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Time to vote for your MEP

By This is Lincolnshire  |  Posted: June 03, 2009

The European Parliament in Strasbourg, eastern France.

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Voters in Lincolnshire will do more than choose their county councillors tomorrow – they will also elect their MEPs.

Five East Midlands MEP places will be decided – one less than at the last EU election and a small percentage of the 72 the UK will have.

In a letter to the Echo, José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, insisted that "the European Parliament is becoming ever more significant and will increase further in the future".

And he had this message for voters.

"Choose members of parliament that reflect your views on how to tackle the challenges we all face because what Europe does will affect you and your daily life."

The European Parliament is the only directly elected section of the entire institution – and its powers are limited.

Currently MEPs must share power with those appointed directly by member countries for decisions on issues including workers' rights, asylum and immigration and the environment.

The Lisbon Treaty would change that but it is currently blocked.

Lee Rotherham, policy analyst at The TaxPayers' Alliance, said voters view the EU "as something distant".

"They feel that they cannot influence policy going through the EU and cannot see how it can impact on their lives," he said.

"And there is real concern about how the vast amounts of money are being spent."

For more on how the European Parliament works, see Wednesday's Echo.

Read more from Lincolnshire Echo

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    M C Donald, Lincoln  |  June 03 2009, 1:51PM

    doodleco, Hykeham You are right, I have received leaflets from the Conservative, Labour, BMP and Green parties. But I will back up Anonymous Coward it is conplacent and disrespectful if anyone expects me to elect them on a few general comments on two sides of A4. If Europe is so important, why hasn¿t a candidate or ther support knocked on my door or held a public meeting to explain their policies?

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    Anonymous Coward, Lincoln  |  June 03 2009, 1:48PM

    doodleco - You are very lucky - I have not even had a single leaflet but we live in different areas. However I will be voting and doing my research on who to vote for myself as I agree we must use our right to say. Maybe as the area I live is consider a "safe" area for a certain party none of them can be bothered. My point still remains - if they can't be bothered to canvas you can see why people can't be bothered to vote. Just because one area is getting canvased doesn't mean they all are!

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    doodleco, Hykeham  |  June 03 2009, 1:29PM

    Anonymous Coward... It seems odd that you havn't recieved any leaflets from Parties and candidates. My home has has got two from Labour, a Conservative, a UKIP, a Green, an English Democrat (who I've never heard of untill now) and two from the BNP. You can't say that candidates arn't doing anything to campaign, there are posters and billboards all over the place. "He who refuses to be involved in politics must endure being ruled by inferior people" (Plato). You can't complain about the system if you do nothing to change it.

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    Anonymous Coward, Lincoln  |  June 03 2009, 7:57AM

    Well it is now the day before the election and I have not even had a single leaflet dropped through my door about the european elections. In fact the only party that has made me personnally aware that the election is going on is the green party. Seems that the others are not interested in my vote. Yes I know I can research on the internet all the policy from whoever. But that is not the point, people wonder why turnout is so low - but if the people looking for our vote can't be bothered to engage with thier potential voters you can understand why they can't be bothered to vote! Come on perspective MEP's make the effort to get you message across rather than expecting everyone to do thier own research. I will even call off the rockwillier if you knock on my door an invite you all in for a tea ;-) In other European countrys thier is lots of publicity about them.