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EU elections: Europe’s youngest MEP on find out how to have interaction younger folks

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The 2019 European elections noticed the best turnout since 1994 – pushed by a surge in youth participation. However what are younger folks’s priorities forward of this 12 months’s elections and the way can the EU have interaction them?

“I typically hear that I haven’t got sufficient expertise. However I am 25 now and you’ve got quite a few MEPs who’ve been right here longer than I’ve been born. I feel to me that is completely loopy”, Europe’s youngest MEP Kira Marie Peter-Hansen tells Euronews.

Peter-Hansen is a member of the Greens–European Free Alliance. She was elected on the age of 21 within the 2019 European Parliamentary elections. 

The Danish politician is certainly one of 720 MEPs who will stand in June’s elections and certainly one of Europe’s six parliamentarians aged beneath 30 years previous. 

Europe’s youngest MEP

Peter-Hansen is used to dealing with criticism for her lack of expertise.

“In order for you developments inside politics, after all, it is good to have expertise and the historic information, however maybe there’s a level the place you can begin to assume, ought to another person, have the prospect to make a distinction?”, states Peter-Hansen. 

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Though her get together was supportive of her younger age, Peter-Hansen insists that events throughout the spectrum are more and more warming to younger candidates, “the Inexperienced get together has younger candidates however on the different finish of the spectrum the far-right events additionally has younger politicians,” she says.

European states set the age at which candidates can stand to turn out to be MEPs. 

The brink varies throughout Europe, in 16 member states candidates should be a minimum of 18 years previous to run. In Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czechia, Estonia, Eire, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland and Slovakia candidates should be 21 years previous.

In Romania candidates should be 23 years previous, whereas the brink is 25 years previous in Italy and Greece.

What do younger Europeans need?

Regardless of the shortage of younger politicians within the European Parliament, the prospect of youth engagement for the 2024 elections appears to be like hopeful. 

The 2019 European elections noticed the best turnout since 1994, pushed by a surge in youth participation as outlined by a Eurobarometer survey. 

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Final 12 months, the Younger European Federalists (JEF) launched a mass survey to find out what younger European’s key considerations are. Over 1.5 million votes have been submitted by Europeans aged between 18-35 years previous.

“Reforming establishments, the economic system and addressing the local weather disaster got here out on high”, Christelle Savall, President of JEF tells Euronews. 

Nevertheless, when it boils right down to extra concrete coverage proposals, some measures have been extra divisive. 

“Limiting air transport was a giant divide. One other massive divide revolved round federalism, whether or not we should always give extra powers to the European Union for issues the place we have to pull out our assets, in opposition to nationalism and a extra sovereign Europe.”

The marketing campaign to decrease the voting age to 16 years previous

In addition to setting the age for candidates, member states decide the residents’ voting age for the European Parliamentary elections.

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The voting age is about for 16 years previous in Austria, German, Malta and Belgium, 17 years previous for Greece and 18 years previous for the remainder of Europe.  

The European Youth Discussion board – one of many world’s largest platforms for youth organisation – has been preventing to decrease the voting age to 16 years previous for over a decade.

“We actually consider that when you’re 16 years previous, you might have so many tasks as a youngster, as an adolescent you may work, pay taxes”, states Rareș Voicu, Board Member on the European Youth Discussion board.

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