[WATCH] Real stories of democracy: ‘Use your vote, or others will decide for you’

Watch the official video from the European Parliament kicking off the 2024 election campaign

Real stories, from real people, capture the start of Europe’s 2024 election: a strong message about the importance of democracy, and the gift it represents in using your vote to participate in elections.

The European Parliament’s election campaign has kicked off with a suite of videos whose concept “pass it on” is the centrepiece of this awareness-raising campaign.

Developed by the &Co advertising agency of Denmark, the four-minute documentary brings seniors from all over Europe, together with a younger family member or friend, asking them to pass a message on democracy to the younger generations.

The film is a nudge to take part in the upcoming European elections and to think about the importance of democracy, that should never be taken for granted – a collective achievement and a collective responsibility in which all Europeans have a role.

Against the backdrop of the events of WWII, the Prague Spring, the Fall of the Berlin Wall and the Romanian revolution of 1989, the documentary features senior people from the 27 EU member states, people who have lived long enough to see the world change fundamentally.

They have experienced the power of democracy impacting their lives and could now be facing the last vote of their lifetime and therefore have the urge to give a message to the rest: an urge to make democracy live on long after they are gone.

The central message is for voters to use their vote, or others will decide for them. The older generations are telling their real-life grandchildren what they have lived through, and why democracy, and the gains and achievements in Europe, should not be taken for granted. The elders are seen pulling papers out of envelopes – these are their letters to their grandchildren – and by extension young people around Europe.

The total nine videos feature ordinary citizens from the 27 EU states. Five of the nine videos, including the 4-minute documentary and its cut-downs, are fully unscripted.

The film will be subtitled or dubbed in all 24 official EU languages, as well as in some regional languages. In total, 33 linguistic versions have been produced, as well as in Luxemburgish, Flemish (Belgium), German (Austrian tonality), Swedish-Finnish, Catalan, Basque, Galician, Valencian, Turkish.

A version with audio description and a version with international sign language is also available.

Every five years, EU citizens directly elect their representatives in the European Parliament, who in turn take up citizens’ demands in the EU decision-making process. These are the largest transnational elections in the world. The next European elections will take place from 6 to 9 June 2024. By voting in them, people will have the opportunity to choose the 720 members that will represent them in the European Parliament until 2029.

Ewropej Funded by the European Union

This article is part of a content series called Ewropej. This is a multi-newsroom initiative part-funded by the European Parliament to bring the work of the EP closer to the citizens of Malta and keep them informed about matters that affect their daily lives. This article reflects only the author’s view. The action was co-financed by the European Union in the frame of the European Parliament's grant programme in the field of communication. The European Parliament was not involved in its preparation and is, in no case, responsible for or bound by the information or opinions expressed in the context of this action. In accordance with applicable law, the authors, interviewed people, publishers or programme broadcasters are solely responsible. The European Parliament can also not be held liable for direct or indirect damage that may result from the implementation of the action.

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