President Pöttering: Younger generation should ensure peace on the European continent

On 15 April 2009 European Parliament President Pöttering came online on the Spring Day website for a “virtual meeting” with about 300 students and teachers from ten countries.

The participants had the opportunity to exchange views on and debate the forthcoming European elections. Before coming online to interact with President Pöttering, the participants prepared by consulting a set of online resources to help revise their knowledge of the European Parliament, civics and citizenship rights and responsibilities.

President Pöttering reading questions on a computer screen during the online debate.

Answering a question on what Europe expects from its young citizens, President Pöttering said that the 21st century is the century of the younger generation and “that this generation is lucky never to have experienced war among European people. The challenge for young people today is to do everything to ensure that peace remains on the European continent.”

The guest also mentioned some basic attributes that make a good Member of the European Parliament (MEP). These attributes will enable a MEP to be effective and therefore act on behalf of the electors at the European Parliament, which is a forum of representatives from 27 member states who have different cultural backgrounds and approaches to politics:

My advice is to support a candidate or a party list of candidates who are committed to European unification on the basis of our values. Our values are: the dignity of the human being, human rights, peace, democracy, legal order, and our principles of solidarity and subsidiarity. Candidates who defend these values and principles deserve our support.

President Pöttering thanked participants from the ten countries – Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Poland, Portugal, Romania and Spain – and congratulated them for the quality of the discussion. He also mentioned that the interest of the participants in the latest EU developments proves that the younger generation can make their voices heard and influence their future, for a better life.

Related information

Chat transcript

11/05/2009 by: Petru Dumitru