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Statement on the election of the new European Parliament President

January 18, 2017

The European Youth Forum extends congratulations to the newly- elected European Parliament President, Antonio Tajani, and calls on them to be a strong advocate and partner for young people.

We call on President Tajani to lead the way to deliver the promises that were made to young people during the European elections in 2014. Announcements regarding sustainable investment for youth and employment must be followed through and reflected within the future Multi-Annual Financial Framework (MFF) with increased funding for programmes such as Erasmus+.

Young people still face many barriers that prevent them from engaging with decision-makers, especially at European level. This leads to increasing frustration with political representatives, institutions and decisions, posing a serious threat to the future of European democracy.

We call on all pro-European forces in this House, with the support of its President, to work towards reforming our Union and bringing it closer to its citizens.

European elections in 2019 will be crucial and we count on the European Parliament to ensure proper involvement of young people in this democratic process, including the election of the next President of the European Commission. Only 28% of young Europeans voted for the European Parliament – a figure that represents a lack of trust of political leadership. President Tajani, you have the opportunity to turn this around and bring the most supportive voices of a united Europe, that is young people, to the table.

Building a sustainable, forward-thinking Europe cannot be achieved without putting youth at the centre of the EU decision-making. It is vital that solid commitments are made to develop and strengthen channels that allow young people to really have their voices heard, including the political youth festival, European Youth Event (EYE) and a resourceful, dynamic and cross-sectoral EU Youth Strategy. The Parliament must also continue to endorse lowering the voting age to 16, empowering young people to take up their democratic rights.

The European Youth Forum looks forward to working together closely with President Tajani and hopes that European Parliament is united in its support for young people. As the EU faces its worst identity crisis in its history investing in its young generation, one that is pro European by birth, is the only way of ensuring the survival and continuation of the European integration project.

Read the statement in pdf

 


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With the support of
The European Commission
The European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe