How to reach out to candidates to the European elections and your future MEPs

Reaching out to a policy-maker can seem daunting. However, contrary to what one might think, policy-makers are quite open to citizens reaching out to them. They need the input of citizens and civil society to make better laws. This is why it is important for ECOLISE and its members to keep an ongoing dialogue with politicians and policy-makers at all levels – during the current campaign targeting the European elections (6 – 9 June) and afterwards. Especially since ECOLISE members bring concrete solutions to the many crises policymakers are tasked to tackle (climate, biodiversity, pollution). 

Why do you need to reach out to politicians

It is paramount that as many voices from community-led initiatives as possible reach out to candidates to the European elections – your future Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) – for two reasons:

While nature can’t advocate for herself, you can.

ECOLISE has prepared a number of tools to help you reach out to policy-makers

In an online event ECOLISE team members have given training on how to find and reach out to candidates to the European elections. You can find the slides of our training here (pp 31-42) and watch the recording here (from the 37th minute to the 45th). The advice we give here on how to talk to policymakers is valid beyond the European elections whenever reaching out to politicians or civil servants.

Where do you find the candidates? The European Parliament has prepared a webpage with all the information on how to vote per country. This way you get the names of the candidates, from which you can easily find their social media profiles.

You can join the social media storm ECOLISE and its partners will carry out the week before the elections by reaching out to European elections candidates on social media. We have prepared a number of draft social media posts and visuals, which you can use and adapt as you see fit (for example translating it in your own language). When reaching out to candidates, you will preferably choose one of our Time for Collective Action manifesto messages (see manifesto messages tab for draft posts in the social media posts and visuals excel list) that seem the most aligned with the candidates you are reaching out to, either thanking them for their support, or calling on them to support our manifesto’s key messages. 

The European Climate Pact – an initiative by the European Commission’s Directorate General on climate (CLIMA) – is also a good way to get in touch with policy-makers: On this dedicated website you can learn how to get active, and become (for example) a  Climate Pact Ambassador, publicly supporting the European Green Deal. The Climate Pact offers exclusive events and networking opportunities for Pact ambassadors, online (e.g. on LinkedIn) and offline. This is a good way to get into a conversation with policy-makers – and trigger deep conversations on the Time for Collective Action manifesto (and other things you care about!). You can also get in touch with a Climate Pact ambassador in your country and discuss how to best reach out to policy-makers together. 

What happens after the European elections? 

Our outreach actions will carry on after the 9th of June once the new European Parliament is elected. Other key milestones are coming up and notably the full renewal of the European Commission, with first the election of its new President, followed by appointments by national governments of Commissioner-candidates, their hearings in the European Parliament, and ultimately, once the new European Commission is in place, the design of the EU’s 5-year policy programmes.

The ECOLISE policy team will continue throughout the year to promote the manifesto towards EU policy-makers and we will keep you posted. The more signatures we can show on the Manifesto, the more impact we can expect – which is why we ask you to sign the Manifesto on this dedicated website

Would you like to join our advocacy efforts towards policy-makers? Drop a line to ECOLISE’s policy team member Laurence Modrego: laurence.modrego@ecolise.eu 

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