To be clear, we are not going to vote about a possible euroexit. Notwithstanding our approval – or disapproval – of the common currency, our vote on May 25 will not elect people who will be entrusted with the power of decidiing about it. For sure, it will be possible to give a “political sign,” but nothing more than thiws: MEPs have no power on this issue. Keep it in mind.
Yet, MEPs have significant power in terms of other remarkable issues of our daily life, then it will be crucial to choose “in which hands” we are going to be, because MEPs will choose (together with the Council) the safety standards needed by the bicycles used by our children, by the cars we will be driving, by the medicines we are going to take. MEPs will be the ones deciding how many Italian components will be needed to be labelled as “Made in Italy”, deciding safety standards in our schools.
They will also have to talk about economic issues, they will be the citizens’ representatives in front of the governments, for sure, having the power to establish that, for instance, some norms on the monitoring of public accounts are, let’s say, too strict or too loose. However, they cannot decide on austerity measures, because this is not their role.
Knowing what we are really going to choose when we cast a ballot for the European Paliament elections is crucial for all of us: we will have the power to decide who is going to rule on the norms governing our daily life – for instance, laws on privacy or on reimbursement for an aircraft which has not taken off. Or, the procedure for a claim against an internet seller if we are not satisfied with a purchase or if we think the seller cheated. It is the Parliament that has ruled on our common agricultural policy norms – the issue absorbing the biggest part of the Union resources, and which determines the safety and quality of the food we eat.
The Parliament has no great powers in terms of foreign policy, but has the last word on the Financial Framework of the Union – that is, how much money Member States transfer to Brussels and how they are then allotted. It also has powers on dealing with international trade agreements, given that they need to be passed to enter into force (for instance, with the trade agreement with the US, next year). Then, structural funds, health, environment policies, consumers’ protection, energy safety and waste management. In short, our daily life.
An estimated 75 percent of national laws depends on European Union directives, chosen by the European Parliament – I mean, they were chosen also by our MEPs: on May 25 it is important to keep in mind that the ones we are electing are to stay “in our house” for the next five years. Please, vote consciously.