Some 400 million eligible voters, 751 seats, 28 countries: a portrait of true democracy at work – unless they held an election and nobody came. Average voter turnout in the weekend’s European Parliament (EP) elections was an estimated 43.09%. That’s a stunning 0.09% improvement on 2009.
In the least-developed areas of eastern and southern Europe, enthusiasm for democracy is waning. In Croatia, which joined as recently as July 2013, turnout was an apathetic 25.06%. In Slovenia, it was under 21%; in Romania, 32.16%. Despite having their bank deposits frozen in 2013, only 43.97% of Cypriots showed up at the polls, compared with 59.4% in 2009. Greek voters, fired up by two years of harsh austerity, produced a modest turnout of 58.20%.