Voices is part of a new IPU web series in which we interview parliamentarians from around the world. The views and opinions they express are their own and do not necessarily reflect the IPU’s position.
Marta Grande, young MP from Italy, is a member of the IPU Forum of Young Parliamentarians. We interviewed her on the occasion of International Youth Day on 12 August.
What are the barriers preventing youth from running for parliament in your country?
I think that detachment from politics is the main reason behind the lack of participation in politics, not just in my country but in many others.
In Italy, we do not have any real barriers that prevent youth from running for parliament. In 2013 I was the youngest woman MP, and can see that young people are not usually seen as political achievers.
In politics, as in any other field of life, experience is important. But young politicians should also have the chance to challenge themselves and to grow. That is the only way to have experienced politicians in the future.
What can parliaments/governments do to make it easier?
I do not think that parliaments and governments can do much because first we have to change the attitudes towards young people and the culture of political participation. We must realize that politics is something that concerns each one of us so we all have to be engaged and be interested in it, especially at a young age. With participation comes effective engagement, something that we have to re-establish.
How has your experience in the IPU helped change you as an MP in your home country?
It has definitely changed me. Being part of the IPU Forum of Young MPs is a great way to understand other politicians’ points of view on various issues. At the same time, it allows us to come into contact with colleagues who would otherwise be hard to reach; I have to admit that the IPU creates a great opportunity to build bridges and cooperate across continents.