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Generation Z and the EU elections: Will they be voting?

Generation Z and the EU elections: Will they be voting?

Image source: © canva
Weronika Paliczka,
14.05.2024 16:15

Elections for the European Parliament will take place on 9 June 2024. Some argue they are less significant than local elections. Generation Z representatives explain the importance of participating in the vote.

On 9 June, citizens of the European Union will gather at the ballot box to determine the future of the European community. Some sceptics argue that their vote will not make a difference and that the European Parliament does not significantly affect the quality of life of individuals in Poland. However, representatives of Generation Z believe that their vote does have an impact on the future of millions.

Are Polish Zoomers going to vote in the EU elections?

When asked why she is voting, Marta explains: "I will participate in the European Parliament elections because I believe in the importance of expressing my opinion through voting. I see the elections as crucial because they determine European law, which significantly impacts the legal order of the Member States. I hope to see representatives in the EP who are dedicated to addressing the challenges we face as a community, such as the climate crisis, social inequalities, and threats posed by the development of AI technologies."

"I will vote in the European elections because Poland is part of the EU, and the effects of this membership significantly impact everyday life. The benefits are extensive, from funding for developmental investments to facilitating easier travel, enabling student exchange abroad, and ensuring food security vigilance. This election is particularly crucial given the turbulent times we live in - wars, migration crises, and the climate crisis. It will be of utmost importance who leads the European Union through such challenging times," explains Jakub, a 29-year-old journalist.

27-year-old Maja adds: "Voting in elections is a duty for me. I believe that change starts with small things, and I feel a strong responsibility for this political issue. I'd rather do something than nothing; no vote is wasted. I hope that Poland will open up even more to Europe and that the negative perception of the EU will stop being a concern for right-wing politicians and their supporters. I hope we will overcome this and introduce more regulations promoting equality."

Jakub, a 22-year-old representative of Generation Z, has other reasons: "I am voting in the European elections because I want to actively participate in shaping the EU. I identify as both Polish and European, and the decisions made in the European Parliament directly impact how my country looks and, consequently, my everyday life looks as well."

Romanian students comment on the EU elections

Female Romanian students from the University of Bucharest are on a mission. Loredana and Rebecca aim to encourage more young people to actively participate in society. Their project, ‘Generation EU’, seeks to promote democracy and the values of the European Union among young people.

Loredana stated, "In 2020, a report revealed that Romania has an imperfect democracy, and in the last elections, only about 25% of young people aged between 18 and 34 voted. This highlights the importance of mobilising and understanding the significance of being part of the change as a society. Young people's knowledge level is very low, and it is crucial to generate interest in the subject."

When asked about the source of their interest in election turnout, Loredana emphasised, "We have been studying international relations and European studies and have been interested in European issues since our twelfth year in school. Our inclination towards the European Union and the desire to learn more sparked our interest."

Rebecca added, "We want young people to share information, become more informed, understand the challenge of obtaining accurate and comprehensive information, and recognise that relying solely on social media is insufficient. We aim to encourage young people to become more involved in society and politics and dispel the notion that ‘our voice isn't heard anyway’ because that's not true. There are people interested in hearing our voices."

Both Rebecca and Loredana emphasised that they do not feel adequately represented in politics and are taking action to change that. The students hope to raise awareness among more members of Generation Z about the political situation in the EU.

Young Bulgarians won't vote?

In Bulgaria, the European elections will be held on the same day as the parliamentary elections. The editors of Vbox7 asked Bulgarian Zoomers whether they intended to go to the polls. The results are worrying: as many as 64% of respondents answered on Instagram that they would not vote often, arguing that "one vote won't change anything." However, they seem to forget that when all the individual unused votes are added up, it shows that they could significantly affect the outcome of the vote.

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