Gong: Activities ahead of the EU elections

25 June 2024 | Members' Corner

by <a href="https://civic-forum.eu/author/gong" target="_self">Gong</a>

by Gong

Gong published the paper “The State of Democracy in Europe and the Democratization of the European Union after the 2024 Elections” on the eve of the elections for the  European Parliament. The author of the paper is Dario Čepo, a professor from the Faculty of Law in Zagreb and a member of Gong. The report focuses on the concept of democracy itself and democratization as a dynamic process of its construction to extract key ideas from the existing knowledge on the subject that can help in the practical reform of European democracy. Čepo leans on democratizing the political community to learn from past examples of good practices what is successful in developing and strengthening democracy and what is no longer as effective in stabilizing the democratic foundations of society. At the very end of the paper, an analysis of possible reforms, both within and beyond the Lisbon constraints, is offered based on all previous discussions.

Gong organized a public event to promote the paper, and part of that event was a debate of election candidates for the EU elections. We invited candidates from all parliamentary parties and existing MEPs who ran again, and they responded: representatives from the Social Democratic Party of Croatia, Platform We can!, and the Independent Platform North joined the discussion.

Gong and the association Delta organized a structured dialogue between first-time voters from Rijeka (Croatia) and party candidates

 for Croatian members of the European Parliament, on the eve of the European elections. Young voters asked the candidates to ensure better protection of human and minority rights, paid student internships, affordable housing, reduction of greenhouse gases, higher subsidies for young farmers, and menstrual sick leave. This dialogue showed that students of vocational and high schools are interested in politics, the parties’ political programs for elections, and different methods for fulfilling pre-election promises. All parliamentary parties from Croatia were invited to participate, but speakers at this event were mostly representatives of left-wing parties.

This event was an opportunity to promote the active participation of young people in a democratic society and intensify the dialogue between young people and politicians. Associations Gong and Delta advocate lowering the voting age to 16 and introducing civic education as a compulsory subject in all schools so that students acquire the knowledge and skills necessary for active participation in society.