Ursula von der Leyen delivers the annual State of the European Union speech, followed by Frankfurt students at Massiv Central. Young people must be able to actively participate in democratic processes.
Together with students from Ziehenschule, the Department for Citizens, Digital, and International Affairs hosted a different kind of public viewing at Massiv Central this Tuesday. The address by EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on the “State of the Union” was broadcasted.
“It is the moment to show to the young generation that we can build a continent where you can be who you are, love who you want, and aim as high as you want,” said von der Leyen. She highlighted the importance of agriculture, the technological advancements in AI, offered perspectives for refugees from Ukraine, and addressed many other issues affecting Europe, Germany, and also Frankfurt.
The young people who followed this speech were able to share their thoughts with each other in a moderated discussion afterwards and actively realize again that Europe is also present in Frankfurt.
Volt has long been advocating for the right to vote from the age of 16. Last November, the German Bundestag also decided this for the election of the European Parliament. Society expects young people to take responsibility, so they must also be given the opportunity to participate in political processes. The generation of 16 to 17-year-olds today should not only be supported in dealing with issues such as climate protection, demographic change, or technological advancement but also need the opportunity to participate in democratic decision-making processes at all levels.
Martin Huber, the parliamentary group leader of Volt in the Römer, holds the view: “We need more such attractive events, like a joint public viewing, which promote the European public sphere and lead to a stronger awareness of EU affairs. Especially the cooperation with educational institutions is a good approach. If young people recognize the relevance of EU politics, then I am sure we will also increase the interest in participating in the upcoming European election next year.”