YOUTH WILL BE A KEY FOCUS IN THE NEXT EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT

european-youth-forum-logoBrussels, 30th May 2014 // 85 newly elected MEPs signed up to the European Youth Forum’s LoveYouthFuture pledges, during their campaign, to ensure the next European Parliament is youth-friendly. Meanwhile, whilst official figures on voter turnout among young people are yet to be released, overall turnout remained stable at 43.1%, having fallen steadily between 1979 and 2009.

Of the 85 MEPs that pledged, during their campaign, to defend youth rights during their mandate as MEPs, the majority (33) were from the Socialists & Democrats, next most supportive of the political groups was the Greens (24), then EPP (14), with ALDE having six MEPs having signed up. The countries that the pro-youth MEPs come from are also revealing: there are 16 from Germany, eight from Austria and six from France (see full list below).

The 11 LoveYouthFuture pledges commit the candidates to fight for more protections for young people, youth rights, quality education, youth participation in decision–making and more job opportunities for young people. Two of the main candidates for the presidency of the European Commission, Martin Schulz and Ska Keller, have signed the LoveYouthFuture pledges.

The European Youth Forum firmly believes that the EU has a crucial role to play in improving the lives of young people. Young people’s rights have been overridden during the economic crisis and the prolongation of the austerity measures.

The European Youth Forum, through the independent organisation that it established – the League of Young Voters – ran various campaigns to both amplify young people’s concerns in the run up to the elections, but also to encourage young people to vote. Whilst there are no official figures for youth voter turnout, the League and Youth Forum will analyse the figures closely when they are published.

Peter Matjašič, President of the European Youth Forum, said:

“We are delighted that a substantial number of those candidates that signed the LoveYouthFuture pledges have been elected to the new European Parliament. Now these MEPs must put their words into action and really prove to Europe’s youth that decision makers do take care about them and about their future!

“Whilst early indications about voter turnout are relatively promising, it remains to be seen whether youth came out in force at the ballot box. Indeed, there are worrying indications from some Member States that young people have supported extreme, xenophobic and Eurosceptic parties that have now got a strong foothold in the European Parliament. The rising power of these parties can only be detrimental for youth and the protection of their rights, in which the EU plays a crucial role.”

The Youth Forum will monitor closely those elected MEPs that have signed the pledges, to ensure that they are following through on their promises.

[ENDS]

Notes to the editor:

About LoveYouthFuture

LoveYouthFuture is the European Youth Forum’s campaign to ensure youth rights in Europe. MEPs and candidates were asked to sign the LoveYouthFuture pledges and make their commitment to youth. More information on LoveYouthFuture can be found here www.loveyouthfuture.eu

About the European Youth Forum

The European Youth Forum is the platform of youth organisations in Europe. Independent, democratic, youth-led, it represents 98 National Youth Councils and international youth organisations from across the continent. The Forum works to empower young people to participate actively in society to improve their own lives, by representing and advocating their needs and interests and those of their organisations towards the European Union, the Council of Europe and the United Nations. For more information, visit www.youthforum.org

About MEPs that have signed the LoveYouthFuture pledges

Gender
39 Female
46 Male

Party
ALDE: 6
EPP: 14
Greens: 24
S&D: 33

Country
UK: 4
Sweden: 1
Spain: 5
Slovenia: 3
Slovakia: 1
Romania: 4
Portugal: 1
Netherlands: 4
Luxembourg: 2
Latvia: 1
Italy: 4
Ireland: 5
Hungary: 1
Germany: 16
France: 6
Finland: 4
Estonia: 2
Czech Republic: 2
Cyprus: 1
Croatia: 4
Bulgaria: 1
Belgium: 5
Austria 8

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