On 23-26 May 2019, people like you from all over Europe voted in the most important European elections so far. Since the first elections in 1979, voter turnout had decreased with every election. In 2019, we reversed this trend. In 2019, 50.62% people turned out at polling stations across Europe to vote. This is the highest turnout since 1994. This shows that more and more people care about the decisions that are taken by elected representatives in the European Parliament.

As well as more people voting, voters also made sure that more women than ever will take up seats as MEPs. With 41% women MEPs, gender balance in the elected representatives at the European Parliament is still far from where we would like it to be. However, the trend is heading in the right direction. We need to do more to make sure that in 2024, we have at least as many women as men making the decisions in the European Parliament that affect our daily lives. We stand for a feminist Europe.

As the largest progressive force in the European Parliament, our MEPs will now work to take Europe forward and make sure that no one is left behind in the process. Only with people voting for Europe can we work together for a social, progressive and inclusive Europe based on diversity, freedom, solidarity, equality and fairness.

Why voting matters

Why was it important to vote?

We cannot take democracy for granted. The right to vote is one of our most important freedoms as individuals. It ensures we have a voice and it ensures that our voices are heard. We need to stand up for the idea of democracy and one of the best ways to do this is to vote in elections.

In an ever more globalised world, where we are more connected across borders than ever before, there are some problems we simply cannot solve in isolation. The Brexit referendum showed that we cannot take the European Union for granted.

What has your vote achieved?

With peoples’ votes in the 2014-2019 European Parliamentary mandate, we tackled problems like youth unemployment, ensuring that all young people receive a good-quality offer of employment, traineeship or apprenticeship within four months of becoming unemployed or leaving formal education. With peoples’ votes, we have also ensured that mobile phone costs have been reduced while abroad, that you can access online services in another country and that you stay in control of your data. This time, we will do even more.

S&D Group MEPs 2019-2024

The work doesn’t stop here. Over the next five years, MEPs will build on the work we have achieved, working with the new European Commission and with national governments. Whether it is tackling child poverty, fighting tax evasion, protecting the environment or managing migration, your vote has determined Europe’s journey.

With the support of millions of citizens and with 146 MEPs, we are the largest progressive force in the European Parliament. Iratxe García Pérez is the president of the S&D Group. 

Challenges ahead?

With the challenges that we are facing in Europe, we need to respond to peoples’ everyday needs. Nationalism and extremism are growing in a number of EU countries. While these movements want to shake-up the system, they do not offer solutions. These movements do not want to reform or to change Europe for the better, they want to destroy it. We will not allow nationalists and extremists to prevent us from building the Europe that answers our citizens’ needs. We won’t let them destroy what we have achieved together.