The EU should push for all member states to provide the right to vote at 16 for all elections.
Because they make up the next generation and will shape our future society, the needs and wishes of young people are of vital importance for the political process. Young people should be not only the targets of policies, but also decision-makers in their own right. The best way to promote their political engagement, and thereby ensure that political debate is relevant and addressing the real needs of the future, is to lower the voting age to 16 across Europe. Many countries, including Scotland, Wales, Austria and Malta, already allow votes at 16, while Belgium and Germany have introduced legislation to lower the voting age before the next elections. This has increased interest in politics among young people in these countries, but at the same time it has created a situation where different EU member states vote at different ages. The EU should encourage its member states to harmonise at 16, and to ensure that all elections (local, regional, state-level and European) use the same voting age.