If surveys taken in March 2009 are valid only 21 percent of the persons entitled to vote in Austria will vote in the next elections for the EU parliament which will take place on the 7th June 2009. In Poland this number is even lower with just 13 percent will making their way to the poll stations.
At the moment the percentage for Austria is estimated to be slightly higher than the predicted turnout previously mentioned, but right across theEuropean Union indications are that turnout will be poor. In the whole EU only 28 percent claimed to be “absolutely sure” to vote for the European Parliament. Even the 62 percent of the people from Luxemburg who are predicted to be going to vote on the 7th June and the 70 percents of Belgians (the highest percentage in Europe) is nothing more than a “democracy political” success – these countries have an obligation to vote.
Over the years participation in the EU elections has consistently declined. Since the first elections took place in 1979 the participation has fallen from 63 percent to 45.7 percent in the last elections (2004). In the first EU elections in Austria in 1996 nearly 68 percent participated, this fell in 1999 to 49.4 percent and five years later just 42.4 percent. To counter pose this trend the EU parliament decided, in an attempt to remedy mass dissatisfaction with the Parliament, to advocate a series of tokenistic gestures designed to get European youths out to vote, such measures include reduction of mobile phone tariffs in the whole EU and trendy commercials on TV stations like MTV. In total 1.9 Million Euros were spend by the EU to propagate their election.
This downward trend is no coincidence. The institutions of the European Union have good reason to fear being viewed as undemocratic and illegitimate bodies, because they are – even measured by the standards of a bourgeois democracy. The EU has from the beginning, not been an organic project grown from below, but has been brought up by the ruling elites from above to improve the condition of profit making for big business and secure them on the long term in a common economic zone.
So it is no coincidence that it is not in the results of an election, but the turnout that is viewed as a measure for the success or failure of the EU election program. Although the EU parliament has been given some additional competences, the true decisions are made in Berlin and Paris -.and on the EU level, in the commissions and in the European council which is the highest committee of the state- and government administrations. The European Parliament has nothing but a democratic façade. But even a strengthening of the EU Parliament would not change the basic character of the EU, as a project of the large scale Capital for the exploitation of the working class and for the improvement for their own position on the world market. Our Europe therefore is a different one. One that indeed means a social change: The united socialists state of Europe.