Lowering the voting age to 16 entered the national debate in Romania only recently, with the first legislative initiative in this regard being introduced in 2022. At the European level, discussions on this topic have gained momentum in recent years, regarding specific types of elections such as local elections or elections for the European Parliament. Some states in Europe have already introduced alternative mechanisms whereby under-18s are familiarized with going to the ballot box, while others have even extended the right to vote to 16- or 17-year-old citizens for all types of elections as well as referendums.
Although there are already voices in Romanian society that demand better representation for the interests of young people and, implicitly, the opening of the right to vote for 16-year-olds, the public discussion in Romania has not gone beyond the stage of considerations related to the constitutionality of such an approach. The current constitutional provisions are considered an insurmountable barrier for any legislative project short of a direct intervention on the Constitution. However, even in the presence of such a barrier, the discussion about the political participation of young people is worth having for the multidimensional impact it can have on the consolidation of democracy in Romania.
A new FES analysis "Voting at 16? Arguments for and against lowering the voting age to 16" by Alexandru Manda explores some of the arguments that fuel the debate on this topic at European level as well as in Romania. The Bucharest office of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, together with the Quartet Institute, are pleased to invite you to an online debate on the political participation of young people in elections:
Voting at 16? Arguments for and against lowering the voting age to 16
Bucharest, December 16th, 2022, 11:00-12:30h EET (Bucharest time)
Online Event – ZOOM
For participation please register at the email address: office.romania(at)fes.de
The event will bring together representatives from the academia, politics and civil society. The language of the meeting will be Romanian and German, with simultaneous translation.
Please find the agenda of the event here