In the June elections, young people have “a lot of responsibility” and “they are the ones who should have the most interest” in the result because “what is going to happen in the next five or ten years is going to affect them a lot, more than anyone”, said the European Parliament’s Director-General for Communication and spokesperson, Jaume Duch Guillot, in an interview with EFE in February.

“They feel European, they are European, they live in a European environment, but that does not mean that they have achieved this forever and that this cannot go backwards if they are not taken care of,” said Duch, who hopes to mobilise young Europeans a few weeks before the elections with the help of celebrities whom they admire in entertainment or sports.

Mobilising young people to go to the polls from June 6 to 9 is crucial, and even more so at a time when the double phenomenon of Russian interference and Euroxenophobic movements overlap. “Practically every day we see campaigns, sometimes more or less organised, sometimes more or less large, of disinformation in relation to the European elections”, noted Duch. 

He added that “Russia has been promoting and in some cases even financing anti-European movements for many years, clearly not only Eurosceptic movements, but I would even say Euroxenophobic movements.”

This phenomenon “is very harmful. And fighting against it is a very complicated undertaking”, he said, adding that the fight requires “a lot of coordination and making an effort to mobilise political forces and the entire society.”

According to a Eurobarometer survey commissioned by the European Parliament in June 2019, the record participation in the last European elections in May 2019 (50.66 percent for the EU as a whole) was driven by youth: the largest increase in participation was recorded in the age groups under 25 and between 25 and 39.

Across the EU, participation among the under-25s increased by 14 percentage points to 42 per cent and among the 25-39s by 12 points to 47 per cent.

This article is part of the enr’s EU Elections Spotlight: Gen Z going to the EU ballots. The content is based on news by agencies participating in the enr.