07. April 2014

László Andor, European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion was the keynote speaker at the 3rd FutureLab Europe spring conference. The debate focused on the involvement of younger generations in the forthcoming European elections.

The low turn-out among young European voters in the 2009 European elections has been alarming. Only 30% of young Europeans voted that year. In addition, out of a total of 766 members of the European Parliament, just 57 are below the age of 40, of which 2 are below 30. This implies a lack of involvement and representation of young people in the heart of the EU’s democratic arena, at a time when stakes have never been higher: youth unemployment rates are extremely high, there is a growing pressure on government services such as education, and welfare states are declining.

To address this issue, at the Europe@debate on April 7th, young bright minds from across Europe – all participants in the FutureLab Europe programme – presented their written report, “Missing a generation in European politics – how to involve young Europeans?”, which provides their own views and recommendations to improve the involvement of the younger generations in EU politics and decision-making processes.

Commissioner Andor received the first copy of the report and discussed it with FutureLab Europe participants and the audience present. A panel debate followed between young Europeans and the panel with Sandra Petrović Jakovina, MEP from the S&D Group; Benedek Jávor,candidate for the Greens/current Member of the National Assembly of Hungary; Konstantinos Kyranakis, President of the Youth European People’s Party.

The Europe@debate, co-moderated by Janis Emmanouilidis (Director of Studies at the EPC) and Anna Karolin from FutureLab Europe, took place in Brussels on Monday 7 April 2014 in Brussels, with a livestream and participation also through social media.

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