5.2 Youth participation in representative democracy
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Young people as voters
All Italian citizens who have reached the age of 18 are automatically registered in the voter’s lists. This age limit applies to all elections (national, local, European) and referendum, except for the Senate, where the age of the passive electorate is 25 years.
All citizens who are unable to reach the polling station (sick people, prisoners) have access to assistance in order to exercise their right to vote.
Italian citizens residing abroad, who are enrolled in the Public Register of Italian Residents Abroad (Anagrafe Italiani Residenti all’Estero) may vote by correspondence through the Embassy. This applies to national and European elections, as well as referendums. For local elections, they may obtain a discount on public transportation (plane, rail).
In case of elections, the volunteers of the universal civic service deployed outside their place of residence are given permits and free transport to reach the polling station. The rules contained in the “Discipline of relations between voluntary organizations and operators of the universal civic service”, approved with d.P.C.M. of 14 January 2019, provide in paragraph 8, the possibility of using days (from 1 to 3 days in relation to the distance between the place of residence and the place of civic service) to exercise the right to vote.
Volunteers may also obtain permission to act as the President or Secretary of the polling station, poll clerk or list representative.
The Italian poll turnout figures for political elections of 2018 are aggregated, therefore there are no official data regarding youth participation, (except from post-vote surveys).
Eurobarometer reports “Review of European and National election results” the following data based on a post-election survey of the 2019 European Parliament elections:
Turnout 18/24 years old
Turnout 25/39 years old
Young people as political representatives
The minimum age to run as Member of Parliament is 25 years for the Chamber of Deputies, and 40 years for the Senate.
The minimum age to join a political party varies from 14 to 16 years depending on the different statutes and internal regulations of the party. There are no "quotas" or specific arrangements in favour of young candidates.
Composition of the Chamber of Deputies by age group
* Data updated to March 2023 (https://www.camera.it/leg18/28)
Composition of the Senate by age group
76 on 320 (23,7%)
* Data updated to March 2023 (http://www.senato.it/leg/18/BGT/Schede/Statistiche/Composizione/SenatoriPerEta.html)
In the Parliament elected in 2018, the average age is 44.33 years, while in the Senate it rises to 55.37. In the Parliament elected in 2022, the average age is 51 while in the Senate it rises to 56.