The Eu Parliament is based in Brussels, and part of the time in Strasbourg. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

An antidote to boring lessons about EU politics

4:41 min

How do young people in Sweden first hear about the European Union? Usually in school, being told about the machinery, says Vendela Engblom, the communications officer at the National Board for Youth affairs, Ungdomsstyrelsen. But she thinks there is plenty of drama and political debate in the EU Parliament, "If you watch video of the debates, they are very much like the British Parliament, with people getting very engaged in their issues." She says there are big issues at stake, like major climate agreements.

So the National Board for Youth affairs is one of the sponsors of a new website that aims to bring politics to centre stage.

Myvote2014 allows people to say what political issues are most important to them, and see which political group best suits them, even get a match with an individual politician.

One of the developers is Joan Manuel Lanfranco, from VoteWatch Europe, a non-profit group that usses statistics to show what decisions EU politicians make, and how.

He says that if people think the EU Parliament is too bland, with too much left-right cooperation, then they have to understand what is at stake first. And that he sees a clear left-right divide, and also a pro/anti European split.

Vendela Engblom says that her agency's research shows that Swedish young people are well engaged and intereste din politics, despite membership in the parties' youth groups falling. And that younger people are usually interested in the same issues as older voters.

The Swedish government's goal is to get more than half of voters to the ballot box on EU election day. That is not very ambitious, polling figures show that goal wil easily be met.

And comparing the EU to other big democracies, the tirnout for the last few US presidential elections has been about 55 percent or lower, with roughly similar figures for Indian elections.

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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