LEAGUE OF YOUNG VOTERS LAUNCHES TOOL FOR YOUNG PEOPLE TO COMPARE POLITICAL PARTIES AHEAD OF EU ELECTIONS

european-youth-forum-logoBRUSSELS, 14 May 2014 // The League of Young Voters has today launched an online tool, “who says what”, with which young people can find out what national and European political parties promise in their manifestos on the issues that concern young people.

The tool, which covers all the main national and political parties, is the first of its kind in terms of focus and breadth of its scope, considering that it examines 231 manifestos. Potential young voters had the chance to try out the tool this weekend at the League of Young Voters’ stand at the YO!Fest, part of the European Youth Event in Strasbourg.

The tool has been developed, following an academic study published by the League of Young Voters, “Addressing youth absenteeism in European elections”, which found that in the last European elections in 2009, 71% of eligible young people (aged 18-24) did not vote, resulting in the underrepresentation of young people’s views in the European Parliament.

One of the reasons behind youth absenteeism at European elections was found to be that young people felt that they did not have sufficient information about the elections and its content. That is why the League of Young Voters has developed this in depth tool, which aims to present all the statements made by political parties on relevant issues for young people so that they can have a simple and easy to navigate overview on issues that concern them.

The topics included in this tool, which were chosen from young people’s input on the League of Young Voters website, are: education, employment, digital revolution, political participation, the future of Europe, investment in youth and the environment.

Giuseppe Porcaro, secretary general of the European Youth Forum, which established the independent League of Young Voters, comments:
“Youth and the issues that affect them have become key buzzwords ahead of the European elections. However, we know through our research that young people feel disenfranchised from mainstream politics and that in the recent past they have stayed away from the ballot boxes. Come the 25th May we need to ensure that young people are armed with the knowledge about their national and European parties so that they can make an informed choice in order to cast their vote. If young people do not make their choice in ten days’ time then others will do it for them and we will end up with a Europe which does not prioritise the issues that young people care about.”

The “who says what”, European elections comparison tool can be found on the League of Young Voters website: http://www.youngvoters.eu/whosayswhat/#/ . The tool will also be available in the following languages: Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish and Swedish.
The comparison tool adds to the League’s other election information and tools for young people, including a web experience “make your choice”, which explains to young people the political process and how to vote.

“Who says what” has been developed with Kieskompas, a small social enterprise specialised in the development of online and offline voting advice tools, the organisation of political debates and the production of academic research and media content. http://home.kieskompas.nl/en/

[ENDS]

NOTES TO THE EDITOR

About The League of Young Voters
The League of Young Voters, established by the European Youth Forum, is a politically neutral initiative that aims to amplify young people’s concerns and expectations in the run-up to European elections. It’s a movement across Europe designed by young people, for young people.
The LYV aims to tackle the ever decreasing youth participation at the European Parliament elections by increasing the level of youth-related information available about the elections, but also by encouraging political parties and candidates to directly target young people in their campaigns. It aims to bring together all young people who want to choose what decisions Europe and its politicians will make on issues that concern them.
The LYV was officially launched by José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, on 30 May 2013 at the annual YO! Fest.
To find out more about the League and its activities in the coming months, go to: http://www.youngvoters.eu or contact us via email – hello@youngvoters.eu / Twitter – @youngvoters.eu / Facebook – youngvoters.eu

About the European Youth Forum
The European Youth Forum is the platform of youth organisations in Europe. Independent, democratic, youth-led, it represents 99 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 

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