Belfast City Hall main picTEENAGERS from across Belfast will have the chance to vote and use the ballot box in the City Hall next week.

For young people across the city are attending ‘EurVoice’ on Tuesday 8 October – part of a programme to mark European Local Democracy Week.

Participants to EurVoice will have the opportunity to use Electoral Office ballot boxes to cast their votes and convey their views on a range of issues.

Topics up for discussion will include money and jobs; health and well-being; youth participation in society; the perception of young people in the media; discrimination issues and the use and abuse of social media through cyber bullying. Interactive technology will be used throughout the afternoon adding an exciting twist to the proceedings.

The event has been organised by Belfast City Council in partnership with the European Youth Parliament (EYP) and the European Commission Office (ECO) in Northern Ireland.

Lord Mayor of Belfast Mairtin O Muilleoir, said: “We are delighted to be hosting EurVoice which encourages young people to connect with the political process and learn about democracy and the importance of voting.

“The aim of our Youth Forum is to inspire young people in the city to ‘find, use, challenge and influence with their voice’.”

“And we hope young people across Belfast, attending this event, will also make their voices heard on a number of topical and very important issues.”

Anthony McKee from the European Youth Parliament said: “EYPUK is delighted to be delivering this event again in co-operation with Belfast City Council and hopes to build on the success of last year’s EurVoice Belfast event to provide an educational, enjoyable and rewarding experience for all.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for young people in Belfast to engage with the issues directly affecting them, and have their voices heard by real politicians.”

Colette FitzGerald, Head of the European Commission Office in Northern Ireland, said: “EurVoice is an excellent initiative which motivates young people to form political opinions and make decisions on matters which affect them directly.

“This year is the European Year of Citizens and is dedicated to promoting awareness of the rights and responsibilities that come with being an EU citizen. We are therefore delighted to be involved in an event which encourages young people’s active participation in the decision-making process.”

EurVoice aims to raise awareness of the various levels of democracy and to encourage young people to engage in democratic life and the democratic decision making processes.

The workshops taking place as part of the day’s proceedings will also involve input from local councillors.

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