When it comes to elections for the European Parliament, every European citizen is allowed to vote. Except for people aged less than 18.

But lowering the voting age is no sufficient solution to the complex matter of political disenchantment throughout young people. That’s because there are more problems than the actual age discrimination against minors regarding suffrage.

Children, teenagers and young adults are currently not represented adequately within European decision-making. Nor is their majority interested in European politics at all. Tackling all these issues is crucial if we speak about reforming Europe or building an ever closer Union: If the next generation is neither aware of the Union’s benefits nor able to shape the Europe it seeks to live in, it’s no surprise if scepticism on the EU becomes popular.

I believe that the introduction of an European Youth Parliament with immediate influence on European political matters, independent from the current party system within the European Parliament, is the best & right way to change this sustainably. I hence am currently searching for other people willing to elaborate and further promote this vision.

Just to give you some ideas how this institution – an official “European Parliament of the Youth” – could look like:

  • active suffrage for every European citizen / inhabitant of an EU member state < 18 yrs; passive suffrage for people from 16–27 years
  • constituting 100 of the 751 seats of the current EP
  • right of initiative within the EP, introduction of an “European Youth Commission”, …

Give young people institutional accreditation within political decision-making and thereby the chance to achieve sustainable change; empower them to raise their voices and get attention; guarantee an innovative and future-faced decision-making by involving those affected by the decisions in the procedures –

Do you think that this sounds great and you want to contribute to this idea? Feel free to join me! Let’s take the initiative, found an initiative and #fixEU!

(no formal mail needed – if you just want to drop your ideas you may write me an e-mail or leave a comment below as well!)

One Reply to “EU feat. its youth

  1. Just to list some of the benefits of an own institution over quotas or an Youth Parliament with solemnly consultative rights:

    • A simple quota for young people in the parliament doesn’t work. (There is a voting system.)
    • Quotas for voting lists don’t ensure that young people become members of the EP – there are few ways for them to achieve a voting list position with a realistic expectation of getting elected. Reserving a discrete number of seats for young people does.
    • One of the few ways is internal popularity, which is mostly achieved by adapting to the consensus and promoting established topics. To guarantee constant development of the EU we need individuals thinking out of the box. This is not the case here – instead, young people accomodate inside the box. An individual institution prevents this, simply because the young don’t need to compete with established parliament members there.
    • A body with consultative power only won’t arouse the youth’s interest in European politics. In addition to that politicians shouldn’t have the opportunity to ignore the points the youth has to make. This concept provides them with the same rights ordinary MEPs have.

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