Tag Archives: France

Rock the Eurovote (French)

On 18/04/2014 Europeens Sans Frontieres, our friends from the French Letmevote Team, published a video by the name Rock the Euro Vote. The project is reminiscent of the former US campaign ‘Rockthevote’ which aimed to increase voter participation with the help of a wide range of artists encouraging people to vote. Likewise, Rock the Euro Vote is a French-language  initiative to mobilize artists and intellectuals to fight against voter abstention in the European elections in May 2014, through video testimonials.

. rock the eurovote

Rock the Eurovote Voices rise for Europe – Participating Artists

Guillaume Gallienne

Florence Pernel

Dany Boon

Virginia Efira

Jean-Christophe Victor

Muriel Mayette



Cynthia Fleury Perkins

Philippe Cayla (Letmevote / Europeens Sans Frontieres)

Outcomes: Letmevote ECI

The time period for the collections of signatures of the European Citizens Initiative (ECI) run by letmevote ended on the 28 January 2014. The ECI Committee would like to thank all those who signed during the 2013.
Unfortunately the Letmevote ECI did not succeed in collecting 1 million signatures, which would have been necessary to get our cause directly to the European Parliament. However, beyond the ECI will continue to work on the issue of voting rights for EU citizens living abroad in the EU, and are likely to resubmit an ECI when the ECI framework is reviewed by the EU Commission.
There is debate whether the ECI should or can be a policy-setting tool – directly influencing the EU Commission – or an agenda-setting tool – encouraging and leading in public debate on an issue. Letmevote’s strength has been in agenda setting. As a pure citizens initiative without even significant core funding, we concentrated our work on three levels.
Our first level of engagement with the world around us was by attending and speaking at relevant conferences and events, many of them in Brussels, some in Germany, UK, Luxembourg and France. For a small campaign we achieved to build great support among EU institutions, related agencies, and EU staff on different levels. All involved see the issue of how to make EU citizenship more concrete as something urgent to work on. Our Chair Philippe Cayla has tirelessly travelled and participated in too many events to remember, all of them valuable to build our reputation and broad support among institutions.
Our second level of engagement with the world has been via social media. Our strength has been on twitter, but we also built a reasonable community around our Facebook page. While we are aware that in many countries twitter is not yet as mainstream medium, it did allow us a new quality of outreach to people outside of the usual institutional routes.

The topic of the Letmevote ECI – voting rights for EU citizens who live outside of their home country but within the EU, as EU citizens within the EU – was never of mainstream interest to mass media outlets. While we got some media coverage in some countries, reaching the 13.6million EU citizens, who live integrated, bu with limited voting rights, across the EU in another member-state than their country of origin, was never an easy task. Twitter allowed us to build a more than interesting network – of organisations, but also of many private, politically interested EU citizens. We built a small but passionate network of volunteers from this group, and many others have kept supporting our work by retweeting our tweets and engaging with us.

We value our social network. Many EU-focused organisations do great work, but few manage to build any campaigning support among actual citizens. We are proud that during the course of the ECI, we have broken through the ‘institutional barrier’ and have developed into an active citizens-based platform to discuss voting rights for EU citizens, and to discuss how citizens can make the EU their own by engaging actively in their communities. Much of this work for Letmevote has been led by our team from LetmevoteUK, with additional work carried out in Luxembourg and Spain, and on a smaller level in Germany and Austria.

We also take it as a sign of our agenda-setting activities that new organisations with a focus on representing some of the interests of EU citizens living elsewhere than their home country have emerged. We are broadly supportive of such work, and will continue to speak at events and cooperate online with different projects who share our interests.


Our third level of activity has been on direct lobbying for EU citizens’ voting rights on a national level in three countries: France, Spain and Luxembourg. As the EU cannot implement voting rights for EU citizens flat-out, one of our focal points was to work with political parties and politicians on a national level to discuss and promote the concept that all EU citizens who live in a country should be allowed to participate in all elections in this country. Our work in the three countries we have focused on continues past the ECI, and we will report back on progress.

In 2014 we continue to build our network of supporters who believe in strong voting rights for all EU citizens like we do. In the coming months, we will run voter registration projects in France and in the UK to encourage as many native and resident EU citizens to participate in the European Parliaments Elections in May 2014 as possible.
We keep being driven by our belief that we need a strong sense of citizenship in Europe. At the core of citizenship is voting and thus civic participation in the simplest and yet most effective expression of democracy.
You can stay in touch via our social media contact points

Facebook: www.facebook.com/letmevote


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

Journalist Alex Taylor Supports Letmevote

Alex Taylor describes himself as a ‘European journalist’. Born in the UK, he has lived in Berlin and – for most of his professional life – in Paris. He currently hosts the main interview programme on Euronews “I Talk.” He has also hosted over 700 events, ranging from corporate and institutional conventions and conferences, to gala events and prize giving ceremonies. He moderates in English, French or German and can also speak Italian, Spanish and Dutch.

Alex’ experience of ‘living Europe’ may have a bit more different sides to it than the normal European citizen would experience. But at the core, he is a European citizen who despite having lived in France for 30 years, cannot vote where he pays taxes, unless he gives up his initial British citizenship. Like Letmevote, he does not believe this should be necessary.

Listen to Alex’ passionate statement here:

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: