“I Choose Europe” bus tours around Europe: Part I

Between March and May 2019, JEF members, partner organisations and interested activists carried out more than 50 national and local activities aiming to raise awareness of the European Elections among the youth and increase young voters’ turnout, including debates, discussion panels, conferences, demonstrations, street actions, public stands, workshops and online video campaigns.

To highlight and connect these efforts, JEF Europe coordinated the “I Choose Europe” bus tour between 10-30 April:

  • Part I (10-15.04): Frankfurt am Main, Kraków, Vienna, Budapest;
  • Part II (16-21.04): Budapest, Ljubljana, Sofia, Skopje, Thessaloniki;
  • Part III (24-30.04): Rome, Barcelona, Paris, Lille, Brussels.

Over the course of 20 days, 38 participants supported by JEF Board, staff, national and local sections as well as local partners visited 13 cities, organising campaign stands, debates, and games. The campaigners collected nearly 400 voting cards in the campaign “ballot box” containing young people’s ideas for the future of Europe in the context of the upcoming elections.

The first part started in Frankfurt am Main and continued in Krakow, Vienna and Budapest.

Frankfurt am Main, Germany (10 April)

In the afternoon, the organizers met the participants and JEF Hessen activists, setting up and running a campaign stand together in the city centre (Opernplatz), reaching out to passersby to discuss Europe and the upcoming elections, offering Europe-focused games, distributing promotional materials and gadgets, taking photos for social media and collecting “votes” in the “ballot box”.

In the evening, the participants attended an EE19 debate with local candidates organized by JEF Hessen.

Kraków, Poland (12 April)

Despite heavy rain and low temperature, the participants run a campaign stand for several hours in the morning and afternoon near the Wawel Royal Castle together with Europe4Youth activists, reaching out to passersby to discuss Europe and the upcoming elections, distributing promotional materials and gadgets, taking photos for social media and collecting “votes” in the “ballot box”.

Vienna, Austria (14 April)

The participants visited the headquarters of JEF Austria late morning where they learnt how pro-European activism is done in the country and met with Nicolas Rivero, author of an EE19-themed comic book “Am Ende des Schweigens”.
In the afternoon, they run a campaign stand at Platz der Menschenrechte together with JEF Austria activists, reaching out to passersby to discuss Europe and the upcoming elections, offering Europe-focused games, distributing promotional materials and gadgets, taking photos for social media and collecting “votes” in the “ballot box”. The activity was supported by Europa Cafe mobile bar, where people were offered free coffee and invited for informal EE19-focused chats. Ulrike Lunacek, former Vice-President of the European Parliament, was among the visitors. In order to increase the outreach of the activity, the participants spontaneously persuaded a street musician to play the EU anthem. 

Budapest, Hungary (15-16 April)

A group of participants and JEF staff visited independent Civil Radio FM 98, talking about the European Elections, “I Choose Europe” and youth engagement during a live broadcast. 

In the afternoon, the participants run a campaign stand at the Heroes’ Square together with UEF Hungary activists, reaching out to passers by to discuss Europe and the upcoming elections, offering Europe-focused games, distributing promotional materials and gadgets, taking photos for social media and collecting “votes” in the “ballot box”. In addition, the UEF set up a stage with a DJ to attract people, allowing JEF staff and the participants to speak up and explain why they were going to vote in the European Elections to the public.