|Author (Person)||Edthofer, Johanna, Schmidt, Paul|
|Publisher||Elcano Royal Institute / Fundación Real Instituto Elcano|
|Series Title||Analyses of the Elcano Royal Institute (ARI)|
|Series Details||No.88, 2018 (12.07.18)|
|Content Type||Journal | Series | Blog|
For the past decade Austria has been the only country in the EU that allows voting at the age of 16 at all political levels. A year before the next elections to the European Parliament and more than 10 years after lowering the voting age in Austria, it seems useful to take a closer look at the Austrian experience. With an increasingly ageing society, energising youth participation seems an ever more urgent topic. Austria has not yet achieved the goal of a sustainably high and rising youth turnout, but the best way to make a path is to walk it. There is a positive trend becoming apparent as regards both political interest and turnout among Austria’s youth, but translating it into a sustainable higher youth turnout requires providing permanent curricular and extra-curricular support measures. In this context, the long-term commitment of educational centres and of political decision-makers and opinion leaders is important. Embedded in a long-term strategy, voting at 16 could be introduced into other EU-member states as well. According to both EU-wide and Austrian surveys, the younger generation are generally more pro-European than their predecessors. Still, especially young people frequently feel uninformed about the EU and European developments. European political education could close the gap, transforming the pro-European impetus of the next generation into a well-informed debate about the EU and the challenges ahead. Europe’s youth should have a bigger say in determining its own future.
|Subject Categories||Politics and International Relations|
|Countries / Regions||Austria, Europe, Malta|