Vote 16

The European Youth Forum calls for the lowering of the voting age to 16 with the provision of civic education being obligatory within the formal education system throughout Europe. The reality that young Europeans now live in has triggered the debate around lowering the voting age to the age of 16.

The right to vote is a key element of participation in democratic processes. Participation in the democratic process is of utmost importance for our society and the right to vote and to be elected are key elements of citizenship.

No man is good enough to govern another man without that other’s consent.

Abraham Lincoln

The voting age is established by law and states a minimum age that a person must attain to be able to vote in democratic elections. In most European countries the legal voting age was 21 when the right to vote was first established. As European society is subject to constant change, evolution and debates that bring new challenges, needs and opportunities – especially for young people – the electoral age was lowered to the age of 18 in most countries.

These changes are ongoing and need a common – pan-European, cross-sectoral, intercultural and intergenerational – sustainable democratic response.


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