#TheFutureIsYours Strengthening European democracy
Youth, Elections, European identity - the future of the common European democracy
The future of Europe’s democracy is in the hand of today’s young people. The European integration project depends on whether young people are attached to European values and whether a thicker European identity can be articulated based on shared values and experiences. Elections play a paramount role in this aspect, as they are the manifestations of the underlying political community and of democracy. Namely, through elections voters can feel that they belong to the European community. The election of the members of the European Parliament might be key in this respect, as the ultimate expression of the transnational political community. However, the question arises whether EP elections indeed fulfil this role. The Association of European Election Officials (ACEEEO) and the Permanent Electoral Authority of Romania co-organize an event to contribute to the discussion on this topic The symposium explores the relationship between the shared European identity among the youth and European elections, most notably, EP elections. Do young people have European identity and how is it related to other identities? How elections do and might contribute to European identity? What role do and might EP elections play in this respect? We believe that by mapping the attitudes of today’s young people we can get a picture of tommorow’s Europe. Nevertheless, decision makers might not just stand idle, but they can actively influence these processes; cleverly tailored institutions and policies might strengthen the European identity and democracy. For this reason, an interdisciplinary dialogue is needed, in which the current reality and the possibilities are examined by various experts. Moreover, as we think that there is no point in thinking about the future of the youth without the youth, young people should be included in the discourse. ACEEEO is an international organization founded in 1991 with the aim to promote free and fair elections in the Eastern European Region. Each year a different member state carries out the task of presidency, this year it is the Permanent Electoral Authority of Romania. With PEA Romania we decided to celebrate our 30th anniversary by looking to the future, therefore the theme of this year is youth participation.
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