The European Commission and the MTV network of television channels yesterday (9 April) launched an EU-wide campaign to encourage young people to vote in June’s European elections.
The joint campaign, entitled ‘Can you hear me Europe?’, sees the establishment of a website offering young people a platform “to express themselves, tell the European Union who they are, and address Brussels with their concerns, dreams, complaints and ideals” by posting messages, tweets and videos on the site.
Users contribute to the ‘Can you hear me Europe?’ page via Twitter, and can also opt to allow the website to simultaneously post their contributions to their Facebook profiles.
The Commission hopes the initiative will help raise interest and boost the participation of young people in the June poll. Indeed, turnout among voters aged 18-24 was low at the last elections in 2004, with just 40% participating in the ballot.
A series of TV adverts to promote the campaign, launched on Monday (6 April) across MTV Networks International’s 168-strong network of channels, invites young people to “share their feelings, ideas and concerns, and express what they think about the EU”.
The ads feature young people hanging loudspeakers on prominent landmarks in the iconic European capitals of London, Paris and Rome.
The campaign will gain further momentum on 30 April with the staging of a Europe-wide ‘sound wave’ in Berlin, Prague and Milan.
The event, to be held at 3.30pm and broadcast live on MTV and online, will gather young people in the centre of the three cities to shout ‘Can you hear me Europe?’
Would-be participants who cannot make it to the three cities are encouraged to record their own shouts “on the street, in town, at home, from a window or through a webcam” and upload the videos to the campaign website.