It’s easy for politics these days to feel really far away and hard to follow, but the truth is they’re actually getting closer. There are blogs, news channels, podcasts, and all sorts of websites devoted entirely to politics so that you can follow along. But, it can be hard to pick which one, and some of them can show bias. That’s where VoteWatch.eu comes in handy. If you’re interested in becoming more involved with matters in the European Parliament, we suggest you check this site out.
What is it?
VoteWatch.eu is a completely non-partisan website—they won’t ever “take sides”—that collects data from the activities of the European Parliament and The Council of the European Union, so that people can see just how MEPs (Members of the European Parliament, elected by you) are voting on which issues.
You can explore by:
This one’s the closest to home, because we elect the MEPs as direct representatives. Under this category you can learn about each MEP as well as how they’ve voted on nearly every issue.
The Council of the European Union
The council is where member states’ government representatives sit; each Minister has the responsibility for a certain area. Under this category on VoteWatch, you can once again learn who the Ministers are and how they’ve voted.
If there’s a specific issue that you care about—and there’s a long list of issues, from gender equality to the environment to education—you can follow it here. Find the issue you want to check out and there’s a handy list of votes and outcomes. You can also click on the issue to find out specifically which countries voted how, which parties formed the majority, and even who might have voted against the wishes of their political party.
Why is it important?
It’s important to be engaged with the world around us. It’s easy to feel detached from things like the European Union and whoever is voting how, but the EU tackles so many important issues. And soon, we as young people will be in charge of those.
Furthermore, we elect the MEPs because we trust them, and holding them accountable is an important part of our duty as voters. If there are issues that you care about and want to follow, VoteWatch is a good place to do that, to make sure you MEP is doing the job he or she said they would do.