"Power is shifting from hierarchies to citizens and networks of citizens," Alec Ross, a US social media expert, told an audience in the European Parliament on Wednesday (2 April).
With membership of political parties on the decrease coupled with the expected low turnout for the May EU vote, Ross, who worked for former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton, said both EU institutions and MEPs need to attract voters online.
Figures show that young voters - voting for the first or second time in their lives - in Western Europe spend an average of five hours a day online. In central and eastern Europe the average is six hours.
"If you [MEPs and political parties] do not want to see your support go increasingly down, then what you need to do is be more and more aggressive about meeting new voters where they are, which is online," said Ross.