Europe is going to the polls!

The European Parliament is up for re-election and for countries that are part of the European Union we can vote for MEPs ( Member of the European Parliament). That means I can go voting next week. As It happens, there are elections for my local council going on at the same time. To be honest, I have no idea of the names of my MEP candidates. There has been very little publicity about it. The local council elections are more prominent in the media.

Over in Ireland however, you can’t get away from it all. There are posters and posters and posters. They vie for space on lamp posts all shouting out ‘Vote for ME!’

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I was quite fascinated by the different designs. Some had their candidate smiling broadly against a blue sky. Was that to convince voters that they have aspirations and would aim high? Others used the colours of the party they represent. Those who are already MEPs are more thoughtful, with their present position clear. They offer the confidence and assurance of knowing what the job entails.

We have seen a similar media fest when travelling in France and we came to realise that it was a European event and although we know that the UK is part of Europe, it is not in the euro zone so not as embedded in the characteristics of being European.

Ireland has been fully fledged in the European Economic Community since 1973, joining the Euro in 1999 . They share similar aspects to other countries such as car number plates, kilometres and of course the currency. European cities usually have kept their old, historic centres whereas in England, many have been demolished to be replaced with shiny shopping centres all looking the same! Galway, Limerick and Dublin all have that ‘old city’ feature which is a delight for the visitor.

When I was preparing for my trip I made a lot of ‘going to a foreign country’ mainly because I had to take my passport. It was not until we arrived that we realised Ireland IS a foreign country and a treat was ahead of us!


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