Elections are a vital part of democracy. First time voters usually abstain more than older voters, delegating their future to the older generation.

 

What are your ideas for a high mobilisation of your peers on-line and in real life? Can we close the “turnout gap” between young and old voters?

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Please try to be as concrete as possible when answering the questions, the more in depth you go the more impactful your answers will be!

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The most pressing problems from my point of view are the following: 1) The lack of knowledge and understanding of the EU, and of political structures in general - this problem is caused by two things: lack of interest (which is hard to affect) and lack of education and easily available knowledge. I think EU has recently been doing a good job at spreading knowledge about its structures with videos etc. But EU should try to make such informative videos even more interesting, maybe even fund cartoons for smaller children to teach about the EU. Then spread knowledge on as many platforms as possible. From Facebook to twitter to tumblr to reddit to myspace to google etc... 2) ease of access to electoral information - in National Elections in some countries it is hard to get information on the policies of candidates or their parties. In EU elections it is hard to find the Euro parliament party of candidates. There should be more platforms for debates. Not just the tv debates but also onlin interviews and debates. Platforms where we can easily see he national and euro party of each candidate and what are the policies of each. The backgrounds of each candidate should also be available. Elections are essentially an elaborate job interviews so we ahould be able to review who are our best candidates... 3) ease of voting - we need a secure digital voting system accross The EU and we must protect it from hacking. This will make voting very easy.

Votes: 220

First thing first, a lot of people from the young generation dont't know anything about politics. I'm from Romania and we know very well what means to let your future in the hands of older generation. I know that the fault is ours, but once I don't know anything about the politics, my politicians aren't so transparent, the public debates aren't open for everybody, just for ones in the capital and the young ones aren't listen because of their age, as a part form the new generation, I think that is understandable why I prefer not going to vote. I can do mistakes, I can vote for a criminal if I don't kave knowledge about what's going on up there, but my interest is much lower if I know that my opinion isn't important for the politicians because I'm young. Ok, my country has a lot of problems but I don't think this issue with the young generation is just here. I think the main reasons why the new generation preffers to stay away from politics is the fact that they don't know anything about politics (because is boring and it's avoided even though is important), because if we vote someone we don't have a insurance that what they, the politicians, promissed is going to be make and MAINLY beacuse we usually aren't listen. Maybe the second one can't be resolved, but the first amd the third one can. We have to raise the awareness about politics, the fact that even though is boring for the young ones, everyone has to be a little interested because the future of the country is in our hands, but even if we are interested enough, we have to be listen. We live in a country, in a society and if we want better conditions and a better way of living, we need someone to listen our wishes amd make them real. If we want something, we have to be listen. And after that we have to do something, and the way that makes our voices listen is the vote. Voting for the one that represents your ideas, your ideals means that you have a big chance to make them possible, to make them real. I would love to know what is going on in our political system, I would love to see an online post with "vote for x" and to see below what that persons wants to do for my country, for my future, I would love to see a public debate and my opinion to be heard, I would love to see what's going on in an inside debating and to be hear if I'm not ok with what they want to do, I would love to be listen, but I can't and I think all of the above can be done in the real and online world. I think a lesson about politics, much more public debates and a place where you can say your wishes and proposals will help (and maybe online voting because is much more accessible). I hope one day I will see young people debating about who should be elected or seeing them on an online plathform where their wishes and hopes can be listen and try to be realised. I hope...and I wish the young ones will be listen and their hopes will become real.
Vote up!

Votes: 188

You voted ‘up’

The major issue with young people not showing up to vote is that they don’t know how to, where to go, or what they are choosing from. It requires an effort to make a decision that will have an impact as important as an election, and when people are not sure they don’t vote. A way to improve this issue would be through ad hoc social media campaigns through Facebook advertising, Twitter, and instagram stories adverts redirecting to a website showing parties manifestos, voting polls - even short videos showing how the parliament, the commission, and the European institutions work. Knowing what they are voting for, who they are voting for, what impact their vote is going to have, what they need to go to vote (documents, ID?) and where to vote, will probably improve the turn out. There is not enough media discussion in member states on European elections, so there is little exposure and unless people are proactive citizens they hardly can understand where to vote, how and why (that said, my first vote was casted in the last EU election but I would not have voted if it hadn’t been for my mom - no idea what I was doing, I had just turned 18!). Since there is little media coverage, and it is the youth turnout that it is targeted, then use those media’s that that social group uses EVERY DAY. Between one instagram story and another they get a reminder that there is an election coming up with an easily accessible link to further information. Way to go.

Votes: 127

Well, who are the people running for the EU Parliament within the country members? I don't know about other regions; however, in Romania there are the same unscrupulous, populists, shady and with long history of being above and on top of the national law. Moreover, the process of selecting the EP candidates it a non-transparent procedure, within the political parties. Don't need to remind you that we have selected George Becali as EP in 2012, until it's official conviction in 2013. The guy is one of the wealthiest man in Romania, as well as one of the poorest educated ones, please do all a favor and check him out on Google if you don't know him yet. Therefore, how do we expect youngsters who are absent from the national (and local) elections to be eager to participate in the EU Parliamentarian elections, when we see the same faces, coming from the same dirty, shady political 'gangs'? Yes, the lack of EU institutions and their effect on each life it's also a issue, which I see that the EU is tackling through multimedia and digital marketing, and hats off to that! But this is coming as a counteroffensive to the nationalism and fake 'patriotic' growing state of mine among EU citizens. So, yes I encourage active, participatory democracy among youngsters and I always promote it within my network, but general population's (and especially among youngsters) confidence in political class is all time law...
Vote up!

Votes: 228

You voted ‘up’

Hey, thanks a lot for asking. In my opinion low youth turnouts are due to a lack of knowledge what Europe is at core. I do not want to generalise but I think that I can speak for a fair share of my generation when I say: "We love Europe and couldn't live without it." The problem is not that we are not aware what Europe is doing for us. I would rather say that we do not see the actual work that stands behind our privileges. We might be the generation Easyjet, we grew up with a single currency and we are used to pass borders without having to prove our identity. I think that we need to be given the feeling that all this is not self-explanatory. Many parents might not talk about it. So I would love if school had taught me how difficult the European Unification process. Additionally, I have to admit that low turnouts are also related to the candidates we can elect. Especially for European parliamentary elections we are used to the same old faces who will likely obtain their 6th mandate in Brussels. To make Europe more attractive to the youth- Let youth govern it! At least a share. I think that every candidate should question himself if he is really adding value by staying in Brussels for his 20th year in row. We need some fresh air. I hate to say it, but most of us spent the past 10 years of their youth growing up with new forms of media and another information culture. We read less long newspapers, our attention-span is shorter than ever before and our relationships are much more informal. If politics adapted to that by giving some of us the opportunity to participate (not just by voting) it would help a lot. From my internship at the European Parliament I remember committee meetings like AFET. I think that all young politicians should also organise themselves in a committee that only deals with the future of the European Union and the young citizens. Show us that you care! I thank you a lot and wish all the best. I'll go vote!

Votes: 115

Europarlament need to be important, so the young and old feel that the choice matter. * Europarlament blocks and parties on national level should synchronize ideas, and make Europarlament vote about Europe vision. At least in Poland it is more about domestic politics, but that could be our political class flawn. Sorry Europe. * There could be Europe size push to provide best common education on pre 18 (and college/uni level as well) possible. Just make european youth smartass. * There could be school subject: Society, Life and Everything explaining things like human rights, national election and Eurozone structure and duties.* Union should have great ideas, and try to achieve them somehow, and great ideas should be awesome for young people. Need to research what is awesome for young. For example: Reach only natural 5% unemployment in high quality workplace, be the most scientific advanced place on Earth, achieve best quality of life index(HDI), most ecological and healthy society. The Fins have neat idea of "most safe space". * Eurostructures and national news anchor could do better job and informing what Euro structures are working on. Also Eurostructure could do better job at informing what they working on what they decide on, always with some TLDR version, possible using infographic. * generally make sure you present your work as resolving problems not creating one.

Votes: 116

In my point of view, the problem with the younger people not voting or voting less is because Europe is something that feels far and unknown. All the european countries could put together a campaign, for TV and social media (Twitter, Facebook and even Instagram because it's the most popular one in between the youngsters) and explain with a simple but catchy video, what exactly is the European Union and all the things it does for the young people and that maybe are unknown to them. But most importantly, make sure that the importance of voting and of the Union, in general, is shown and understood, for an stronger and brighter future together.

Votes: 124

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