The successful example of Sweden. Interview with Mathilda

Matilda worked on finding the Swedish candidates for the European elections in may. So far, she has been the most active participant from all the other civil society participants working on and managed to find the contact details of 300 candidates in sweden. A short inteview describes how she proceeded and gives us advices.

Q: Could you introduce you and rfsl?

My name is Matilda Funkquist and Im an intern at RFSL in Stockholm. RFSL is the organisation for homosexual, bisexual, transgender and queer rights in Sweden.

Q: When did you start working on the european elections?

I started contacting the press secretaries at the parties running in the election in the end of february.

Q: How do you find the candidates. Did you contact the national parties, the candidates directly?

I contacted the press secretaries of each of the parties and most of them were really helpful and have me a complete list of the candidates with their email attached. With the parties that did not reply, I used a national website that has all the information about the EP election, insulin gamäng complete list of candidates. Then I searched the web to locate the candidates emails. 

Q: Did you work alone or did you have colleagues helping you? How long did it take you? did you do it in big sprints of intense work or did you split the work in smaller chunks?

I did most of the work alone but had some help from my boss with the candidates that I couldn’t find any emails to. With the parties that gave me their addresses, it took about one hour per party. With the ones I had to search for, it took about the double time. All together it took about 7 hours I think. 

Q: Did you try to add directly the candidates with all the needed information (email, facebook, twitter...) or did you first enter the name and party and came later to complete?

I filled in all the information at once.

Q: Perhaps not surprisingly, sweden is not only the country with the most candidates identified, but as well the country that has the most signatories to ILGA-Europe pledge. Did you present the pledge to the parties or candidates when you did your research work?

I informed  them that RFSL and ILGA-Europe would use the emails to contact the candidates about a survey and I attached ILGA-Europe webpage in the information email 

Q: Have you used social media for your research? have you asked the candidates to promote your pledge with the other candidates in their list for instance?


Q: Do you have a last word to share with our activists working on finding the candidates in the other countries? A last trick?

I think my biggest help was that I contacted the press section of the parties and they were really willing to help me. It also helped that I came from a well-known organization since many of the addresses are the candidates private ones.