NGO calls for lowering voting age to 16 years

NEWS 26.09.202315:40 0 komentara

The age for gaining active political rights for all types of election in Croatia should be lowered to 16 years, the GONG NGO said at a round table in Zagreb on Tuesday, stressing that the exclusion of 16- and 17-year-olds from the political process is unjustified.

GONG’s executive director Oriana Ivkovic-Novokmet said that the purpose of their initiative to lower the voting age is to improve the election process. “This is a logical continuation of GONG’s work with young people to promote civic competencies and its advocacy of a systematic and effective introduction of civic education in schools,” she added.

Berto Salaj, president of the GONG Council and professor at the Faculty of Political Science in Zagreb, presented a study entitled “Towards an inclusive democracy: Lowering the age for political participation to 16 years”.

The study notes that no government in Croatia has seriously and systematically tackled this issue. The idea of lowering the voting age to 16 years first appeared in the National Youth Action Programme 2003-2008, developed during the term of the SDP-led government of Prime Minister Ivica Racan, but it remained a dead letter, the study says.