In Baden-Württemberg, in future, 16-year-olds will be able to run for municipal, local and district councils and help shape politics. The state parliament voted in Stuttgart on Wednesday with the votes of the Greens, CDU and SPD for a corresponding change in voting rights in local elections.
So far, young people over the age of 16 can only vote in local elections, which is referred to as active voting rights. So far, however, they have not been allowed to run for office themselves (passive right to vote). With the new electoral law, Baden-Württemberg is breaking new ground nationwide. One of the aims is to motivate younger people to get involved in political work.
Age limits are not only being changed downwards: in the next local elections next year, mayors can no longer only be elected from the age of 25, but from the age of 18.
At the same time, the previous maximum age limit for candidates of 67 years, as well as the regulation that mayors must retire at the latest at 73, even if their term of office has not yet expired at the time. Homeless people can also vote in local elections in the same way as they do in state elections.
On Wednesday, the Greens and the CDU also campaigned for their plans in the second reading, which they believe meet the needs of young people for participation. The SPD was the only opposition party to agree to the project. The FDP, on the other hand, rejected the lowering of the passive voting age for legal concerns, as did the AfD.
"Kick-off Politics" is WELT's daily news podcast. The most important topic analyzed by WELT editors and the dates of the day. Subscribe to the podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, among others, or directly via RSS feed.