Voting in the Helsinki, Espoo and Vantaa youth council elections starts on 11 November. Photo: Maarit Hohteri

Finland’s largest youth council elections to start 11 November. Main themes are climate change and safety.

Voting in Finland’s largest youth council elections will get underway on 11 November. The themes dominating the elections include climate change and safe living environments. Helsinki, Espoo and Vantaa will vote simultaneously to elect their youth councillors for a two-year term to begin on 1 January 2020.

Candidates in Helsinki number 72, in Espoo 86 and in Vantaa 49. A record number of candidates stand for election in Helsinki and Espoo, which indicates growing interest among young people in representing youth interests. The total number of eligible voters in the Helsinki metropolitan area exceeds 62,000 (27,000 in Helsinki, 20,000 in Espoo and 15,000 in Vantaa).

In addition to climate change mitigation and safe living environments, prominent themes in the elections include other environmental matters, safe and tolerant school environments and the voices of youth in decision-making – the same themes as in previous years. Public transport and school meals are other recurrent themes in youth council elections. A new theme introduced this year is free feminine hygiene products, proposed by a few candidates in Helsinki.

The youth councils of Helsinki, Espoo and Vantaa are harmonizing their practices during the current autumn season. Voting will start on the same date in all three cities, and Helsinki complies with the Espoo and Vantaa practices by extending its youth council term to two years. The harmonization of election practices and council terms is aimed at increasing the visibility and impact of youth council elections. Harmonized practices also serve those young people who study across municipal boundaries in the metropolitan area.

Youth councils are youth representative bodies prescribed by the Municipal Act. They are politically independent bodies that operate in their respective municipalities representing the interests of local young people.

Find more information on the elections below. Please note that the pages behind the links are in Finnish.

Helsinki

Voting to take place 11–29 November.

Candidates: ruutivaalit.munstadi.fi/ehdokasgalleria/

Polling stations: ruutivaalit.munstadi.fi/nuorisoneuvoston-vaalit-aanestyspaikat/

Election results will be announced at the RuutiGaala youth gala event and on the election webpage ruutivaalit.munstadi.fi at around 21:00 on 3 December.

Espoo

Voting to take place 11–15 November.

Candidates: https://www.espoo.fi/nuva
Polling stations: espoo.fi/nuva
Election results will be announced at an event to be held at the Suvela youth centre and online at around 18:00 on 26 November.

Vantaa
Voting to take place 11–22 November; at Vantaa Info locations 28 November–4 December.

Candidates: vantaa.fi/nuorisovaltuustovaalit 
Polling stations: vantaa.fi/nuorisovaltuustovaalit 
Election results will be announced in the week of 9 December.


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