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The European Union in Lebanon, in partnership with the British Council and ACTED, organised a panel discussion on youth engagement in politics: #EU4YOUth – What does politics mean to you?
The event brought together young women and men from all over the country, for a discussion on political engagement, the upcoming elections, and women's participation in politics.
The panel was moderated by Karma Ekmekji, Head of International Relations at the office of Prime Minister, and included Gino Raidy, blogger and vice-president at MARCH; Rana Khoury, political and civil rights activist; Marwan Maalouf, human rights lawyer and activist; and Krystel Tabet, consultant at Beyond Reform and Development.
Welcoming the audience, EU Ambassador Christina Lassen, said: "There are so many ways to engage in politics and we want to see you make a change. We are looking forward to hearing your views on youth in politics."
The panellists shared their experiences and personal exposure to politics. They praised the work of youth organisations in engaging young men and women in municipalities and universities. They shared the same view on the role of women in politics stressing that there more work to be done in this field.
The audience shared their concern that there is no serious alternative in the upcoming elections and asked the panellists about the most efficient way to participate and campaign. They also stressed on the important role media can play in empowering youth.
In a voxpop shown at the event, street interviews with young people asked about the meaning of politics and whether they believed youth can make a change in Lebanon the answers were somewhat mixed. Most of them expressed feelings of disappointment in the current political situation but also shared sentiments of hope for the future.
The EU is committed to empowering young men and women, allowing them to overcome today's challenges and become tomorrow's leaders and decision makers.