BRUSSELS – The European Students’ Union (ESU) has already received pledges from fifteen candidates in the European elections that want to work for the values portrayed in the students’ manifesto known as Vote For Education.
As part of this campaign, candidates have been asked to pledge their allegiance to the ten articles that national student unions in Europe want them to work for. ESU has been collecting signatures from candidates and has also arranged many meetings with Members of the European Parliament and prospective candidates to present the campaign to them. ESU believes it is essential to bring attention to the students’ voices and to make sure that they will be heard by future decision makers at the European Parliament. Those candidates that pledge to the manifesto will be recognised as education friendly and their names published on the campaign’s website.
Although any candidate can pledge to the manifesto, the campaign’s procedure requires that each candidate publishes a public statement of support before his name is added to the list and that ESU’s representatives get in contact with each one personally to seek confirmation. So far four candidates have publicly stated that they support the campaign in addition to signing the manifesto. Those are Jonathan Shaw (Malta, EPP), Niklas Mannfolk (SFP, ALDE) Sari Essayah (Finland, KD/EPP) and Sebastiaan den Bak (CDA/EPP).
ESU will continue to work on receiving a confirmation from all candidates that pledge to the manifesto and publish their names on the campaign’s website simultaneously.
Students at the European Parliament
Students that will take part in the 27th European Students’ Convention in March will have the opportunity to get to know European policy discussions in higher education first-hand and also to interact directly with Members of the European Parliament and other institutions. Students, policy-makers and other stakeholders will come together at the European Parliament on 21 March where they will discuss students’ expectations with representatives of different political groups. This event will be held under the high patronage of the European Parliament.
“It is time to take action, to ensure that the students’ voice is heard. It is time for young people to realise, that our responsibility is our own. We cannot afford to face the same questions our predecessors did and fail to answer them. The only way to make this happen is to lead students to vote. By voting we can make a difference and tilt the course of Europe in the right direction,” says Elin Blomqvist, a member of ESU’s Executive Committee and the main organiser of the campaign.
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The European Students’ Union, headquartered in Brussels, is the umbrella organisation of 47 national unions of students from 39 European countries. ESU represents and promotes the educational, social, economical and cultural interests of students at the European level. Through its member unions, ESU represents over 11 million students in Europe. To find out more about ESU, follow us on Twitter @ESUtwt, check out or Facebook page or visit www.esu-online.org. ESU celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2012.