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Do you have an MEP?

Pick one out

When I was a student, I went to the European Parliament on a study trip. On site, I met a British student who asked me if I already had visited my MEP. MY MEP? I did not have an MEP, as far as I knew, and was immediately jealous of this British student who apparently had one, and even worse, thought it was completely normal to go and meet this MEP.

 I did not have an MEP, as far as I knew, and was immediately jealous of this British student who apparently had one

Later, I learnt that for the United Kingdom, the MEPs are elected in voting districts like in more, mainly bigger, Member States. In those Member States the MEPs, and MPs as well, are solidly rooted in their own hometown and also known for this. You can write books about the pros and cons of this phenomenon but at least it helps people from such a district to have the feeling to be represented by someone familiar.

In a small country like the Netherlands, we are not so familiar with this importance of a local base and it is not necessary to have one, in order to pursuit a political career. Of course, about some politicians it is known where they come from, mainly because of their accent, and they will get more votes in that region for sure. However, for many MPs and MEPs people cannot tell where their roots are.

But. Perhaps it is not such a bad idea those local links because I actually do not remember who I voted for in the last European elections. Well, I do remember the party of course, but usually I give a preferential vote to a candidate and most likely I voted for a woman, but who? In the last national elections in the Netherlands I impulsively did vote for someone from my natal province and I still do remember this. So now, at least, I have an MEP.

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