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I’m a commuter. I take the train everyday for going to work and music keeps me great company when I’m on my way. Therefore, Spotify – the big Swedish audio streaming platform that provides music and podcasts – plays a big role in my daily life, offering me a large number of playlists to choose from.
But what does this have to do with the European elections taking place today?
A couple of weeks ago, when I opened my Spotify account a very interesting message popped out from the screen: “EU Parliament elections are coming up in two weeks”.
All in all, “Get Vocal” is a playlist (compiled by Spotify itself) featuring 28 songs of artists coming from each country of the European Union that wants to raise awareness among its customers on the importance of going to the polls and voting in these European elections. By clicking on the link, music fans are redirected to www.thistimeimvoting.eu a website devoted to explaining to the citizens why they should care about the European Parliament elections.
It is really striking that a giant such as Spotify, with more than 200 million clients all over the world (36% of which in Europe) decided to get involved in the EU parliament election awareness campaign. We’ll never know the exact extent to which this soundtrack will influence the European citizens to go to the polls, anyway for all those that opened Spotify in these days it was clear that elections are here and this thing matter, a lot.
Listening to the playlist it is clear that – beyond the linguistic diversity – a homogenization at the musical level crosses all 28 Member States of the European Union. All songs sound very similar, making me think that perhaps pop is much more unifying than economic or environmental policies. So maybe, the highly-discussed European integration could happen much more through music than through other means.
As reported by the Guardian, Spotify itself argued that “the initiative is designed to try and reverse falling turnout in European elections, which reached a low of 43% in 2014”.
So, how about today we follow Spotify suggestion? Let’s put our headsets on, go out and do our job as citizens. It’s our right and our duty, we cannot give it up, let’s get vocal, let’s vote!
| Martina Trettel is Senior Researcher at the Institute for Comparative Federalism of Eurac Research. She got her PhD in Constitutional and European Legal Studies at the Graduate School of Law of the University of Verona in 2017. Her main research interests are Institutional Innovation and Participatory Democracy, Fiscal Federalism, Federal and Regional Studies and Comparative Constitutional Justice but she is also very much interested in running, cats and crime books.