5.2 Youth participation in representative democracy
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Voting age limit
The voting age limit is 18 in Romania. It coincides with the legal age of maturity, and it is fixed by the Constitution. Art. 36 of the Constitution stipulates the right to vote but the obligation to vote is not mentioned.
There are no imminent plans to lower the voting age limit or special provisions for young voters.
Turnout of young people
Turnout among young people in Romania is generally lower than the turnout of elder people. Official statistics on the turnout calculated by age is available in Romania for local and parliamentary elections in 2016 and 2020 and for Presidential elections in 2019. Data on the general population participation are provided by the Permanent Electoral Authority.
Youth turnout has fluctuating in recent years. According to a study conducted by the Romanian Youth Council, 39,48% young people between 18 and 35 years old participated in the elections for the Romanian President in November 2019 and 43.2% in the elections for the European Parliament in May 2019, compared to only 31.48% in 2016 in the elections for the Romanian Parliament. However, only 25.9% of young people participated in the parliamentary elections in December 2020.
Young people as party members
Party members can only be persons with voting rights, therefore over 18, according to the law on political parties. No other discrimination, positive or negative, is made by the legislation regarding to young people participation in political parties.
Political parties have formal party youth wings, for party members until 35, but no age limit is stipulated by the statutes of parliamentary parties according to young people participation to party life and leadership and no special provisions are stipulated in the law on political parties or the parties statutes for the youth wings of parties
Age limits are fixed for candidates, by Constitution, varying according to the election types:
- At 23 for candidates in local elections (County and Local Councils and mayors)
- At 23 for candidates for the Chamber of Deputies, the lower chamber of the bicameral Parliament
- At 33 for candidates for the Senate, the upper chamber of the bicameral Parliament
- At 35 for candidates for the President of Romania.
The age limit is calculated taking into account the election day. If a candidate for a Local Council turns up 23 on election day, he or she is eligible.
No quota of seats reserved for young people or other existing provisions aiming at facilitating young people standing as political candidates are implemented in Romania.
Parliamentary elections have been organised in Romania in December 2020. The Parliament formed on December 21st, 2020 had 29 deputies under 36, out of a total number of 466 MPs, representing 6.22% of the MPs.
Young people have no reserved functions within the Parliament.