A phone app from a Yorkshire Labour MEP is making waves ahead of the EU referendum, with more than 10,000 downloads since its launch in 2015.
Available for free on both Apple and Android devices, the Doorstep EU app presents basic facts about the European Union and how it works. It also includes a range of key statistics about the Yorkshire & Humber region and a popular evidence-based ‘mythbusters’ section.
There are two Labour MEPs covering the whole of Yorkshire & Humber – that’s more than 5 million people. I get around a lot, but it’s not possible to visit every single town and village in the region every month. So MEPs, like US Congressmen, have to find better ways to communicate and interact with large numbers of people.
Doorstep EU is one way to do that. When I first launched the app a year ago, I had no idea how quickly it would take off.
Importantly, users of the app also receive daily fact-checking updates which highlight major Europe-related stories in the national media, analyse the evidence behind them and provide a quick summary of their accuracy or otherwise.
Providing this kind of up-to-the-minute information directly to voters is something that’s only become possible in recent years through mobile devices. But it was something I was keen to try as a way of reducing the perceived distance between Brussels and Yorkshire.
Since passing the milestone of 10,000 downloads, the app now has active users in countries all around the world.
Doorstep EU is not Mr Corbett’s first innovative communications tool. Back in 2004, he was the first MEP to write a blog about his work, and his website includes anecdotes about life as an MEP as well as resources and information on a wide range of European topics.
Notes for editors
- Richard Corbett is Member of the European Parliament for Yorkshire & Humber, and Deputy Leader of the Labour MEPs. He is currently Vice-Chair of the European Movement in the UK, and was formerly the spokesperson for the Socialist & Democratic group on EU reform. He was first elected in 1996.
- Doorstep EU is a free app for iPhones, iPads and Android devices (which includes handsets by manufacturers such as Samsung, Sony and LG). It can be downloaded from www.richardcorbett.org.uk/app, or by searching for ‘Doorstep EU’ in the Apple App Store or Google Play.