|Consultation:||FYEG General Assembly 2017|
|Agenda item:||3. Resolutions|
|Proposer:||Swedish Young Greens (decided on: 04/27/2017)|
Time to expand the right to vote
A basic idea of democracy is that all people in society should have the same
right to influence political decisions, no matter who we are. Public governance
is not just for the smartest, those with the best education or the most mature;
it is for everyone. The more excluded from the right to vote, the more distorted
becomes our representative democracy. Consequently, the political platform of
the Federation of Young European Greens prescribes a total ban on fixed voting
It is easy to get used to society's current organization and take the rights of
the present for granted. For many people who already have the right to vote, it
may not seem like a big thing to put a ballot paper in a voting box. But the
effect of the current restrictions on voting and running for parliament is that
almost one in six EU citizens are shut out of democracy. This obviates the
legitimacy of the political system.
It is clear that the vision of age-neutral voting is important, but we recognise
that this goal probably lies far ahead in the future. On the other hand, the
idea of a reduced voting age has begun to arouse greater hearing. Numerous
countries choose to lower their limits from the typical 18 years to 16 or 15.
This is a development in a green direction.
The Federation of Young European Greens is convinces that young people in
general are interested in politics and want to influence and change the society
they live in. For example, a Swedish report from 2013 showed that 71 % of all
youths had, in one way or another, participated in a political activity.
Europe's young people long to make their voices heard.
The issue of age limits is not just about rights. Electoral design affects the
debate itself, and therefore shapes the actual content of the policies. When
German federal states lowered their regional voting age, the parties suddenly
began to take young people's ideas seriously. The result became an increased
political commitment among young people. Responsibility stimulates the will to
The same tendencies can be seen in several other states. In Austria, where
inhabitants have the right to vote from the age of 16, voting participation is
higher among 16 to 18 year olds than among the rest of the population. In 2011,
Norway introduced a reduced voting age on trial in some municipalities in the
local elections. Among the 16 to 18 year old Norwegians, more people voted than
among other young Norwegian inhabitants with voting rights.
However, when it comes to the voting age to the European parliament, almost
every member state have kept the age limit at 18 years old. This means the
average age of a first time voter in a European election is about 20-21 years
old. Some individuals are as old as 23 the first time they get to vote in a
European election or run for the European parliament.
Article 165 in the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union states that
the union shall act to encourage the participation of young people in Europe's
democratic life. Reducing the age limit to 15 years would invigorate the
political engagement of young people and increase their interest for European
party politics. The Federation of Young European Greens believes that the
European Union should be a place for truly progressive reforms. Now is the time
to take a common step towards a world where more people can vote.
1. that all countries in the European Union lower their voting age in the
European election to 15 years.
2. that all countries in the European Union lower the age limit to run for the
European parliament to 15 years.
- C2-049 (RED EQUO JOVEN (decided on: 05/21/2017), Submitted)
- C2-014 (Grüne Jugend (decided on: 05/22/2017), Submitted)
- C2-046 (Grüne Jugend (decided on: 05/22/2017), Submitted)
- C2-001 (Les Jeunes Ecologistes (LJE - French Young Greens (decided on: 05/14/2017), Submitted)
- C2-005 (Mladí zelení (Czech Young Greens (decided on: 05/25/2017), Submitted)
- C2-043 (Scottish Young Greens (decided on: 05/25/2017), Submitted)
- C2-053 (DWARS, GroenLinkse Jongeren (decided on: 05/25/2017), Submitted)
- C2-043-2 (Mladí zelení (Czech Young Greens (decided on: 05/25/2017), Submitted)
- C2-049-2 (DWARS, GroenLinkse Jongeren (decided on: 05/25/2017), Submitted)
- C2-051 (Mladí zelení (Czech Young Greens (decided on: 05/25/2017), Submitted)
- C2-005-2 (Jong Groen (decided on: 05/25/2017), Submitted)