The fate of Europe might change on May 26th. This may sound dramatic – and it essentially is. On May 26th Romanians will vote for their representatives in the European Parliament. Here is what you should about voting and where you can vote in Timisoara.
Why does voting matter?
The long answer: Voting is any citizen’s primary tool towards being an active part of society. You have the right to vote. You also have the right not to vote. Both actions mean something. The real question is: what do you want your actions to mean?
While voting is not an obligation, it is a democratic right that our country has gained through a blood-stained revolution. It is a mechanism designed to ensure a fair representation of citizens. Of course, not all of us will find their ideal candidates on the ballot paper. This mechanism is not perfect, but it becomes very flawed when a minority of people choose for the majority of the population.
When we vote, we are even more entitled to hold our representatives responsible for their actions – especially when we had made an informed choice and cast our votes. Yes, even if that sometimes means choosing “the lesser evil”.
The short answer: because grandma says so. (just kidding!)
A vote for tourism
We love tourism, we love to travel. Without being a part of the European Union traveling freely would be less likely. Free travel is a luxury that the younger generation takes as a given and can’t imagine that could be lost in a bad political context.
Being part of a big community has its benefits. Supporting each other is the most important one and that is one of the goals of the E.U. But how is tourism affected by this?
When it comes to tourism, we are happy to be part of the E.U. because:
- This allows us to travel all around the European Union with just an ID card, no passports or visas required.
- This allows you to easily move to another E.U. country, find a more suitable job and make new friends. You also have access to the culture of so many different countries and experiencing these cultures can be very enriching.
- The E.U. makes our country more accessible to tourists. And we have such a beautiful country, it would be a shame to not show it off.
- Our country has access to European funds – because we are all supposed to grow together, funds are available for E.U. members when they meet certain conditions. You can find out more about how funds have been used in our area here.
But these benefits do not come without any responsibilities. Voting for our country’s representatives is one of the responsibilities we all have as European citizens.
May 26th: what you should know if you are in Timisoara
Elections for the European Parliament will take place all over Europe between May 23rd and May 26th. Most countries, including Romania, will organize its elections on Sunday, May 26th. There is a total of 751 seats available for European representatives, out of which Romanian representatives will hold 33.
Romanian citizens can vote at any voting office in the country or in dedicated offices abroad. You only need a valid ID card. You can find a full list of voting offices in Timisoara here.
If you live in Timisoara, you are supposed to vote at the designated office, according to your home address. If you are a Romanian visiting Timisoara, you can vote at any office, on lists dedicated to non-residents. European citizens (non-Romanian) who want to vote for their country’s elections can only vote at their country’s embassy.
If you still feel like you are missing a piece of the European elections puzzle, you can find more information on the European Elections of the official website, europa.eu. And here’s a bonus video for those who want a very short overview on how the E.U. works:
See you at the voting booth!