Organising and Mobilising Progressive Voters in Europe

On Monday 22 May, the European Centre for Digital Action gathered together in Brussels representatives from political parties, democracy activists and campaign practitioners to discuss how to organise and mobilise progressive voters for the EU24 elections. 

Our Director Clare was delighted to share the stage with Jaume Duch Guillot – spokesperson for the European Parliament, Pauline Claessens – researcher at the Centre d’étude de la vie politique (Cevipol) at Université libre de Bruxelles, Paul Hilder – CEO of pollsters Datapraxis, and Ari Rabin-Havt, former campaign manager for Bernie Sanders and champion of grassroots voter engagement. 

Director Clare speaking at the event

We discussed the challenges progressive face from the deep pockets and strategic organising networks of the right, as well as concerns about AI, the regulation (or lack of same) of digital campaign channels including TikTok, paid CTV advertising and more. 

But overall the tone was of hopeful opportunity. Ari highlighted that GDPR, as an opt-in mechanism, helps to embolden our list-building activities and turns email marketing into a mobilising secret weapon. Clare shared her lessons learned from her first campaign, to Repeal the 8th Amendment (the abortion ban) in Ireland, right up to those from the Democrats in Hays County, Texas last year – more followup on those subjects to come. 

But our favourite takeaway was Jaume Duch’s experience with the European Parliament’s bold campaign strategies in EU19, such as using Tinder ads as a GOTV channel, proved that young people can be mobilised to turn out when we inspire them to do so.

Thanks to Mar Garcia, Vesna Jusup and all at the ECDA for the invitation. Here’s to a bold, brave and energising year ahead in Europe until June 2024!

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