Lowering voting age to 16 in Romania wins support from political elite

Cornel Putan

Senate speaker Florin Citu on Monday said he supported lowering the voting age in Romania to 16.

Mr Citu, who is chairman of the ruling Liberal Party, made the statements as lawmakers debate constitutional reforms.

“In some European Union countries the age is 16 and this is a good thing,” the former prime minister was quoted as saying by News.ro.

”We had a discussion in the Executive Bureau today to see what our priorities are. It’s true there is a majority who want to modify the Constitution, but that doesn’t mean modifying for the sake of modifying it,” he said.

He said there had historically been “imbalances” between Romania’s president, the parliament, and the government, which could be corrected.

Some politicians want Romania’s president to be elected by parliament rather than by popular vote as has been the case since communism ended.

”Until we have a clear discussion in the Liberal Party about how we see this modification, I don’t want to go into detail. But there are many things. We see that the age for voting in the EU is 16,” he said.

Asked whether he wanted the Constitution modified for this, he said: “From my point of view, it is  good thing!”

Belgium became the third EU member state in October 2020 after Austria and Malta to grant 16 year olds the right to vote at European level.

The initiative is gaining momentum across Europe, with a growing number of countries and regions already implementing vote at 16, or discussing proposals to implement it, at national and local levels.

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