Your views: how the European elections should be improved 


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Should 16-year-olds be allowed to vote? ©APimages/European Union/EP  

European elections are your chance to decide how Europe should be run, but could they be run better? Although some basic principles are set down in EU law, Parliament is now looking to improve them further. MEPs discussed on 27 October a report with recommendations written by Polish EPP member Danuta Hübner and German S&D member Jo Leinen, but we were also keen to hear from you. Read on to find out what ideas people shared on our social media platforms.

One suggestion many people brought up is allowing people to vote at 16 at the European elections. At the moment only Austrians are able to do that. The idea sparked many comments both for and against. Many users felt that allowing younger people to vote might improve the turnout, but opponents felt 16-year-olds were not yet mature enough to go to the polls.

“I think that a lot of 16-year-olds are definitely ready to vote! Many movers, shakers, inventors and scientists these days are 16 and 17 year-olds.” (from Facebook)

“Maybe getting them into the voting booths early may improve voter turnout in future elections.” (from Facebook)

“I don't feel that someone who is not considered to be at the legal age of adulthood should be voting, nor do I feel that someone with extremely limited knowledge of the real world should be shaping our political direction.” (from Reddit)

Introducing electronic voting, online voting and voting by post is also included in the report. Many of our followers on social media were quite sceptical about the concept, fearing fraud and manipulation. There were some though who were more open to the idea.

“I disagree with electronic voting, as it is too easy for the vote to be manipulated, but I agree with the intention.” (from Reddit)

“It should be e-voting for all Europeans in Europe and abroad for domestic and European parliament elections." (from LinkedIn)

The suggestion to allow  all EU citizens who live outside the EU  to vote during European elections proved to be uncontroversial and got the backing of many who left comments. At the moment it is already possible for the citizens of some EU countries.

“Europeans voting from outside EU? As long as they hold a valid member country issued EU passport, why not?” (from Facebook)

You can follow the discussion on the next European elections on Twitter with the hashtag #EP2019.

This article was originally published on 23 October 2015.