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Lunch debate: Young visions for Europe


In the face of ongoing crises, young people need to be prominently involved in political processes that will determine especially their future. Shortly before the elections on 9 June, 2024, young candidates discussed their different visions for Europe.

The elections to the European Parliament are a highlight of the 2024 super election year. Compared to the elections five years ago, they are taking place in a completely new context. The pandemic and war have dominated the outgoing legislative period and have influenced other challenges such as the climate crisis, increased support for right-wing populism and social inequality.

This has particularly affected young people, who are often pessimistic about the future and have less confidence in national and European politics to address their concerns. In addition to education and climate, young people are particularly concerned with issues such as war, mobility, migration and asylum. In the political discourse, which is conducted particularly on social networks, on the one hand appears a broad knowledge of various topics among young people, but on the other hand also a polarization of the debate. Democratic institutions should respond to young people's willingness to engage politically and show them that participation is worthwhile and that their positions are heard and taken seriously. These are the experiences of young candidates from various parties in the European election campaign.

These young candidates aim to boldly dedicate themselves to the future and counteract political disenchantment and entrenched structures through more diverse communication and representation. As members of parliament, they want to set different priorities: Making Europe a geopolitically self-confident and climate-neutral continent, ending the dying in the Mediterranean, offering young people fair prospects for the future with the help of investment, and making the single market more innovation-friendly.

Aileen Weibeler (CDU), Alisa Trojansky (SPD), Johannes Dallheimer (FDP), Jan-Denis Wulff (Bündnis 90/Die Grünen) and Yasemin Efiloğlu (Volt) took part in the discussion about the future of Europe.

The IEP would like to thank the German Federal Foreign Office and the European Commission for their support of this IEP Lunch Debate.


Team & authors

About the Europe talks project: The IEP's Europe Talks bring together citizens, decision-makers, academics and civil society to discuss challenges and perspectives on European integration. In this way, they promote the debate on European policy in Germany.

Image copyright: iep, Tom Fisk / Pexels