On 19th February, a joint report by the League of Young Voters and the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA) was published. This report answered the key question of why so many young people don’t go to the polls for the European elections.

The report studies the social profile of young abstainers and considers four possible reasons as to why young people don’t vote:

  1. When individual votes are not seen to make a difference, citizens prefer to devote their time to other pursuits than to politics.
  2. Absenteeism is a form of protest against the EU.
  3. Young people feel excluded from politics and that the issues they care about are not considered.
  4. Young people are not disengaged from politics but their preferred forms of activism have not been recognised by parties and governments.

By analysing these possible causes, the study makes recommendations on changes that can be made to assist the process of encouraging young people to become more involved in the political institutions and processes that exist today at both national and European levels.

For example: Member states should establish a quota on party MEP candidates: 25% should be aged under 35; Replace the existing methods of selecting candidates for election with open primaries; etc.

Click here to read the report and learn more about causes of absenteeism and recommendations to bring young people back to the ballot box.