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Will vote 16 galvanise youth interest in EU affairs?

EC representation head believes it will

Head of EC representation Elena Grech addressing the media.

Head of EC representation Elena Grech addressing the media.

Head of European Commission representation Elena Grech hopes the new law allowing 16-year-olds to vote will encourage greater interest in EU affairs.

She said young people may not be as interested in EU affairs as their older counterparts since they may not remember Malta before it joined the EU in 2004.

Dr Grech said that a new Europe Direct Information Centre at the University of Malta will help attract youth to the debate on European politics.

The Europe Direct Network was one of the main channels of information about the EU, Dr Grech said. The centres were hosted within existing entities such as the University of Malta, meaning they were best equipped to handle queries from the public.

The Gozo Business Chamber and the Malta EU-Steering and Action Committee were also chosen to host the Europe Direct Information Centres.

The entities, which will run for three years, were granted €25,000 per year to host events reaching out to the public on EU affairs.

Europe Direct host organisations were chosen through a call for proposals launched in all EU member states in 2017.

The Europe Direct centres in Malta and Gozo are part of a network of around 450 European Union information centres.

The centres will be involved in hosting Europe Day on May 9.

Europe Day marks the dateof the “Schuman Declaration”, where then French foreign minister Robert Schuman, declared his vision for a new form of political cooperation in Europe.

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