WHY SHOULD I VOTE?
The European Parliament is one of the legislative organs of the European Union. The election is organized every 5 years in all EU countries. Finland will get either 13 or 14 seats in the Parliament depending on whether the UK is still a member of EU at the beginning of July when the new term starts.
The European Parliament makes decisions on matters that affect i.e. mobility, accessibility of education and climate matters. You can affect the decisions by voting!
Helga is part of SAMOK (University of Applied Sciences Students in Finland) and SYL (National Union of University Students in Finland) #KOULUTUSTAPRKL campaign and these are our focal points for this May’s European elections: education, mobility and participation.
EDUCATION – Education has intrinsic value
Education has intrinsic value as a guarantee of successful learning and a functioning democracy. Education, research and innovation policies must be consistent in EU decision-making. Education should be considered in its entirety and vocational education should be moved from the Employment Commissioner’s portfolio back to the Education Commissioner. The European Parliament Committee on Culture and Education plays a key role in education policies at European level, so we recommend that at least one of Finland’s future MEPs apply for membership on the committee.
MOBILITY – Funding for high-quality and accessible higher education
EU funding brings about wellbeing, responds to global challenges, and promotes both mobility and European integration. Sustainable development goals should be noted in the criteria for EU funding. Only with education can we solve the major challenges of today, including those posed by climate change. As a programme that advances international mobility, Erasmus is playing a key role in the development of a European and international identity among students and youths in EU member states.
PARTICIPATION – Students and young people to take part in decision-making
Development in education should be student-focused and student engagement must be protected at EU level. The EU cannot build sustainable and fair generational policies without students’ know-how. Decision-making should be as accessible as possible for young people and students, who must be able to participate in decision-making and preparatory work.
IMPORTANT DATES OF THE EUROPEAN ELECTIONS 2019
15.–21.5.2019 advance voting in Finland
15.–18.5.2019 advance voting abroad
26.5.2019 election day
RIGHT TO VOTE
You have a right to vote if you are 18 years old Finnish citizen at the latest on the election day. A notice of right to vote will be sent to everyone who has the right to vote.
You also have right to vote if you are a citizen on another Member State of the European Union (age of 18 latest at the election day) and whose municipality of residence is in Finland on the 51st day before the election day. A prerequisite for the right to vote is, however, that the person enrolls with the voting register in Finland 80 days before election day to the local register office.
During the advance voting one can vote everywhere in Finland. Abroad the voting happens in the Finnish embassies and consulates. In the European Elections the country as a whole is an electoral district. This means that the candidates enter as candidates in the entire country and the voters may vote for any of the candidates. However, the preliminary count is carried out by the electoral districts and after this the Electoral District Committee of Helsinki confirms the results in the entire country.
Advance polling stations are designated by each municipality:
On the election day, you may only vote at the polling station that is indicated on the polling card sent to you. Polling stations are open between 09.00 – 20.00.
How to vote?
1. Present your identity card to the election official who hands you a ballot
2. Enter a voting booth
3. Write the number of your candidate
4. Fold the ballot (number inside)
5. Go to the ballot box
6. Wait for the stamp
7. Drop the ballot in the ballot box
8. Leave the polling station
If you vote in advance:
7. Seal the ballot in the brown election envelope
8. Sign the card of information or the covering letter
9. The card of information or the covering letter with the election envelope are sealed in the yellow covering envelope
10. Leave the polling station