Terry Reintke, aged 27, has recently won a seat in the European elections and is now the youngest member of the European Parliament. Terry is a member of the Greens and is from Germany; she was previously a spokesperson for The Federation of Young European Greens (FYEG).
* First of all, many congratulations on being elected as an MEP! My first question is: why did you want to become an MEP?
I was a spokesperson for FYEG for two years and during this time I learnt a lot about European politics, whilst lobbying for our demands. It was then that I realised that there is a very low representation of young people in European politics. We have a saying ai???Hast du einen Opa, schick ihn nach Europaai??? (if you have a grandpa, send him to Europe). Itai??i??s a stereotype, but itai??i??s often true ai??i?? when people retire from politics in their country, they go to Brussels. We have to change this and this is one of the reasons I stood as an MEP.
* You have just touched on the importance of being a young MEP, so do you think that being young gives you a different perspective and, perhaps, even an advantage?
Being young in itself is not an asset. However, it of course gives you insight into other young peopleai??i??s minds. Being young myself, knowing many young people and having been very active in youth organisations means that I am closer to the problems that young people face and, therefore, I am at an advantage when representing their needs and interests.
It is important to have democratic renewal in politics. Young people have a new perspective of the past and they are motivated to change things; that is the advantage I have.
* What are you main priorities during your mandate?
My main priority is the social situation of young people ai??i?? particularly unemployment ai??i?? across Europe, but especially in the south. Europe needs to do more! The youth guarantee is a step in the right direction, but it is not enough, especially when it comes to financing. The European Parliament needs to push for more ambitious steps to tackle youth unemployment. If what has been done so far does not work, then the situation will only get worse in terms of the frustrated young people who have been told that something would be done to help them.
Another key area for me is strengthening the democratic process and involving young people in it. The European Parliament is not the worst in this respect, but more can be done to ensure that young people have a voice.
* What other areas of youth policy do you see as important?
For me, youth policy is not one field; youth issues should run through all policy making. From a Green perspective we think that the EP should invest more in sustainability. Young people are the ones who will be around in 20, 30, 40 years time and will see the consequences of what we are doing to the planet.
The European Parliament is very much the place for young people to make their demands and young people do want political change; therefore the shaping of the European Union is something that young people should have a strong voice in.
* Would you support the re-establishment of a Youth Intergroup in the new Parliament?
Yes I would definitely support a Youth Intergroup. If you have a group of people working on an issue, itai??i??s a platform where policy can be discussed and debates started.
* Although we do not yet have the figures, it is not clear that young people came out in force at the ballot box at the European elections; why do you think that young people donai??i??t ai??i?? generally -vote?
It has improved, but campaigns of the mainstream parties didnai??i??t show enough political differences. Young people vote when they can see they have a choice. In Germany for example, the two main parties (CDU and SPD) had very similar slogans and campaigns, and young people donai??i??t see the difference between them. We need to show them the difference between the parties, so they know who and what they are voting for. The Greens, for example, is taking a strong stance against the US-EU trade agreement (TTIP); such differences should be better highlighted.
* Youai??i??ve mentioned some ways this low turnout amongst young people could be tackled, but whose responsibility is it? Just politicians, or wider society?
It is a task for the whole of society to get young people to vote. Civil society should be strengthened in this regard, but the media, institutions and national parties also have an important role to play.
* Did any of the campaigns to raise the profile of the elections and get young people to vote really catch your eye?
I thought the Youth Forum and FYEG campaigns were great (laughs)! There was also a German campaign, a poster competition inciting young people to vote. Some of the submissions were fun and provocative; one made fun of the ai???cucumber debateai??? (that the EU supposedly dictates that cucumbers must be a certain shape), with a picture of an oddly shaped cucumber and the slogan ai???nobodyai??i??s perfectai???! These kinds of campaigns make people laugh and are also thought provoking.
* OK, so just one final question: in some countries, for example in France, early indications are that young people have come out in large numbers to support euro-sceptic parties. What do you make of this?
It is very worrying for the future of the EU. The democratic parties didnai??i??t deliver; they didnai??i??t show people what they want to change. Young people want Europe but if the main parties donai??i??t show them what they want to do differently, it gives space to the Eurosceptics. ampicillin for acne reviews, ampicillin for acne reviews, ampicillin for acne reviews, ampicillin for acne reviews, ampicillin for acne reviews, ampicillin for acne reviews. Erectalis no rx, order dapoxetine. order dapoxetine, order lioresal how long does gabapentin high last, how long does gabapentin high last, how long does gabapentin high last, how long does gabapentin high last, how long does gabapentin high last, how long does gabapentin high last. . cialis commercial actors. Kamagra for sale, meclizine 25 mg no prescription. Zoloft withoutprescription.