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Watch: "Vote to have a say," Helsinki residents declare of EU elections

Single votes may not make a difference, but ballots cast by like-minded people matter, one interviewee said.

"It's important to vote" Helsinki voters say of EU election
"It's important to vote" Helsinki voters say of EU election

With European Parliament elections due in less than a week, voters in Helsinki at least seemed ready for another round at the ballot box. Yle News took to the streets of the Finnish capital to sound out their opinions on the importance of voting, whether or not they think their vote matters and which issues matter most.

"I think it’s important to vote because they’re making decisions that impact our future and if you’re not voting then you don’t get a say in it and other people get to decide it for you and that’s not good," Lauri declared.

Greater awareness of EU issues

Laura said that she missed voting in the last EU election although she was eligible. She added that this time around she would be casting a ballot.

"I think I’ve become more aware of the issues that the EU is tackling and that affect the whole European Union," she volunteered.

Valtteri said that he would be looking to influence the rollback of Article 17, a tough new EU directive that essentially imposes a "link tax" on aggregators and makes companies responsible for content uploaded on their websites. This exposes such companies to liability if users upload content that violates copyright laws.

"It really hits the creators when services like YouTube may have to shut down," he noted.

Other interviewees pointed to the need for change in the balance of power in the EU, as well as action on climate change, human rights and equality.

Valtteri said that while single votes may not make a difference, there’s strength in numbers. "Other people will have the same opinions and if you all vote your opinion will matter," he advised.

People in Finland and 20 other EU countries elect new Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) on Sunday 26 May. Five other countries vote earlier, beginning with the UK on Friday 23 May.

Voters in Finland will elect 13 MEPs to serve five-year terms. If the UK leaves the EU, Finland will gain one more MEP.