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EACEA National Policies Platform


5. Participation

5.10 Current debates and reforms

Last update: 22 January 2021

LAST MODIFIED ON: 11/11/2020 - 01:22


Youth Assembly in Northern Ireland

In July 2020, a Northern Ireland Youth Assembly was announced by the Northern Ireland Assembly Commission. It will have 90 members, 54 of whom will be drawn from the NI Assembly constituencies and 36 from specific sections of the community. The core age range of the members will be 13 to 17, but there will be an upper age limit of 21. 

Voting age

Periodically, the subject of lowering the voting age has been discussed, particularly in the context of a change in the law in Scotland, as outlined by a 2016 House of Commons Library Briefing Paper. The franchise for the referendum on independence for Scotland in 2014 was extended to include 16- and 17-year-olds and the law has subsequently been changed to lower the voting age to 16 for elections to the Scottish Parliament and local government elections in Scotland; however, the voting age for UK Parliamentary elections remains at 18, as in the rest of the UK.