50% of the world's population is under 30 years old. But globally only 2.91% of the world’s parliamentarians are under 30. Mapped onto 365 days, 10 January is the last day young voices are represented in parliaments around the world.

That is why the United Nations have dubbed this day the #NoSayDay. Things are no better in the European Parliament. Just a few months before the next European elections, only two Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) are still under 30. This is just 0.28% of all MEPs - a lot less than the global average.

For the European Union to meet the challenges of young people today, we need more young candidates and youth representation. We, young people, have the talent, experience, ideas, vision and energy to be brilliant MEPs. We are on the streets, in schools, on campuses, and in our workplaces fighting for our rights every day and we deserve to be at the decision-making table. Including young people in electoral lists should not be a tokenistic exercise of filling a quota.

In a thriving democracy, it's essential that all social groups actively engage in politics to ensure the legitimacy of decisions made. However, our current political structures could strengthen efforts to value young candidates, especially those facing discrimination or precarity. This leads to decreased involvement of young people due to a lack of ownership over decisions and the decision-making process.

Given the scarcity of young people in positions of power, youth participation in decision-making processes should be facilitated in other ways too. For the first time German and Belgian 16-year-olds will join young people from Malta and Austria to vote in the upcoming elections. This is great news for youth participation, but it results in discrimination for other 16-year-old Europeans who are not allowed to vote.

That is why the European Youth Forum and the European Political Party Youth Wings across the political spectrum are calling upon political parties to:

  • select young candidates to run in the European Parliament elections this June – in electable spots
  • include in their manifesto a commitment to lower the voting age to 16
  • focus campaign efforts on first-time voters and young people, especially those from less represented communities
  • train and invest in young talent within the party so they are prepared for future elections and ensure funding for party political youth organisations

The European Parliament elections are a chance to bring young people’s voices into the centre of our democracies and boost the percentage of young MEPs!



Next Event

February 27 2024

Policy Debate LYMEC Manifesto - #1

Marking the inaugural Manifesto Policy Debate of the 2024 European election cycle, this online session will explore the issue of climate justice. A...

More Details

Leave your comment

Last News

Apply to host our 2024 Autumn Congress!

Deadline for applications is 29 March 2024. Applications are to be sent by email to [email protected], cc: [email protected].   Call for 2024 Autumn Congress hosting!    Dear members, The host country for our Autumn Congress in 2024 will be selected in the ...

February 20 2024

#Flip the Script with Romina

Want to know more about why young people matter and why their age is not a political liability? Then what are you waiting for, watch our inaugural Flip the Script video from Romina Pourmokhtari, Sweden's Minister for Climate and the Environment!  

February 16 2024

Libertas is looking for a new Editorial Team!

We are really proud of the work that has been done by our fantastic Editorial Team of 2023 and the brilliant articles that have been submitted by LYMEC Members through spontaneous contributions. Now, we are looking to recruit a new team, to take up thei...

February 13 2024