Wide support among European candidates to Vote For Education
BRUSSELS – More than 110 candidates for the European elections, ending today 25 May, have been recognised by the European Students’ Union (ESU) for being higher education friendly, by pledging to work according to a set of values that students have agreed on in a common manifesto.
The supporting candidates come from Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden and The Netherlands. Most of the confirmed supporters, or 48 in total, are based in France and Finland, or 24 from Finland and 24 from France. Slovakia also ranks high with 18 pledges and Denmark with 13 pledges from candidates for the European Parliament.
“Throughout the campaign, our main goal has been to get the students heard in the European Parliament, not just ahead of the elections, but for the years to come. Students should be considered as equal partners in the decision-making process of the European Union, especially in the area of higher education. We hope that this campaign will lead to an ever closer cooperation between ESU and Members of the European Parliament,” says Rok Primozic, Chairperson of ESU.
ESU’s campaign has been called Vote For Education. A campaigning team has systematically collected signatures of support from candidates to the students’ manifesto, with help from national unions of students that are also members of ESU. This campaign has been open to candidates from all the EU Member States, except for Austria, Belgium, Germany and Italy.
An interactive map with the supporters
Information about all those candidates has been uploaded to the campaign’s website, which is open as an interactive map that provides the readers with an easily accessible overview of the supporters and their political affiliations.
“We are very happy with all the support and interest we have received in the campaign since we launched it in February. The purpose of this campaign was to contribute to the debate for the European elections by bringing the student voice to the limelight and to make education an issue for discussion. In this way we have succeeded and the wide-ranging support across major political parties shows that,” says Primozic.
In addition to targeting European decision makers and introduce the students’ wishes to them, this campaign also functions as an information tool for anyone interested in the students’ priorities for the elections and the candidates that have supported those aims. ESU has strongly encouraged students to take interest in the European elections and to vote responsibly according to their conviction.
“The European Students’ Union believes that the European Union was founded on the principles of equality, liberty and democracy. Its decisions should therefore be transparent and involve students as equal partners. For students, the education sector has been an object of harmful cuts in many European countries and we have promoted education as a public responsibility, which should be equally accessible to all people, throughout our campaign. With the new Erasmus+ programme being implemented and future discussions on higher education, it is crucial that we continue our work on behalf of students,” Primozic concludes.
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The European Students’ Union, headquartered in Brussels, is the umbrella organisation of 47 national unions of students from 39 European countries. ESU represents and promotes the educational, social, economical and cultural interests of students at the European level. Through its member unions, ESU represents over 11 million students in Europe. To find out more about ESU, follow us on Twitter @ESUtwt, check out or Facebook page or visit www.esu-online.org. ESU celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2012.