Europe is a mess, right? At least that is the impression you get when you turn on the tv or read the news. The last decade seemed to be one crisis after another. From the global financial crisis to the Euro crisis and now Brexit. So why care about the upcoming elections and the future of Europe?
Europe is bureaucratic and disconnected, so many say. It often over regulates the small things and fails to deliver on the big things. Many complain that the costs for Europe are too high and that political leaders only care about their next re-election. Whilst I am clearly biased towards the European Union, growing up in the heart of the European experiment and like millions of others have greatly benefited from Europe’s freedoms to live, travel and work in different Member States, I also realize that our Union is far from perfect.
Yet, just sitting at home complaining does little to change this fact. That is why I am actively engaged in trying to connect today’s policymakers with young people. To give our generation a voice and impact decisions that will affect us.
When political leaders decide on how to address migration, climate change or what to invest in schools and universities it is the young generation that is most affected by today’s decision and need to ensure our voice is heard.
Decision-makers often say “Get involved” but deny us a seat at the table when decisions are made. But the upcoming European elections can change that. It gives us the opportunity to vote for candidates that support a strong voice for the young generation, that will address youth unemployment, invest in education and research as well as address climate change and face up to populism, racism and hate.
But politics live by engagement – we need to challenge our political leaders, and this is easier than ever before. Using modern technology, we can not only more easily follow what they are doing but we can also amplify our voices and demands.
Nearly 1/3 of Europe’s population is under 30, making us a powerful group. The recent protects by school student in Belgium demanding that the government does more to combat climate change have demonstrated the impact we can have.
Now it is time to make our voice heard all over Europe. The European elections 2019 are our change to ensure that the next five years are shaped for us and by us. So, get involved and go out and vote in May 2019!