Tag Archives: democracy

UK Local Elections 2016

On 5 May 2016 EU citizens living in the UK are entitled to vote in local elections for the following bodies

Last day to register to vote: 18 April 2016

As always, our recommendation is to register directly with your local council/authority. Some of you who are registered to vote will already have received a polling card or postal vote. If you think you are registered, check with the Council that you are indeed on the voting register, it is best to make sure before each election, as election registers need to be updated regularly and the system has changed in the last couple of years. Find the contact details for your local election authority here: http://www.aboutmyvote.co.uk/

EU citizens living and working in the UK unfortunately do not have a vote in the 23 June 2016 Leave/Remain EU Referendum, but they do have the democratic right to vote in local elections where they live. As active and involved members of their local communities we hope as many people as possible make sure they are on the electorial register.

Find out what the position of local candidates is on Brexit and set a sign through your vote in your local election on 5 May 2016!

 

Mayoral Elections outside London

In 2012 three UK cities elected a directly elected Mayor for the first time. These roles are up for election again in 2016.

NOTE: in all three cities local councils will also be elected on 5 May 2016, EU citizens can vote in these elections.

Local Elections 2015

On 5 May 2015 over 100 local authorities and councils are also elected.

Technically, these are called Metropolitan Boroughs, District Councils and Unitary Authorities – the important thing is they are your local authorities and EU citizens who are permanent residents and on the electoral register have the right to vote in these elections to shape their communities.

Elections in 2016 are being held for the following local authorities

Metropolitan Boroughs
A third of council seats are up for election in 32 of 36 Metropolitan boroughs including Barnsley, Birmingham, Bolton, Bradford, Bury, Calderdale, Coventry, Dudley, Gateshead, Kirklees,  Knowsley, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, North Tyneside, Oldham, Rochdale, Rotherham, St Helens, Salford, Sandwell, Sefton, Sheffield, Solihull, South Tyneside, Stockport, Sunderland, Tameside, Trafford, Wakefield, Walsall, Wigan, Wirral, Wolverhampton.

Unitary authorities
In three councils – Bristol, Peterborough, Warrington – all seats are up for election while 16 others have a third of seats up for election. You can vote in Blackburn with Darwen, Bristol, Derby, Halton, Hartlepool, Kingston-upon-Hull, Milton Keynes, North East Lincolnshire, Peterborough, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Reading, Slough, Southampton, Southend-on-Sea, Swindon, Thurrock, Warrington, Wokingham.

District Councils
12 district councils have all their seats up for election.
Seven have half of their seats up for grabs.
In a further 52 councils a third of seats are being elected.
District Council Elections are held in Adur, Amber Valley, Basildon, Basingstoke & Deane, Brentwood, Broxbourne, Burnley, Cambridge, Cannock Chase, Carlisle, Castle Point, Cheltenham, Cherwell, Chorley, Colchester, Craven, Crawley, Daventry, Eastleigh, Elmbridge, Epping Forest, Exeter, Fareham, Gloucester, Gosport, Great Yarmouth, Harlow, Harrogate, Hart, Hastings, Havant, Huntingdonshire, Hyndburn, Ipswich, Lincoln, Maidstone, Mole Valley, Newcastle-under-Lyme, North Hertfordshire, Norwich, Nuneaton & Bedworth, Oxford, Pendle, Preston, Redditch, Reigate & Banstead, Rochford, Rossendale, Rugby, Runnymede, Rushmoor, St Albans, South Cambridgeshire, South Lakeland, Stevenage, Stroud, Tamworth, Tandridge, Three Rivers, Tunbridge Wells, Watford,
Welwyn Hatfield, West Lancashire, West Oxfordshire, Weymouth & Portland, Winchester, Woking, Worcester, Worthing, Wyre Forest.

Check your local newspapers, radio and TV to check if you can participate in local elections in May 2016. To start with, Wikipedia also has a reasonably good list of all elections taking place locally in 2016.

 

Electing the Scottish Parliament, Welsh Assembly and Northern Ireland Assembly

EU citizens living in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland can vote in the elections for the Scottish Parliament. Register by contacting the Electoral Registration Officer for your local area, you can find their contact details by using the postcode search on the About my vote website.

Here are direct links to find the direct information about these elections:

 

London Assembly

The Assembly holds the Mayor and Mayoral advisers to account by publicly examining policies and programmes through committee meetings, plenary sessions, site visits and investigations. It consists of 25 members, of which 14 are elected by constituencies, the other 11 represent London overall. There’s a nice little video explaining what the London Assembly is, you can find out more about it and stay on top of ongoing work by checking out the London Assembly website. Again, a good list of 2016 candidates is on Wikipedia.

London Mayor

Since a significant percentage of Londoners are non-British EU citizens living and working in the capital, contributing significantly to the city’s international flair and success, we specifically urge European Londoners to participate in the election for the next London Mayor. You can check out our special resource collection for the election here, and find out more on the official page London Elects.

Last day to register to vote: 18 April 2016

Don’t forget: EU citizens have the right to vote in all elections which are categorized as  local, so all the above listed elections are open for EU citizens to vote in. Make sure you are registed to vote! 

 

 

London Mayor 2016 – EU-Citizens Can Vote

glaNon British EU-citizens living in London (EU citizens) can vote in the upcoming elections for London Mayor and for the London Assembly on 5 May 2016. Registration deadline is 18 April 2016. If you are eligible, do not wait for the deadline, register right now.

EU citizens living in London contribute fully to the economic, social and cultural life where ever they live and work in this city. They rent or own, pay for, use and help run public services (transport, health, education, local government, etc.) and they are in growing numbers members of community organisations, trade-unions and political parties.

Letmevote UK is politically neutral. We do however aim to get as many eligible voters, especially under-registered groups such as EU-citizens, to register (by 18 April 2016) and to vote on 5 May 2016. We believe in democratic participation and in using your vote to help shape the community you live in.

Housing, Transport, Social Cohesion, Air Quality, sustainable growth and many more will be issues EU citizens will be considering when casting their vote in May. A key issue for many EU citizens will be candidates’ position on the up-coming EU referendum (23 June), in which EU citizens unfortunately do not have a vote. A vote for Brexit in June would create mid-term uncertainty of EU citizens’ legal status in the UK and further strengthen negativity towards EU citizens in the public discourse across the UK. It is therefore very likely that EU citizens will feel less inclined to vote for candidates supporting Brexit.

If you are not registered to vote yet find details of your local electoral registration office on the websites of the Electoral Commission http://www.aboutmyvote.co.uk/ with a simple post code search. Make sure you are on the register to avoid the frustration faced by hundreds of EU citizens who were denied a vote in the UK in the 2014 European Elections.

You can find more information on the mayoral candidates herehttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London_mayoral_election,_2016

Mayoral Candidates (ranked by latest polling) and their party and EU referendum position

Candidate – Party – EU referendum position

  • Sadiq Kahn – Labour – Remain
  • Zac Goldsmith – Conservative – Leave
  • Siân Berry – Green Party – Remain
  • Caroline Pidgeon – Liberal Democrats – Remain
  • Peter Whittle – UKIP – Leave
  • George Galloway – Respect Party – Leave

Even if you think you are registered we still strongly recommend you check with your local electoral registration office. Electoral Registration has moved from registration of the whole household to individual registration. Student accommodations used to register all students in the past. Students now need to register individually.

For all your registration needs visit: http://www.aboutmyvote.co.uk/

HOW YOU CAN HELP

If you know any EU citizens, please encourage them to register and to have their say on the 5th of May.

LONDON ASSEMBLY ELECTION 2016

London also elects London Assembly Members on 5 May 2016.

The Assembly holds the Mayor and Mayoral advisers to account by publicly examining policies and programmes through committee meetings, plenary sessions, site visits and investigations. It consists of 25 members, of which 14 are elected by constituencies, the other 11 represent London overall. There’s a nice little video explaining what the London Assembly is, you can find out more about it and stay on top of ongoing work by checking out the London Assembly website. Again, a good list of 2016 candidates is on Wikipedia.

The UK EU Referendum – 23 June 2016

Remain or LeaveOn 23 June 2016 the United Kingdom will hold a referendum about whether it should remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union. A potential ‘Brexit’ has been discussed for the last couple of years and Eurosceptics have campaigned more and more aggressively against EU citizens living and working in the UK and made them one of the main reasons why the UK should end its membership of the European Union.

Some basics on the EU referendum have been assembled by the BBC, although many media outlets so far have not adequately helped to raise the quality of the debate about this important issue.

Letmevote as a grassroots initiative has argued for years that in our opinion people should have the right to vote in the communities they live in. Especially EU citizens, who should be equal to each other across the EU, should have democratic voting rights wherever they live in the EU, whether in their home nation or another EU country.

Despite 2+m EU citizens living in the UK and 1.5 British EU citizens living elsewhere in the EU, the UK government has failed to show a democratically forward-looking attitude on this. On 23 June non-British EU citizens living and working in the UK will not have the right to vote and participate in the UK EU Referendum. This is especially frustrating since EU citizens in Scotland did have voting rights in the Scottish Independence Referendum 2014 – unfortunately the UK government did not show a similar enlightened attitude as the Scottish government as to the rights of their residents to determine their own fate.

Another democratically frustrating fact is that UK citizens who live abroad for more than 15 years lose their right to vote in any UK elections, leaving many democratically disenfranchised. In another frustrating move, and despite an earlier promise to the contrary from key actors, the UK government has also decided not give these British citizens a vote in the EU referendum – many of which are directly affected by the outcome as they live on the European continent.

Some EU citizen groups have campaigned against the disenfranchisement of EU citizens living in the UK, focusing on two petitions. The ‘Give EU citizens living & working in the UK the right to vote in EU Referendum‘ Petition got just under 40,000 signatures when it closed on 25 March 2016. A 38 degrees petition on the subject has under 4000 signatures as of March 2016.

Letmevote has not actively campaigned for these petitions because it has been clear since 2015 that the UK government held a firm opinion against EU citizens’ participation in any referendum, and would not be swayed. However, we strongly believe that just because EU citizens have no vote in the EU referendum, it does not mean they have no voice.

We strongly encourage EU citizens living in the UK to campaign for the EU referendum in their local communities, schools, workplaces and online. EU citizens have stories to tell, we play an important part in helping other local people, British citizens and other with voting rights (such as Irish and Commonwealth citizens living in the UK) a good understanding what the EU means, how it cooperates and why EU membership adds to the quality of life in the UK.

Some organisations who campaign on the EU referendum, especially if spending campaign capital on their work, may need to register with the Electoral Commission as campaigners. However, nothing keeps individual EU citizens and activists from playing an active role in their community or from supporting pro-EU campaigns who work for a ‘REMAIN’ decision.

Letmevote will continue to share relevant information on twitter (you don’t need to be a twitter user to see our updates here!), and also work with another organisation to highlight campaign materials and information you may find useful if you want to campaign for the UK’s continued membership in the European Union.

Statement about EP2014 problems in UK

Statement by

European Movement UK

Labour Movement for Europe (LME)

European Alternatives

LetmevoteUK

Vote, you’re at home!

Liberal Democrat European Group (LDEG)

 

We are a group of initiatives and organisations who are working with EU citizens in different forms. All of us in some way work on projects of citizen engagement, voter participation and policy development. We try to empower and involve EU citizens, whether of British or other origin in issues around Europe and how Europe relates to local communities in the UK, some of us also in other countries.

 

Following the European Elections 2014 in the UK on 22 May 2014 we are concerned that there have been many reports of EU citizens in the UK not being able to vote in the elections.

 

Many who thought they had registered to vote, were turned away at polling stations being told they were not on the list for EP2014.

 

At the moment we are not clear what the source of the problem was, reports varied. There were more voter registration campaigns than ever targeting EU citizens, some of which we were directly involved in. Voters did need to get on the electoral register, then confirm individually in a 2nd form that they would vote in the European Elections in the UK rather than their home country.

 

It seems that many people who have lived here for years and voted previously, did miss or never receive the form from their Local Council to confirm they wanted to vote in the EP elections. Others report having got so many forms they submitted multiple times. Other received forms so often they did not return them as they thought they had registered already.

 

We assume a combination of factors led to electoral registration being too confusing for too many. This is out of line with our democratic principles. The UK has a good track record of enabling communities from different backgrounds to vote where they have the right to do so, and to not do this adequately for so many EU citizens who live and contribute to the UK society and economy at a time of general prejudice against these citizens seems at best unfortunate, and democratically not acceptable.

 

We are asking for the process to be looked into. Points of investigation are

 

  • if and when Councils explained the process adequately so EU citizens knew which steps to take

  • whether staff in polling stations had adequate information to know in which of the ballots EU citizens could vote, so they could resolve issues aside from just telling people if they were on the list or not

  • where there are reports which indicate prejudice against any EU citizens may have been expressed, specifically at polling stations in the form of unhelpful comments, this is also a point of concern

We call for the simplification of the process and suggest that we either return to the previous system or improve the form (which incorrectly stated that no further action is required) or adopting a different system that will deal adequately with the current problems.

 

2.5m EU citizens live in the UK and make up a significant part of our communities. Access to exercise their voting rights should be straight forward, and we hope our concern is noted, looked into and followed up with appropriate processes of investigation.

 

Petros Fassoulas, Chair European Movement UK www.euromove.org.uk

David Schoibl, Chair, Labour Movement for Europe (LME) www.labourmovement.eu

Noel Hatch, Co-Chair, European Alternatives www.euroalter.com

Susanne Kendler, UK Coordinator, LetmevoteUK www.letmevoteuk.org

Jakub Krupa, UK Coordinator, Vote, you’re at home! www.jusz.eu

George Dunk, Chair, Liberal Democrat Europe Group (LDEG) www.ldeg.org

 

The European Movement UK: The European Movement is a grassroots, cross-party, independent organisation, set up in 1950 and campaigning since then to inform the debate around the benefits of EU membership. In preparation for EP2014 the European Movement offered registration information through its registration campaign website http://vote2014uk.org.uk/

 

Labour Movement for Europe (LME) is a membership and campaigning organisation and Socialist Society affiliated to the Labour Party. Since 2008 it has been running voter registration campaigns among EU citizen communities in the UK and has many EU citizens among its membership and volunteers. The LME works to improve the quality of debate about Europe in the Labour Party and beyond.

 


European Alternatives (EA) is a transnational civil society organisation and citizens movement promoting democracy, equality and culture beyond the nation state. European Alternatives organises a wealth of activities, campaigns, and projects, including public events and the annual TRANSEUROPA Festival, research, activities promoting active citizenship, youth projects, campaigns and publications.

 

Letmevote UK is part of Letmevote EU, an independent citizens’ group promoting active citizenship in the EU. Letmevote promotes voter registration and participation of all EU citizens, including mobile EU citizens, who live and work in other EU countries than the one they come from. LetmevoteUK believes in a Europe of the people, of its citizens, and of active communities.

 

Vote, you’re at home! is a non-partisan joint initiative by School for Leaders, Polish City Club London, Forum Polonia Ireland and more than 30 associated organisations of Polish expats living in the United Kingdom, encouraging Poles living in this country to be active in local communities and political processes.

 

The Liberal Democrat Europe Group (LDEG) is the association for UK Liberal Democrat members and activists who are interested in European politics. As a group, LDEG provides a forum for the discussion of European political issues with a focus on the European Union and Britian’s role in the EU. The group also promotes a greater understanding of European political affairs.

The Green 10 Top Ten Demands of the EP

The Green 10 are ten of the largest environmental organisations and networks active on the European level. They coordinate joint responses and recommendations to EU decision makers. Membership of the Green 10 alone is more than 20 million people.

They work with the EU law-making institutions – the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers – to ensure that the environment is placed at the heart of policy-making. This includes working with their individual member organisations around Europe to facilitate their input into the EU decision-making process.

The Green 10 have published their top ten demands for the 2014 European Parliament election.

green10_demands_2014

These are the member organisations of Green10

BirdLife Europe | CEE Bankwatch Network | Climate Action Network Europe | European Environmental Bureau | Friends of the Earth Europe | Greenpeace European Unit | Health and Environment Alliance | Naturefriends International | Transport and Environment | WWF

 

 

 

European Green Party (EGP) Manifesto 2014

The European Green Party is a transnational political party having as its members Green parties from European countries (although not necessarily from European Union member states). Parties can also become candidates and associates. The most important bodies of the EGP are the Council and the Committee.

Council is made up 120 representatives of member parties. These are allotted on the basis of their most recent European or national election results. Each party has at least two delegates. It is responsible for political affairs between congresses and it decides over organizational matters, such as the election of committee, the application of members and associates and candidates of the European Green Party.

‘We want to give European citizens a direct say while also maintaining our commitment to create a common European political space where important decisions are not only discussed within the confines of national debates but on an open democratic European stage.’ says Reinhard Bütikofer, Co-Chair of the EGP

Use this map to find out which Green Parties are a member of the European Green Party (EGP)

You can find the Green’s 2014 Manifesto here Change Europe vote green

 

Party of European Socialists (PES)

The Party of European Socialists (PES) brings together the Socialist, Social Democratic and Labour Parties of the European Union (EU). There are 32 full member partiesfrom the 28 EU member States and Norway. In addition, there are eleven associate and ten observer parties. The UK Labour Party is a member of the PES.

PES aims include:

  • the strengthening of the socialist and social democratic movement in the Union and throughout Europe;
  • contributing to forming a European awareness and to expressing the political will of the citizens of the Union;
  • defining common policies for the European Union and to influence the decisions of the European institutions;
  • leading the European election campaign with a common strategy and visibility, a common Manifesto and a common candidate to the European Commission Presidency, elected through an open, transparent and democratic competitive process

The Group of Socialists & Democrats in the European Parliament has 194 members, and is the only political group in the European Parliament with representatives from all 28 member states.

PES website

Find the PES Manifesto for the EP2014 Elections here: http://bit.ly/1he54H1

Key 10 points are:

1.It is time to put jobs first
2. It is time to relaunch the economy
3.Putting the financial sector at the service of the citizens and the real economy
4.Towards a Social Europe
5.A Union of equality and women’s rights
6.A Union of diversity
7.A Safe and Healthy life for all
8.More democracy and participation
9.A Green Europe
10. Promoting Europe’s influence in the world

The PES is also running specific campaigns on these issues:

  • European You Guarantee
  • Equal Pay
  • Financial Transaction Tax (FTT)
  • Women and Pensions
  • My body, my rights
  • A Charter for European Women’s rights

 

 

European People’s Party (EPP) Platform

The European People’s Party (EPP) is the political family of the centre-right in the European Parliament. They are the party of Germany’s Merkel and used to be the group to which the UK Conservatives were allied – before the Tories left the EPP to join another group.

Founded in 1976, the EPP strives – in its own words – for a democratic, transparent and efficient Europe that is close to its citizens. “The EPP wants a prosperous Europe through the promotion of a free market economy with a social consciousness. The EPP is the largest political organisation in Europe with over 70 member-parties from 40 countries, the most heads of state and government (both, EU and non-EU), 13 European Commissioners (including the President), and the largest Group in the European Parliament.”

You can see exactly which parties make up the EPP in which EU country here: http://www.epp.eu/member-parties

EPP Platform

The EPP Party Platform is the core programme of the party outlining their main values, explaining the challenges society is facing and presenting their vision for the future of European Union.

The Party Platform was developed in EPP Working Group 1 for “European Policy” chaired by EPP President Wilfried MARTENS and EPP Vice President Peter HINTZE.  The Working Group consists of delegates of EPP member parties who prepared and worked on this document for more than two years and received input from the drafting committee as well as senior and young experts.

The document was adopted at the 2012 EPP Congress in Bucharest, thus replacing the Basic Programme of Athens from 1992.

Click here to read the EPP Platform

Here you find the website of the EPP’s candidate for President http://juncker.epp.eu/

EPP Website

European Youth Forum for EP2014

The European Youth Forum (YFJ) is the platform of youth organisations in Europe. Representing 99 youth organisations, both National Youth Councils and International Non-Governmental Youth Organisations, we believe youth organisations are the tool through which we empower, encourage, involve, represent, reach out and support young people. The Youth Forum brings together tens of millions of young people from all over Europe, organised in order to represent their common interests. – See more at: http://www.youthforum.org/european-youth-form/#sthash.N4CdWkNy.dpuf

Ahead of the EP2014 Elections the European Youth Forum has launched its LoveYouthFuture Pledges, which show how the EU can love its young people, both now and in the future.

Click the image to get to the LoveYouthFuture Pledges and the campaign website, which holds a wealth of additional information

european youth forum_EP2014

European Women’s Lobby (EWL) for EP2014

Founded in 1990 with 12 national member organisations, the European Women’s Lobby is one of the oldest and best established European-level civil society NGOs. Over the last 20 years, EWL membership has grown steadily to reach more than 2500 organisations across 31 European countries.

The EWL’s mission is to promote real and effective equality between women and men, in all spheres of public and private life, across the EU. This mission is founded on a vision of a peaceful and democratic European Union built on a culture of respect for human rights, equality, peace and solidarity.

Achieving substantive equality between women and men, promoting women’s rights and empowering women should be a priority of the European Union (EU) and its Member States. the EWL sees gender equality as an essential part of democracy, social justice, human rights and dignity. The European Parliament (EP) has the power and responsibility to create meaningful change towards equality for all, now and in the future.

The EWL’s Manifesto “Act now for her future, commit to gender equality!” comprises the main demands of the European Women’s Lobby, the largest umbrella organisation of women’s associations in the EU. The EWL Manifesto makes three general and five policy-specific demands:

  • A comprehensive framework to achieve gender equality
  • Sustainable funding for gender equality
  • Credible EU policies on gender equality at international level
  • Women’s economic independence
  • Parity democracy
  • A caring society
  • A Europe free from violence against women
  • Diverse in equality

Download and read the full manifesto by clicking on the image:

european womens lobby

Also check out their election website to find out all about EWL’s accompanying campaigns and which MEP candidates have signed up to the Manifesto so far: http://bit.ly/RmBhWe

 

European Public Health Alliance (EPHA) EP2014

EPHA is a change agent – Europe’s leading NGO advocating for better health. We are a dynamic member-led non-profit association registered in Belgium. EPHA is made up of public health NGOs, patient groups, health professionals, and disease groups working together to improve health and strengthen the voice of public health in Europe. EPHA is a member of, among others, the Social Platform, the European Public Health and Agriculture Consortium (EPHAC), the Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL), and the EU Civil Society Contact Group.

EPHA introduce their EP2014 election materials with this statement: ‘The last five years have been difficult for many people living in Europe. Unemployment, cuts to social support, lack of access to finance and the impacts of austerity have taken their toll on people, their health and their faith in the political processes and even democracy. In its Manifesto for the European Parliament elections, the European Public Health Alliance calls on political parties and individual Members of the European Parliament (MEP) candidates to ensure that health and well-being in Europe are ranked as high as they are valued.’

 

EPHA image

EPHA continues saying:

Quote: ‘The 2014-2019 legislative term presents the opportunity for the European Parliament to repeat its commitment to the well-being and health of people living in Europe by pushing these priorities up the political agenda. As we have seen, the European project has been under threat, but bringing the activities of the European Union in line with the priorities of its people is essential for both a democratically accountable Europe, as well as one that genuinely builds an economy which serves its people and the environment they live in.

We need strong leadership and a strong vision to reconnect European citizens to decision-making processes in the EU. Health, including mental health, is consistently identified among top areas of concern for European populations: to demonstrate the relevance of the EU to its citizens, Europe must deliver on the issues that matter to citizens, and not just to markets.’

This is EPHA’s EP2014 page: http://www.epha.org/a/5962

 

European Network Against Racism (ENAR) EP2014

ENAR is a pan-European anti-racist network that combines advocacy for racial equality and facilitating cooperation among civil society anti-racist actors in Europe. The organisation was set up in 1998 by grassroots activists on a mission to achieve legal changes at European level and make decisive progress towards racial equality in all EU Member States. Since then, ENAR has grown and achieved a great deal.

Parties and politicians using and propagating far-right and xenophobic ideas and programmes are getting stronger. Right-wing populist parties could make significant gains in the next EU elections, with some polls suggesting they could win up to 25% of seats in the next European Parliament.

In this context, we need to ensure that as many political parties and politicians as possible commit to equality and refrain from discriminatory and xenophobic discourses, behaviours and policies. Encouraging people to vote for diversity and equality and against discrimination and xenophobic discourses can also make a difference. Only by actually voting can our concerns be heard and our rights protected.

ENAR are asking candidates and political parties to commit to their top 7 demands to advance equality in the European Union

They also run the #NoHateEP2014 campaign. For this, they have joined forces with ILGA-Europe (European Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association). The purpose of the #NoHateEP2014 campaign is to denounce and monitor hate speech by candidates and encourage EU citizens to vote.

Find all about ENAR’s work ahead of EP2014 here: http://www.enar-eu.org/European-Parliament-Elections

 

European Disability Forum EP2014 Manifesto

The European Disability Forum is an independent NGO that represents the interests of 80 million Europeans with disabilities. EDF is the only European platform run by persons with disabilities and their families. EDF was created in 1996 by its member organisations to make sure decisions concerning disabled people are taken with and by disabled people.

Through its manifesto on the EU elections 2014, EDF calls on candidates MEPs and political parties to include the following priorities into their electoral programmes for the European elections 2014. Key points from the Manifesto are:

1. The promotion of a vision of an inclusive, sustainable and democratic Europe

EDF urges the EU to move away from the austerity policy and bring back people, inclusion, solidarity, equality and democratic legitimacy at the heart of its action. That is the only way to restore citizens’ trust.

2. The reform of Europe’s economic and social policies to ensure the protection and enjoyment of human rights of Europeans with disabilities

Due to unprecedented cuts in social spendings, millions of persons with disabilities are thrown into poverty and social exclusion. Social services are essential in enabling persons with disabilities to live independently and to participate fully in society, which are rights guaranteed by the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with disabilities – to which the EU is party, along with 25 Member States.

The EU must adopt new objectives concerning persons with disabilities in the upcoming review of the Europe 2020 Strategy – the only way to avoid its failure and mainstream disability rights in the European Semester process to esnure the protection and enjoyment of human rights for Europeans with disabilities.

3. Making goods and services accessible for all through:

the European Accessibility Act,a much-awaited EU legislation on the accessibility of goods and services in the EU internal market;
the proposed EU Directive on the accessibility of public websites;
accessibility of transport services and infrastructure;
– removing
obstacles to free movement for persons with disabilities and their families;
– making
EU funds barrier-free for persons with disabilities.

4. The adoption of the proposed general non-discrimination directive, a much-anticipated EU law

EDF urges the EU to adopt the proposed Directive, as amended by the European Parliament, which aims to protect persons with disabilities (amongst other groups) against discrimination in all areas of life outside of employment.

5. The swift ratification by the EU and by all Member states of the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

The EU and some Member States, despite being party to the UN Convention, are still expected to ratify the Optional Protocol, which introduces important procedures to strengthen the implementation of the Convention.

6. The establishment of mechanisms within EU institutions to mainstream the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities while ensuring the involvement of persons with disabilities

The EU has a pro-active duty to implement the Convention both in terms of its own internal work, but also in reviewing and modifying all existing laws and practices that discriminate against people with disabilities, and in shaping new legislation, policies and programmes in line with the Convention.

Please find the full Manifesto here:

EDF Manifesto 2014

CECODHAS Housing Europe

The Federation of Public, Cooperative & Social Housing – CECODHAS – has published a document called ‘9 Paths to Better Homes for a Better Europe – Our Manifesto of Demands and Proposals for the European Elections 2014‘ in April2014.

You can follow the manifesto campaign on twitter under the hashtag #HousingEP14.

Their campaign outline starts off saying ‘We, social, public and co-operatives housing providers work together for a Europe which provides access to adequate and affordable housing that is socially, economically and environmentally sustainable and creates communities where all are enabled to reach their full potential.

We want to be part of the solution that Europe needs to deliver. Europe has to find a way to do better with less. This is why our solution stands on three pillars that will lead to better public budgets in each Member State as well as for Europe as a whole.’

housingeurope_graphic1_2014