Following election night and debating politics in Ateneu Barcelonès

Some 150 gather for event promoted by Catalunya Europa Foundation in private social and cultural club

Attendees sit at tables in the terrace of Ateneu Barcelonès on the night of the European elections
Attendees sit at tables in the terrace of Ateneu Barcelonès on the night of the European elections / Cillian Shields
Cillian Shields

Cillian Shields | @pile_of_eggs | Barcelona

June 9, 2024 10:47 PM

June 10, 2024 01:37 AM

Some 150 people have gathered at Ateneu Barcelonès, a private social and cultural club in the Catalan capital, to follow the results of the European election.

Organized by the Catalunya Europa Foundation with the support of the Office of the European Parliament in Barcelona and the Barcelona city council, the event features debates, discussions, and a quiz among attendees.

Political and youth associations such as the Professional College of Political Science and Sociology of Catalonia (COLPIS), Equipo Europa, European Federalist Youth of Catalonia (JEFC), and are also collaborating with the event.

There was a jovial and spirited atmosphere throughout the evening, as people of all generations gathered to analyze the results, exchange ideas, and debate politics. 

At the beginning of the evening, the team managing the sound system explained to the crowd that in between debates, music from the 27 member states of the European Union would be played through the night, from the seminal German electronic group Kraftwerk, iconic French hit Voyage, voyage from Desireless, Ireland's U2, Barbie Girl from Denmark's Aqua, and many more. 

Maia Garrell, a law student attending the evening, told Catalan News she felt the European were very important despite the fact they "feel like they’re far away." She was attending the evening at Ateneu Barcelonès because "we all voted and it’s a shared experience." 

Another law student, Manel Mesa, was excited for the evening because he enjoys debating political ideas with other people, as he explained to Catalan News. "I think right now all citizens in Europe have the responsibility in deciding the people who are going to represent us in the parliament, and this is the reason young people should start to vote more and get more interest in these things," he added.


Francesc Almendros is a professor of economics at the Autonomous University of Barcelona who also volunteers with civil society groups to spread information and awareness of the elections, focussing especially on young people. "We have been putting tables in the streets, giving information to the people," he says, adding that "you have to protect your rights [to vote] because if you’re not voting someone is going to do that for you."

Meanwhile, Viviane Ogou is a researcher and activist who emphasized that Ateneu Barcelonès is "an intellectual center of reference," and that she had come "to analyze the outcomes" of the elections with other people. "Young people, we are very active in promoting the vote for the European elections and very active celebrating democracy, European democracy, and we are concerned about what’s going to happen so we’re going to stay here all night."

The climate crisis, migration, war, and the economy were the main issues and priorities for the next European parliament, as expressed by those who spoke with Catalan News.