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Building Europe with Local Councillors
News article4 June 2024Directorate-General for Communication1 min read

Election arena for first-time voters: pupils quiz politicians with questions in panel

On June 4, 2024, a few days before the European elections, a panel discussion with party representatives took place in the auditorium of the Werner-von-Siemens-Gymnasium in Gronau. Over 450 students coming from four different high schools participated in the event which was moderated by Gronau’s local councillor and BELC member Susanne Reinhoffer. 

After an initial round of introductions, during which panellists - who were representatives of several parties, such as CDU, SPD, FDP, Bündnis 90/Die Grünen and AfD - presented themselves and then various topics were addressed. Ms. Reinhoffer introduced herself in her role as a BELC member.   

The discussion topics included the Green Deal, the challenges of moving Europe's economy towards sustainability and climate neutrality, consequences of the Ukraine war and the operation in Gaza. The fact that in Germany you can vote in this year’s European elections as a 16-year-old, was perceived positively by the students and party representatives. 

The event received a great deal of media attention, with not only the local newspaper reporting on it, but also WDR television (Westdeutscher Rundfunk serves the North Rhine-Westphalia region), broadcasting a programme about it, in which several young people were interviewed (6’25’’ – 10’13’’). 


Publication date
4 June 2024
Directorate-General for Communication
  • Susanne Reinhoffer
  • Germany, Gronau
  • Democracy and public participation