One in 50,084

By Sarah RaparoliLex KlerenMisch Pautsch Switch to German for original article

In June, many people in Luxembourg will go to the ballot box for the first time – 18-year-olds and non-Luxembourgers alike. The latter also include students who may not plan to stay in Luxembourg. What does it feel like to vote in another country and how first-time voters prepare for two elections in a single year?

"I am excited to vote. After all, Luxembourg is one of the only countries where participation is compulsory, so I'm aware of the importance of it all." Filip will have to go to the ballot box for the first time in June. Even though he is only 18 years old, he is looking forward to having a say in the future of his community. So is Joé, who sits next to him during the conversation at Café Interview in the capital. Both are active in the volunteer fire brigade in their community and talk passionately about their community service. "So far I have been spared from ugly missions, but it can happen every day, " Joé says.

An introductory course on the electoral system

Both attend a 3ième in different schools. Filip is in the Lycée des Arts et Métiers in Limpertsberg, Joé in the Lycée ECG on the Geesseknäppchen school campus. "You do feel a bit strange because this year we are not only going to vote for the first time, but twice." He alludes to the general elections on 9 October, for which he had also been prepared at school. "We had an introductory course with all the basics. It was short and sweet, but I think we went through the most important things."

In his family, Filip is also the first of the children to vote, he said. "My brothers are younger, so I'm the older one, " he says, grinning a little proudly. Contrary to what is usually assumed, social media is not the first source of information for 18-year-olds. "I use Instagram primarily for entertainment and to keep in touch with my friends, " Filip explains. Of course I come across political posts from time to time that bring me up to date. But for me, it's more like I go to the mainstream national media every day."

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