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European Union

Essay: What's Europe to me?

In the run-up to European Parliament elections, DW wants to hear from you - yes you - on what is and isn't working in Brussels. Is it human rights or immigration, democracy or lobbyists? Or do you plan to vote at all?

Dear users of our multimedia programs,

At the end of May, EU citizens will be called upon to elect a new European parliament. And, whether it's the debt crisis, energy network or the number of cross-border bank transfers, the parliament determines European legislation in virtually every area of life. The election will even indirectly decide who becomes the next president of the European Commission. Although every citizen is affected, and the influence of Europe's parliament is greater than ever before, fewer and fewer Europeans are making use of their right to vote.

Why is that so? Are EU politics too far removed from the people? Are lawmakers powerless or disinterested when it comes to problems like unemployment? Does the EU regulate too much or the wrong things? Does it bow to powerful lobbyists? Or is the work of Brussels simply inscrutable and needs to be better clarified? In any case, both the critics and defenders of European integration have seen their numbers swell.

On this special page, we want to offer a forum for the Europe debate. Each week, we'll bring a new and important election issue to the fore and introduce the people affected by it. Some have received a whole new perspective on life through Europe. Others see themselves threatened by it. Still others explain why they consider the vote irrelevant. The most important thing for us: You, the user, are invited to take part in the debate. You'll find the comments function at the end of each article, below "More content." Regardless of whether you're excited, critical or aloof, Europe concerns us all.

Yours,
Christoph Hasselbach