With European elections coming up in May 2019, you probably want to know how the European Union impacts your daily life, before you think about voting. In the latest in a series of posts on what Europe does for you, your family, your business and your wellbeing, we look at what Europe does for young people involved in politics.
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Young politicians have recently been elected to the highest positions of power in several EU countries, yet many young people still choose to stay away from politics.
If you’re a young activist, or simply follow politics, the European Union has taken steps to encourage your participation in political life, in line with the obligation introduced by the Lisbon Treaty. European cooperation in the youth field aims at promoting young people’s participation in representative democracy. The Erasmus+ funding programme finances youth exchanges and projects to promote participation in democratic life and active citizenship in Europe, particularly through its youth chapter. Encouraging young people to take part in politics comes from the highest EU levels.
To involve young people in decision making, the EU has built specific channels. The EU provides numerous young people with opportunities to make their views known on selected policy topics during 18-month policy cycles. Do you want to take part? Have a look at the Youth Portal (Have your say!).
European young people are also involved in shaping EU external policies, together with their counterparts from Africa or the Eastern Partnership.
The European Parliament has also launched its own initiatives. The Euroscola Day allows high school students to experience first-hand what it means to be a parliamentarian for a day in Strasbourg. The biennial European Youth Event (EYE) provides young Europeans with the opportunity to share their ideas on the future of Europe.
- European Commission website, Youth Portal, https://europa.eu/youth/EU_en
- European Commission website, Erasmus + projects, http://ec.europa.eu/programmes/erasmus-plus/projects/eplus-projects-compendium/
- European Parliament, Euroscola, http://www.europarl.europa.eu/euroscola
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