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In this picture taken Tuesday, May 21, 2019, Valentina Radu works on an automated sewing machine in Luncavita, Romania. Radu also worked in Italy, but when her husband lost his job there, they struggled to pay the rent and decided to come home where they used European Union funds to buy a small farm and she further opened a tailor’s shop. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
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In this picture taken Tuesday, May 21, 2019, Radu Canepa, a local farmer walks next to his cows in Luncavita, Romania. After working for six years in Italy, Canepa, 34, came back to Romania and started a small farm with 30,000 euros ($33,420) in EU funding, buying some land and five cows. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
LUNCAVITA, Romania – In 2014, the Romanian village of Luncavita had one of the lowest voter turnouts in the country for the European Parliament election — all of 19.3%.
But the southeastern village has increasingly figured out how to draw in exceptional amounts of European Union money for development projects. When the polling stations open again Sunday for this year's European Parliament vote, more residents say they will be there.
Sorin Ionita, a political analyst with Expert Forum, a Bucharest-based think-tank says low turnout in the EU elections is because "people think Europe is so big and runs so well that they don't need us to tell them what to do."
Voter turnout across the continent has been declining for decades in the European Parliament elections, falling to an all-time low of 42.5% in 2014.