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Europe's future in focus ahead of elections

Europe's future in focus ahead of elections
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By Damon Embling
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As Europe Day is marked, how much interest is there in EU politics ahead of next year's parliament elections?

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Europe Day may well celebrate everything good about the bloc, but how much interest is there actually out there in EU politics? Maybe more because of Brexit and the rise of populism.

The European elections, in just over a year's time, will be a good indicator. Euronews also tested the waters at the House of European History museum in Brussels. 

One visitor commented: "We should vote because it's a right we have as citizens, and it is also a duty. After we can't complain about things, because if you don't vote, you don't share your values. On what concerns the more important topics, I think it is education and migration."

Another added: "I think it's a good project, but it's dragging on because there are more and more nations being incorporated in Europe. It is important to vote to have a real objective for Europe and have more solidarity."

European Parliament elections kicked off in 1979 - and turnout's been dropping since then. The lowest coming in 2014. Fewer than one in five have been voting in places like Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

People in Europe know more about EU institutions these days, if you look at research. Experts reckon better candidates will help boost voters.

"At the end of the day, the citizens do not put the 'stamp' on the institutions per-se, they put the 'stamp' on individual candidates and their political parties," said Doru Frantescu, Policy Director of VoteWatch Europe.

"In many countries it is the top politicians who have been starting to be sent to Brussels and now this is visible."

But there will be one less group of voters next year, as Brexit Britain says au-revoir to the EU.

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