Article by Hazel Mhairi
At the start of May, the European Parliament office in Malta announced that they had selected several individuals to work with their office as Junior Delegates to raise awareness about the importance of voting during the upcoming Members of the European Parliament elections.
The local EP office decided to recruit individuals who can bring a local and personal element to the MEP campaign. Three of these individuals – Russell Attard Baldacchino, Clayton Cutajar and Hazel Mhairi Rafferty were asked to work alongside each other. Never having met before, Clayton; an education specialist, Russell; a lawyer-in-training and Hazel; a terrorism and diplomatic studies specialist, had to put aside their differences and find a way to make the campaign informative yet humorous.
They decided to select issues that the MEPs have recently brought up but this time with a twist. On 20th May, the dynamic trio released the first picture of their informative yet humorous campaign.
The inspiration behind the #DakFejs image was the Data Protection Reform Package that is currently being discussed by the European Parliament. The MEPs are pushing for the ‘Right to be Forgotten’- that is the ability to delete personal data permanently as well as the need for ‘Explicit Consent’ which can be withdrawn at any time a EU citizen wishes. This will not only affect social networks but also company registers of clients. As readers can imagine, the term itself #dakfejs was inspired by the current trend of selfies or ‘stessus’ with the individuals pulling faces that would make Donald Duck blush. Here’s to it being a short lived trend?
The following day, a picture of three different smartphones with a common charger hit Facebook’s newsfeed. The EP is discussing a Modernised Radio Equipment Directive, an initiative with the intention to introduce a common charger. Not only will this common charger save money for everyone and cut down the accumulating clutter of wires Maltese citizens have – think of that terrifying mad rush to find the correct wire to stick into your mobile when it is at 1% battery- but will also reportedly reduce 51,000 tonnes of electronic waste annually! Less stress for everyone as well as for the environment!
The third and final picture will be gracing the internet with its presence on the 22nd May – keep an eye out – the trio guarantee it will tickle your funny bone.
On Saturday 25th May 2014, eligible citizens in Malta will be voting to select six MEPS to represent the sunny island of Malta and Gozo in the European Parliament, one of the main institutions of the European Union. These ‘mighty’ six are elected to represent the needs of those who have voted for them and being the everyday person’s mouthpiece in the EP arena. But that is not all – the EP as an institution has the ability to hold the European Commission accountable for their proceedings as well as if need be to force it resign. The MEPs can also loosen and tighten the EU purse strings, as they also decide the EU budget.
My Voice, My Vote – Bringing humour to new information means you are more likely to remember it later.