GERB/EPP MEP Eva Paunova: ‘Social media and electronic governance are the new tools to enable and encourage youth participation in Europe’s public life’

‘One of the key factors for success in today’s highly-skilled digital economy is the native proficiency in using social media. Unlike traditional networks, social media is practically unlimited in how it enables communication and dialogue between politicians and citizens; how it allows anyone to voice and defend their views; how it can pressure and inspire representatives and institutions alike to be more transparent, accountable and accessible. ‘

This is part of the speech GERB/EPP MEP Eva Paunova gave during an open-panel discussion on youth participation with members of Bourgas’ ‘Technological Development’ youth club. The meeting, which took place in GERB’s office in the city, was attended, among others, by the club’s chair Lubomir Jordanov. Ms Paunova has made the topic a priority of her tenure as a vice-president of European Movement International (EMI) – the biggest umbrella organisation for civil society groups across Europe.

Other key aspects discussed included proposals for e-voting and young people’s involvement with non-governmental organisations.

Participants concluded that the introduction of e-voting would have a positive impact on voter turnout, especially where under-25s are concerned, while playing a more active part in positive initiatives has a tangible influence on their success. Ms Paunova’s own ‘Education Bulgaria 2030’ campaign is a prime example of that, having been endorsed by over 50 allies in just a couple of months.