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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

European Youth Event. The young generation in the European Parliament

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– It’s really great that so many young people care about the European Union – says Mikołaj Turek, a Pole studying in Paris. Together with colleagues from all over Europe, he participated in the European Youth Event in Strasbourg on June 9-10. The ideas gathered during the meeting will be presented to the members of the European Parliament in October. The young activists spoke about the challenges related to artificial intelligence, migration or the rule of law.

Young people from all over Europe came to Strasbourg. For two days, they discussed the future of the EU and the challenges facing the Community in the European Parliament. Age – from 16 to 30 years. Why exactly 16 years old? In four EU countries, you can vote for your representatives to the European Parliament from the age of 16.

– I went to the EYE to show that Poland is and will be a member of the European community (…) Colleagues from other countries see how the Polish government breaks the constitution and how it treats the LGBTQI+ community in an inhumane way. Our generation does not agree to such a policy, so we take matters into our own hands – said Mateusz Domalążek, a member of the Platform of European Technocrats. For him, discussions on how to fight discrimination against LGBTQI+ people, as well as how to counteract disinformation online in the era of increasingly common cyberattacks, were particularly important to him. – The exchange of experiences with peers from countries such as Turkey and Hungary was especially valuable. I will keep my fingers crossed for them to realize their European visions – he concluded. – I was definitely impressed by the number of young people who came to this event from all over Europe, but not only. It’s really great that so many young people care about the European Union, echoes Mikołaj Turek, a third-year law student at Université Paris Nanterre.

SEE ALSO: The European Parliament calls for the Hungarian presidency of the EU Council to be canceled

More young people in the elections to the EU parliament

The meeting was opened in the plenary hall of the European Parliament by Roberta Metsol, President of the European Parliament. The Maltese politician answered questions, including about access to abortion in countries such as Poland, Malta and Romania, illegal migration, or the EP’s attitude to artificial intelligence. – Next week, the EP will vote in Strasbourg on a legal act regulating the use of artificial intelligence. We want the most courageous and detailed, and at the same time broad, legislation, which in the future will cover the whole world, to start with us – she said. MEPs are to adopt the world’s first set of rules to manage the risks of using artificial intelligence. It is also about regulating the use of generative AI such as ChatGPT – for example, the labeling of content generated by them.

The date of this year’s edition of the EYE is not accidental – in exactly one year, elections to the European Parliament will be held in all Member States of the European Union. The event is intended to encourage young people to be socially and politically active. According to the European Youth Forum, the young generation is the most underrepresented group in the European Parliament. Although 20 percent of the population of the European Union are people belonging to the young generation, only 6 percent. of the members of the European Parliament are people aged 18-35. The average age of all 751 MEPs is 50.

The youngest MEP is Kira Marie Peter-Hansen from Denmark – she was elected to the European Parliament at the age of 21. At that time, she studied economics at the University of Copenhagen. Roberta Metsola also tried to enter politics on the European forum at a young age – as she recalled during the meeting, she was a candidate for the European Parliament at the age of 24. As it turned out, to no avail.

SEE ALSO: Politico: one of the main suspects in the corruption scandal, wants to return to work in the European Parliament

europa.eu, europarl.europa.eu

Main photo source: (C) European Union 2023 / Rockstar Studios / Laszlo Mudra

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