Friday

13th Dec 2019

Google to launch European Parliament election service

Google News is to launching a special service covering the European Parliament elections next June.

Drawing on the experience from a similar new service in the US presidential elections, the search engine giant is currently considering its approach to the upcoming European elections, communications manager Bill Echikson told a group of journalists at a press briefing in Brussels on Tuesday (7 October).

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 30-day free trial.

... or join as a group

Contacts directly with the European Parliament will soon be established, but a launch date is yet to be decided.

Google's US election service allows, among other things, users to search videos uploaded to YouTube's 'Politicians' category, including those of the official channels of candidates running in the elections.

Using speech recognition, the company can now let users search for exact words in the videos and jump directly to the specific parts. Quotes from the candidates can also be searched - and compared.

Aiding the voter sign-up effort, the service also lets American voters type in their address to find out when to register as a voter and where to go to cast their ballot.

One tricky problem for Google to overcome when moving the election services across the Atlantic, the company says, is the many languages spoken in Europe. Although Google's news service already offers links to news in 23 languages, the task still appears very daunting.

The announcement of the service Google should be welcomed by European political parties, who have long struggled to find pan-European themes that galvanise people to go out and vote in European elections. Turnout regularly near the 30 percent mark in several member states in the last elections in 2004.

Meanwhile, the internet is turning into an essential element of citizen participation in politics.

"The American 2008 presidential election marks the beginning of a new era for citizens and political campaigns. Voters are getting involved in the civic process because the internet makes political participation faster, simpler and more accessible," according to Google.

As many as 46 percent of Americans have used the internet, e-mail or mobile text messages to participate in the political process, according to the firm.

Opinion

How Europarl TV develops will be the test

EuroparlTV - the European Parliament's new TV station was launched on Wedneday. In this article Peter Sain ley Berry welcomes the station but argues that independent funding would have given the station more freedom to report in the public interest and would have allowed a broader focus than one confined to the interests of Parliament alone.

Huge win for Conservatives in UK election

Britain is almost certain to leave the EU in January after a huge election win for prime minister Boris Johnson, but Scotland aims to break off and stay.

Pressure mounts to grill Malta's Muscat at EU summit

The Dutch prime minister and figures from the European Parliament are both piling on pressure for leaders at the EU summit to discuss the rule of law in Malta, as the presence of the island-nation's prime minister draws protests.

News in Brief

  1. Slovenia, Croatia ex-leaders highlight jailed Catalans
  2. Italian court tells Facebook to reopen fascist party's account
  3. EU extends sanctions on Russia until mid-2020
  4. UK exit poll gives Johnson majority of 86
  5. Orban: 'financial guarantees' to reach climate neutrality
  6. Merkel hopes EU leaders agree 2050 climate-neutrality
  7. Czech PM: nuclear energy needed for climate neutrality
  8. Hungary: Climate target is burden, EU should help

Opinion

Does Malta's Labour Party now belong in S&D?

The Maltese Labour Party is a curious creature. No minister, MEP, MP, president, or former president has yet criticised Joseph Muscat publicly and outright over the killing of Daphne Caruana Galizia.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of Ministers40 years of experience have proven its point: Sustainable financing actually works
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic and Baltic ministers paving the way for 5G in the region
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersEarmarked paternity leave – an effective way to change norms
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Climate Action Weeks in December
  5. UNESDAUNESDA welcomes Nicholas Hodac as new Director General
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersBrussels welcomes Nordic culture

Latest News

  1. Huge win for Conservatives in UK election
  2. Behind bars: a visit to an imprisoned Catalan politician
  3. Leaders agree 2050 climate neutrality - without Poland
  4. EU leaders cagey on 'Future of Europe' conference
  5. Pressure mounts to grill Malta's Muscat at EU summit
  6. Revealed: little evidence to justify internal border checks
  7. Europe needs to make mind up on relations with Africa
  8. Leaders face crucial EU summit for climate action

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us