative called #flixtimeimvoting. Other Italian transport companies offer discounts to citizens traveling back home for the European elections; these include national airline company Alitalia, railway companies Trenitalia and Italo, and national ferry companies for people travelling to/from the islands of Sicily and Sardenia.
LITHUANIA. Gaming the vote: Lithuanians who join an online game to draw a virtual collective painting on the Vote4Art platform will be rewarded for their votes on the game site. While participants can usually collect a maximum 24 pixels per day to contribute to the painting, a proof of vote in the European elections will generate as many as 84 pixels, allowing for a much greater mark in the painting. Three young IT specialists, who won a Hackathon organised by European Parliament Liaison Office and the European Commission Representation, in Lithuania, created the platform.
LUXEMBOURG. This year, 7% more non-Luxembourgish Europeans will vote in Luxembourg, than in 2014: there are 23,175 registered on the electoral lists for the European elections compared to 21,650 foreign voters in 2014. They make up for 8% of total voters in the Grand-Duchy. Country-by-country voting information is available here.
POLAND. “Vote together”, a campaign to increase voter participation by making voting fun and celebratory, has reached Poland. It is led by photographer Wolfgang Tillmans, and several well-known figures, including actress Magdalena Cielecka, poet, writer and translator Jacek Dehnel, and journalist and writer Mariusz Szczygiel, who have joined, along with other citizens, to encourage civic activism.
PORTUGAL. Journalists vote: the Journalists Association in Portugal (Sindicato dos Jornalistas) promoted several initiatives to boost the debate about the European elections. In a series of videos entitled “Journalists vote”, they state their reasons to vote in the 2019 European elections and invite the other citizens to do the same. destavezeuvoto.eu
EUROPE. City scooter company Lime, teaming up with the European Parliament’s own #thistimeImvoting drive, will offer free rides on its electric scooters for people wanting to vote in the European elections in Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Poland, Portugal, Spain and Sweden, on between 6:00 and 21:00 on 26 May.