This Discussion Paper puts together relevant data on the inclusion of young people and women in European Parliament elections.
It is focused on two pitfalls of EU electoral democracy: voter absenteeism on the part of young people, and the under-representation of women in the European Parliament. Data have been combined from the European Election Studies (EES), the European Parliament, the Gender Statistics Database of the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE), face-to-face and telephone interviews, and semi-structured questionnaires. Additionally, policy papers and other relevant texts (authored by organizations dedicated to young people, women and think tanks, as well as Europarties and groups in the European Parliament) have been considered. The scope of the paper is European, although data at a national level from France, Poland and Spain (a founding EU country, an Eastern European country and a Southern European country) are introduced in different sections to shed light on national differences. With the purpose of enriching and making EU electoral democracy stronger, the author presents, as food for thought, some evidence on key elements to foster participation in European Parliament elections, as well as to reach a more balanced composition of the European Parliament in terms of age and gender.
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