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Why bother with the European elections?

08 April 2014 | by Jenny Brown 

Europe isn’t always portrayed favourably on this side of the Channel. But why? It’s the home of classical music, croissants and beautiful beaches. Crucially the European Union is alsolegally obligedto contribute to the end of poverty.

The EU can help address some of the biggest challenges affecting the world’s poor, such as climate change and tax dodging. In addition, it gives more aid than any other donor.

How does it work?

All the elements of the EU - its 28 member states, the Commission (which is a bit like a civil service) and the Parliament (which will have 751 MEPs) – are legally bound to help end poverty across the world, and to ensure that none of its policies get in the way of this.

The European Parliament

It might seem overly complicated and bureaucratic but the members of the European Parliament (or MEPs) have the power and responsibility to keep the EU on track to make a massive and positive difference to people in developing countries.

Christian Aid puts a lot of energy into influencing MEPs on these crucial matters.

What can you do?

On 22nd May the UK will elect 73 new MEPs from across the country. It’s really important that MEPs are elected who support our aims and priorities.

Please contact candidates, go to hustings, and explain why, if they’re elected, they should do all they can to make sure the EU really does work towards ending global poverty and making a fairer world.

You can find out more from this briefing and a list of all candidates here

  About the author

 Jenny Brown

Jenny Brown is Christian Aid's Senior EU Relations Adviser.

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