Tag Archives: Philippe Cayla

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.


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)

Poetry for Democracy Pt2

On both sides of the Channel, Letmevote people have shared a faible for poetry.

On the French-speaking side, Letmevote’s Chair Philippe Cayla has written a poem about what Europe can be

In these videos the poem is presented by leading French artists & figures of public life:

French actor and film director Guillaume Gallienne

French actress Murial Mayette-Holtz is also Administrateur général of the Comédie-Française

French academic and former MEP Olivier Duhamel

We are proud they share Letmevote and Europeens Sans Frontieres’ belief in our common Europe.

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

Philippe Cayla talks about Letmevote

Letmevote / Europeens Sans Frontieres Chair Philippe Cayla talks about the raison d’etre for Letmevote in this video, which was recorded at a meeting of the EESC European Economic and Social Committee (CESE Comité économique et social européen) of the European Union in late 2013.


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:




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: letmevote.eu


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).