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For young people in Europe, the political stakes are high. Many are worried about the world their parents and grandparents have left them. Many are worried about their opportunities for political influence. They do not have many representatives in the parliaments. Due to the demographic development and often lower voter turnout (or restricted voting rights!) they are not very interesting as a group of voters for many parties. I am committed to giving more weight to the voice of young people in politics – through a reform of the electoral law, new participation formats and the promotion of exchange!
We live in politically explosive times. There is a lot at stake for the youth of Europe.
After completing school, training or studies, many are stuck in a loop of internships or temporary contracts – or, as in Spain, often find no employment at all. Rents have exploded in the big cities, while stagnating wages and poor interest rates have made it difficult to build up wealth. Right-wing populism, hatred and agitation, rising temperatures and melting polar caps can make you fear the world of tomorrow.
But young people today also have the chance for a better future. Ahead of us lies the opportunity for a radical transformation of economic activity and living together. Through consistent climate protection laws, green energy and mobility, environmentally and socially compatible supply chains, new forms of construction and housing, and redistribution based on solidarity, we can make the world a better and fairer place. By investing in education, promoting exchange formats and multicultural and digital skills, we can find new forms of global understanding.
Politicians are making decisions today that will have a massive impact on the world of tomorrow. Young people deserve a strong say in these decisions – because they will one day have to live with this world.
I am committed to promoting the political participation of youth and young people. Through legal adjustments, such as lowering the voting age to 16, and the establishment of new participation formats, such as the Conference on the Future of Europe. But above all by promoting European exchanges for young people, for example through Erasmus+ or the European Solidarity Corps.