European Parliament Elections 2014 – new faces, same ages
15 May 2014
7.45% of current Members of the European Parliament are below the age of 40. What implications does this have for youth policies and youth engagement? FutureLab Europe have recently launched a report: Missing a Generation in EU Politics: How to involve young Europeans? which details the attitudes of young adults towards the European Parliament elections, and how well they are informed about them.
Instead of pointing the finger of blame, the young participants of FutureLab Europe have attempted to provide an answer to involving young Europeans. The report analyses the root causes for the low interest and low voter turnout among young people. It finds that there is:
- insufficient politicisation of the elections;
- a (perceived) lack of high level discussions on subjects that are of interest to young people;
- few young Europeans representing young people in elected office;
- and a serious information deficit.
‘If you do not participate, then decisions will be taken without you, and this will also mean that the decision will almost always be taken at your expense’ – László Andor, Commissioner responsible for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion.
‘As this FutureLab report makes clear, there are simply too few young people in decision making positions. But involving young people means more than just having youth parliaments that don't have a real say. Participation is not just about voting in elections every couple of years - it's about empowering people to fully participate in their societies.’ - Ska Keller, one of the Green leading candidates for the European Elections.
In the run-up to the European Parliament Elections in May, a number of youth would like to vote but don’t feel they are adequately informed.
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