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  • Focus

Elena: “I always try to form my own opinion”


When I am not at school or doing homework, I am usually out with my friends, or either reading or cooking. School is very important to me, and I am trying to get the best marks possible. I will be leaving school at the beginning of summer, after which I start an apprenticeship as a chemist. I want to get a good training and then ideally go and study – for which I will have to leave my home valley. After that, I will probably live in the city or even abroad. But I would like to return one day and live here again in the Lower Engadine.

My mother is involved in local politics. When my brother and I were younger, neither of us were interested. Now we notice how much we talk about politics at home, especially when there is a referendum around the corner. It has become quite exciting. The latest proposals – the initiative on pesticides and the initiative on clean drinking water – affected our family directly, because my parents run a farm. We had to make a podcast about these proposals at school, when we looked at the politics in detail. I always try to form my own opinion. While I think it would be great to be allowed to vote at 16, I also think the issues would be too complex for me. There are many things I really have no clue about! When you are 16, there are more important things than exercising your democratic duty. However, I would happily change our climate policies. We could do so many things better. I can very well envisage getting involved in politics one day. I don’t need to be Federal Councillor or anything like that.

Interview by Fadrina Hofmann

Elena Niederhauser

Born in 2004, living in Tarasp in Lower Engadine (canton of Graubünden), and about to begin an apprenticeship as a chemist. Elena can well imagine going into politics.

The portraits of all 16 young people interviewed