Final Stretch for the 2024 European Elections: Mobilization and Stakes

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As candidates rally for the election, it is important to understand the importance of this year’s election. (Shutterstock)

Candidates for the European elections are entering the final stretch of the campaign. With three weeks remaining until the June 9 vote, political parties are intensifying their efforts to mobilize voters. This election will not only determine the composition of the European Parliament but may also influence national politics.

Campaign Timeline and Dynamics

The final phase of the campaign begins Monday, May 27. Until then, the outcome remains uncertain for the candidates. Parties are holding numerous rallies and televised debates to persuade as many French citizens as possible to go to the polls. A notable recent debate on Thursday, May 23, featured Prime Minister Gabriel Attal, supporting Renaissance candidate Valérie Hayer, against Jordan Bardella, the National Rally’s lead candidate.

Challenge of Mobilization

Mobilizing voters for the European elections is particularly challenging in France. Historically, these elections do not tend to energize the public. According to opinion studies, only half of French citizens express interest in the election, and up to 57% might not vote, according to a May 21 Opinionway poll for Les Echos and Radio Classique.

Importance of European Stakes

For many citizens, European issues seem distant. However, these elections significantly impact the internal policies of the 27 EU member states. Candidates, aware of this, are striving to raise voter awareness about the importance of their vote.

Historical Context

The European elections, held every five years, are a significant event for the European Union. The first direct elections to the European Parliament were held in 1979, marking a milestone in the EU’s development. Over the years, the scope and influence of the European Parliament have expanded, making these elections increasingly important.

In the last European elections in 2019, voter turnout in France was 50.12%, higher than the 42.61% in 2014 but still indicative of the challenges in engaging the electorate. The National Rally, led by Marine Le Pen, emerged as the largest party in France, securing 23.34% of the vote. This was closely followed by President Emmanuel Macron’s La République En Marche, which garnered 22.42%.

Current Political Landscape 

As June 9 approaches, the stakes are high for French political parties: to convince and mobilize voters in a context where interest in the European elections remains lukewarm. The coming weeks will be crucial in shaping the future political landscape both in Europe and nationally.

The 2024 elections are particularly significant as they come at a time of major challenges for the EU, including economic recovery post-COVID-19, climate change, and geopolitical tensions. The results will reflect public sentiment on these issues and influence the direction of EU policies in the coming years. 

As candidates strive to connect with voters, their success will depend on addressing these pressing concerns and demonstrating the tangible impact of European policies on everyday life. The final weeks of the campaign will be decisive in determining the future political landscape of both France and Europe.

Written by Imane Moumen

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