Category Archives: Letmevote & ESF Press

Here you find media articles (press and other) directly about Letmevote and ESF projects.

Européennes : à chacun son truc anti-abstention

On 02/05/2014 Liberation reported about Europeen Sans Frontieres’ new Rock the Euro Vote in an article about different projects trying to overcome citizen’s lack of interest in voting in the European Elections between 22-25 May 2014.




Here is the English translation of the part about Europeens Sans Frontieres


The call for cultural personalities

On April 18 the Europeans Without Borders association posted a video on the sites of Paris , France Télévisions and France24 in which several personalities share their affection for the idea of ​​Europe. Guillaume Gallienne, Dany Boo , cartoonist Plantu, the constitutional Olivier Duhamel, the director of the French Comedy Muriel Mayette, actress Florence Pernel or singer Fefe are all contained in casting.

“The idea is to use the world of culture to be effective with young people, as the political and media class are despised ,” said AFP Philippe Cayla, Chairman of Europeans without Borders and former head of Euronews. “For me, Europe is peace ,” says  Dany Boon in the video. “I wish more young people to tell me “hey , there’s stuff to do in Europe! ‘, exclaims Fefe . “It is up to us citizens to take ourselves in hand, and culture may be able to save us ,” concluded the cartoonist Plantu.


Artistes, Rock The Eurovote!

In spring, in preparations for the European Elections, Letmevote’s embarked on a new project in France: Rocktheeurovote.

In this article in Liberation, Letmevote’s Philippe Cayla asks French artists and intellectuals to support the project Rocktheeurovote to encourage EU citizens to vote in May 2014.

Original Text:

Artistes, Rock The Eurovote !

Philippe CAYLA


L’art est le sel de la vie, et les artistes sont nos bienveillants sauniers. Leur valeur pour la société est reconnue et se traduit par le soutien de l’Etat, financé par l’impôt. Mais de même que la gabelle, impôt sur le sel, avait fini par devenir l’impôt le plus honni de l’Ancien Régime, les artistes se gardent du risque de voir la politique culturelle, qui nous coûte cher, rejetée en ces temps de disette par nos concitoyens contribuables. Les artistes ont un devoir de solidarité avec la communauté, une responsabilité spéciale liée à la forte visibilité que leur donne leur notoriété. Cette notoriété, ils ne devraient jamais oublier que, outre leur talent, c’est aussi grâce au soutien financier de la collectivité qu’ils l’ont obtenue. Ce soutien est menacé par le libéralisme mondialisé, et largement européanisé. Lors des débats sur le mandat à donner à la Commission européenne pour la négociation d’un traité de libre-échange avec les Etats-Unis, bien des Etats européens ont voulu y inclure la culture. Grâce à la France, et aussi au lobbying de quelques artistes européens, la culture a été exclue des négociations. Pour le moment, dit in petto la Commission européenne. Le maintien de la politique culturelle est donc à risque. Le prochain risque, ce sont les élections européennes en mai 2014. Si d’aventure Mme Le Pen et ses alliés d’extrême droite prennent le pouvoir au Parlement européen, ou deviennent incontournables dans les compromis partisans, que restera-t-il des politiques culturelles en Europe dans cinq ans ? Les subventions aux activités artistiques, considérées comme un repaire de gauchistes, sont menacées. Le principal risque est l’abstention. Pour l’écarter, les artistes doivent se mobiliser pour faire voter les Français, notamment les jeunes. Comment ? Prenons pour une fois exemple chez nos amis américains. En 2007, des artistes ont lancé le mouvement Rock The Vote : des artistes du monde de la musique, du cinéma, des séries TV, de la danse ou du théâtre se sont mobilisés pour fabriquer et diffuser sur YouTube des clips courts, efficaces, pédagogiques ou ludiques appelant les jeunes Américains à voter. Résultat : 8 millions d’entre eux, qui n’avaient jamais voté, ont voté pour la première fois en 2008, majoritairement pour Obama.

Pour sauver les politiques culturelles européennes, il faut faire voter les jeunes et les moins jeunes, il faut lutter contre l’abstention. Artistes, Rock The Eurovote : bougez-vous pour que l’Europe change, appelez les Européens à voter en diffusant votre message sur le Web. Et s’il vous manque les mots pour le dire, contactez-nous, nous aurons plaisir à vous aider !

Philippe CAYLA

Demain, la nation européenne

Download PDF of an article about Letmevote in L’Express from 17/04/2013

L’Express’ Christoph Barbier writes in the context of Letmevote: ‘It’s time to end the Europe of zombies, of technocrats painted gray and of ghost electorates, the Europe of unexplained decisions and questionable legitimacy.’

Click image below to see PDF of the original article in French:




Synergies between F2020 and Let me Vote

Letmevote’s Catriona Seth, a member of the citizen’s committee of the ECI Let me vote, gave an interview to Letmevote’s fellow ECI Fratenite 2020 in December 2012.

fraternite interview_2012

Synergies between F2020 and Let me Vote: Catriona Seth

Catriona Seth is a Professor in 18th-century French studies at the Université de Lorraine and she has published widely on Enlightenment literature and the history of ideas. She is also on the citizen’s committee of the ECI Let me vote, which she is introducing in this interview.

I support Fraternité 2020 because of its aims. As an academic, I try to encourage my students to participate in exchanges. Erasmus has been of huge importance in fostering understanding between participating individuals and institutions and in opening new horizons for many young people. As an individual, I have drawn great benefits from living in different European countries whose ties have been reinforced thanks to the existence of the EU. As a private citizen, I believe that mobility is to be encouraged and that ECIs like “Fraternité 2020″ and “Let Me Vote” are ways of promoting it. More mobility means more understanding. More understanding means more solid grounding for our common future.

Of course I do! I cannot think of anyone who could disagree with its fundamental ideas around exchange, education and solidarity. I also believe F2020 should gain huge impetus from being the first ECI to launch its online collection of signatures. It has got to succeed!


For the EU to be perceived as a positive force for individuals, I think it needs to make decisions which can be seen to impact our lives in more than administrative ways. To encourage exchanges is to invite people to learn about how other Europeans live: we are all different, but we are not foreigners in that we have a common culture as well as the specific culture, language, customs etc. of our home towns, regions and states. EU nationals who study, live and work in another EU country bring their cultural capital with them and learn from the land in which they are. This increases immaterial wealth but also economic growth. Most European nationals who live in the EU but outside their home state contribute both to their home country and to their host nation at once as economic players and as de facto goodwill ambassadors.


“Let me vote” ( has a lot in common with F2020: it is also about mobility and a desire to foster peace and understanding within the EU. Our aim is to obtain full voting rights for EU nationals in the country in which they live. Currently, for instance, if you are Greek and live outside Greece but within the EU, you can only vote in local and European elections. You are partially disenfranchised. There are many other examples of people who contribute culturally and economically to the EU, exercising their right to mobility, and cannot vote in any national elections. I have British citizenship but live and work in France and I do not have voting rights in UK general elections. Though I pay taxes in France and, indeed, work for the French State, I am not allowed to vote in the French regional or presidential elections. Governments come and go in France and I have no democratic right to have my say. Surely being deprived of the right to vote in national elections simply because one is exercising one’s right to mobility is unacceptable: it is a democratic wrong.
Our chief challenge at “Let me vote” is that we are a group of individuals, brought together by a common belief in the importance of the EU and the need to give meaning to true European citizenship. We have no budget, no lobby, no staff, just our goodwill and spare time. We are a citizens’ initiative in the fullest sense of the word. Reaching a million signatures will be an uphill struggle but we believe we can make it!


The ECI as a tool has huge political importance: each and everyone of us can -theoretically at least as there are some issues about signing possibilities for certain EU citizens who live outside their home state- directly influence EU policy. The EU has often been seen as too distant from the people. ECIs mean direct participatory democracy and this needs to be encouraged. Anything which makes European citizenship more tangible has to be a good thing!

Thank you very much.



Europeans Without Borders in Le Monde

This is an English translation of an article by Philippe Cayla and Catherine Colonna published in the French newspaper Le Monde on 03/04/2012

Europeans Without Borders (Europeens Sans Frontieres)

Author: Philippe Cayla & Catherine Colonna

Translation: Letmevote

Published in: Le Monde 03/04/2012

How can we bounce back in a Europe which is being rocked on all sides, where good news is

scarce, economic perspectives remain uncertain, the capacity for boldness and innovation on the decline, and the temptation to shrink back is lurking in the wings?

Firstly, by giving a voice to the people, in the true sense of the word. It is time to allow them to express themselves: i.e. in a democracy, to participate. Let us take advantage of this possibility, opened up in the Lisbon treaty by the ‘European citizens’ initiatives’.

Europe cannot do everything at state and institutional level. Of course negotiations, rules, mechanisms and governance are all necessary, but they are often incomprehensible for citizens. We will need new common policies and investments for growth. Above all we will need to bring the men and women who make up our Europe closer together; to make Europe in our hearts, not just in programmes.

Since the beginning of the construction of Europe , Europeans have no longer been foreigners to each other: they are our neighbours, our cousins, our family. We share the same history, the same democratic and humanist values, the same references and, we must recognise it, the same destiny. Yet too many obstacles hinder the meeting of peoples.

One among the thousand of these obstacles is the most political one. Nowadays, a European residing in another European country takes part in its economic, social and cultural life and pays taxes there, but is only allowed to vote in local and European elections, not in any others. He is not a citizen equal to the others. Let us start by granting full and complete voting rights to all Europeans. Let us do it now, without delay.

Every European citizen must be allowed to express him or herself in the elections wherever he lives in Europe and without renouncing his nationality and his roots: a British woman living in France must be able to vote there, just like a Frenchman living in Hamburg or a German in Madrid. His or her future is being decided, just like ours.

To give European citizens the right to vote in all elections, be they local, regional, national or European, would be to give each European the feeling of a common destiny, of being at home wherever he or she is within the European Union. It would also be a way to do make up for a grave deficiency by breathing a little more soul into Europe. It would be a way of giving European citizenship its full meaning: it must not be an additional, bargain citizenship, but one which gives pride and rights.

There is a new way of making things happen: as of April 1 st this year, European citizens’ initiatives can invite the Commission to take measures in order to strengthen the Union. They need to collect a million signatures. The ‘Européens sans frontières’ (Europeans without borders) association unites Europeans of good will desirous to promote fuller European citizenship. To this end it has launched the ‘Let me vote!’ initiative. To make Europeans into full citizens: who could oppose such a great idea? If you want to help it along, come and join us on our site:

Philippe Cayla in Liberation

This is an English translation of the thought piece Philippe Cayla published first in the French newspaper Liberation on 8 Dec 2011.

Let’s start with the Europeans!

Author: Philippe Cayla

Translation: Letmevote

Published in: Liberation 08/12/2011

In the current debate about foreigners’ rights to vote, the possibility has been raised of giving the same rights to residents who are not EU citizens as to those who are EU citizens, at least for local elections (European Union citizens also have the right to vote in European elections).

Even if the rights of EU and non EU citizens are governed by a different rationale, the fact that increasing the rights of non EU citizens, but not those of EUcitizens is on the cards is an eloquent indication of the lack of reflection about Europe. Europeans’ rights derive from EU citizenship as defined by the Maastricht treaty. Every citizen of an EU country is also an EU citizen. As such, he has certain rights when living or travelling outside the country of which he is a national: for instance the right to vote in local and European elections when residing in an EU country, the right to be represented by the consular services of any EU country when travelling overseas.

The 2008 Lamassoure report listed the numerous obstacles which hinder full exercise of European citizenship. In a decision dated October 27th 2010, the commission adopted 25 measures, mostly practical ones, in order to improve the value of this elusive citizenship. This does not alter the fact that at a time when questions have been raised regarding Europe’s identity and the evanescent European, it is time to give European citizenship its full meaning and its full value. In the same way as, in the Roman Empire, to be a Roman citizen, a civis romanus, was an honour which gave greater rights than those of each of the individual identities of the Empire, European citizens should be given the fundamental right to be national citizens of any EU country in which they reside.

This residential’ citizenship would grant the same rights as the local nationality, without the need to acquire it: Europeans whose case this is would thus keep their original nationality. They could take part in national elections in the country in which they reside and could stand for election. Any European residing in France could become a député, a sénateur or even, why not, the president of the Republic, although the probability of such a thing happening is almost non existent. It would be an honour for France to ensure that all EU citizens residing in France have the right to vote in national elections. The European Parliament should act accordingly. A way of acquiring this right could be to launch a European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI).