Key to Europe

Written by: Alejandra Piot – Communications & Internal Education Director of AEGEE-Europe

Contributors: members of AEGEE from the different locals in Spain

In the last years, we have witnessed how new parties have risen in Spain and got stronger day by day. The rise of populism and extreme right that we could appreciate in the whole European continent has recently reached Spain, opening the door to policies that endanger the freedom of citizens, especially those who belong to already discriminated and marginalized minorities or those who are in risk of exclusion.

This situation is worrying, as some of the proposed measures are to repeal the gender violence law, to reduce LGBT+ people rights, immigrants rights, etc. More specifically, these parties want to eliminate funds dedicated to fighting discrimination of various types. Furthermore, their hate speech is contributing to the increase of sexism, racism and homophobia/transphobia among other kinds of discrimination. They rely on populism and on misinforming the population or providing them with fake news, in order to gain more votes and push their agenda.

The possibility of Catalonia becoming independent from Spain has also been (mis)used by several political parties to polarise society and increase hate speech among citizens. In contrast with the principles of dialogue and diplomacy, that AEGEE-Europe stands for, a highly conflictive situation has been politically used in Spain to claim the unity of the country and to propose the abolishment of civil rights from the above-mentioned collectives.

In this constantly fast-changing political landscape in Spain, and after rejection on the annual budget proposed by the current government, Spanish PM Pedro Sánchez called for national elections in Spain on the upcoming Sunday, 28th of April

This is the moment when we need to raise our voice, and we need to show that we are here, ready to fight for our future and our rights. At the time when the European Parliament elections are approaching, it is of vital importance to remind the citizens of Europe of the need of informing ourselves and taking a decision that will benefit our society, a decision that will not take away the human rights of different groups of our society and that will instead enhance its development.

Moreover, we can see that our parties are not considering some issues that concern young people such as the environment or other social issues. In the last debates among the candidates from the four biggest parties, these topics were barely mentioned. Besides, we should also highlight the lack of presence of women, because, even though feminism is present in politics and in Spanish society constitutes one of the biggest social movements nowadays, we have never had a woman as a candidate for the presidency in the main parties and this was reflected during the debate.

For these reasons, AEGEE-Europe in partnership with the European Parliament is part of the “This Time I’m Voting” campaign. We truly believe that young people can make a change and we can change our future by informing ourselves and taking an active role in society. That’s why this Sunday 28th of April you should go to vote, to make this change happen.

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