On 8th November 2016, Seyi Akiwowo, ACP YPN’s Ambassador at European Development Days 2016 and the UK’s youngest black female Councillor for the London Borough of Newham shared her ideas to improve youth inclusion at the European Parliament’s Constitutional Affairs Committee. At age 22, Seyi Akiwowo was Councillor for Newham London Council. Having developed a keen interest in active citizenship while studying at the London School of Economics, Seyi became an activist for encouraging marginalised young people in democracy. Seyi is a Fellow at Royal Society of the Arts and currently is an International Facilitator and Speaker for Social Integration and Sustainable Development.
Seyi presented two ideas: 1) She recommended the introduction of youth quotas at all elections from local to the European level. In her opinion, the European Parliament election should already have this in place by the next election in 2019. 2) She also championed “youth proofing” in the EU via an online platform whereby young people can analyse, identify and respond to key developments in EU policy.
Seyi said, “I felt really honoured to have people in the European Parliament believe in my ideas for improving youth active citizenship and to believe in it so much that I should present them to MEPs in their Committee meeting is gobsmacking. (…) It would be good to have a similar initiative in the UK.” See the article here. Her ideas received very positive feedback by both the European Commission and the European Parliament, and she has already been contacted by two political parties to discuss these issues further.
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