I vote because I care
Around the last presidential elections in Poland, as a result of a rather heated discussion, I was told that I did not have to care about them because I was leaving the country, while my interlocutor was staying. For those that think similarly about someone or even about yourself, if you are leaving “in exile”, I have bad news. Crossing the border doesn’t mean I lose my citizenship. And hence, although I study in the UK, I still pay a lot of attention to what is going on. And I vote because I do care.
Voting is important regardless the political preferences and how cliché it may sound. We should remember that when we don’t vote – we still vote anyway. And it doesn’t matter if there are presidential, parliamentary or local elections. While the elections to the European Parliament may actually seem even more trivial considering that our relations with the EU cannot be explained with the use of an already complex concept of national identity.
However, the truth is that EU is present in our everyday lives. Nay! Even more – it is perfectly settled.
Meanwhile, an answer to the question about what is important to me is probably as complicated as the EU’s structure. But it doesn’t mean that it’s not worth a thought. As I’m currently finishing my Bachelor’s in the UK and I’m going to do my Master in Amsterdam, the presence of the “abroad” is as visible for me as the presence of the EU itself. My whole studies, the last three years, have been marked by Brexit, obviously. Now the UK government’s choice to make the student fees higher for the students from the EU is widely discussed, primarily by our community of Polish students in the UK. However, the fact itself that I’ve even had an opportunity to study outside of Poland on equal terms with British students is extremely important. Similarly, there’s the fact that regardless of the EU country I find myself in, I can vote in the European elections for either the candidates from the given country or the candidates back in Poland.
I’ve registered to vote in the EU elections in my consular district to which I’ll have to travel by train. Because I care. Regardless of the outcome, I know that I have an impact on how decisions concerning both my current everyday life and my future are being made.
And EU, written with the same font as the “Republic of Poland” on my passport, is an integral part of my life.