PES welcomes 'votes at 16' in Malta
The Party of European Socialists commends the government of Malta and PES member party Partit Laburista for their decision to lower the voting age to 16 for national parliamentary and European elections.
PES president Sergei Stanishev said:
"I am delighted that the government of Malta, led by Joseph Muscat, continues to enact a strong and progressive agenda. Lowering the voting age to 16 completes the important democratic reform initiated by Partit Laburista when they removed the bar on 16-17-year-olds voting in local elections, fulfilling a pledge made during the election campaign.
"It is important to fight voter abstention and strengthen the engagement of young people in politics, and removing the bar on 16-17-year-olds was identified by a PES working group in 2017 as one important way to do this. This is progressive politics in action: making the democratic process more inclusive, strengthening the rights of young people, and putting our trust in voters."
The proposal was unanimously passed by the Maltese parliament yesterday, thanks to a cross-party consensus. Only one other EU country (Austria) has so far lowered the voting age to 16.