Imagine having the power to influence policies, advocate for change, and make a difference in the lives of millions. Stepping into the shoes of a politician is not merely a role; it’s a responsibility to shape the future and to fulfil that responsibility, there has to be strategic planning that goes into setting up top priorities to focus on amongst the many.
How Different Bodies Set Priorities
Different political bodies have different ways of setting these priorities. Take the European Union (EU) for example. Before each new 5-year legislative term, the European Council made up of the heads of state or government of the 27 EU member states convenes to establish the official political goals for the EU. These priorities form the strategic agenda that guides EU institutions and outlines their implementation of the set priorities. 
Every year, the African Union (AU) holds a summit for Heads of State, allowing African leaders to evaluate the AU’s preparedness in dealing with the various internal and external challenges that the continent will encounter in the upcoming year. 
In the United States, the Biden-Harris administration listed out their priorities for the nation which targets both national and international concerns that affect the country. These include plans for containing the COVID-19 crises, climate change, racial equity, economy, health care, immigration, etc. 
What Europeans Prioritise
In a survey carried out by Statista and released in May 2023, a demography of 27,000 respondents ranging from 15 years and above were asked in a face-to-face interview to give two most important issues facing the EU at the moment and nearly one in three persons cited the high cost of living which was followed by international issues, Energy supply, environment and climate change, the economy, immigration and many more. The interview consisted of about 1,000 respondents per country and 500 respondents in countries with less than one million inhabitants. 
What European Youths Prioritise
Youths in Europe are more engaged in the European elections now than in 2018 but are also less likely to vote than the rest of the population. This goes to show the apparent political education and information that the youths are exposed to which also leads them to have certain opinions about what they want and what they believe should be prioritised by the European Parliament. However, compared to the rest of the population, there is still a possible political apathy that exists among the youth. 
In a survey carried out by Eurobarometer in March 2023 through phone call interviews, 10,786 youths were asked what they considered a priority and they mentioned climate change, education, poverty, unemployment, health and human rights. 
What I Would Do/Recommend
Coming up with issues to prioritise is not a singular effort as the needs of the people have to be reasonably met. To do that, one must consider public opinion while making decisions that affect a nation. If I have the opportunity to be in a political position where I am entrusted with the responsibility of recommending top issues to prioritise, I would narrow it down by considering the issues plaguing the nation both short-term and long-term and the needs of the people under my constituency.
With that in mind, I would make the following issues a priority if I were a politician and would also strongly recommend it to the actual politicians who are in the position to implement this:
- Standard of Living: I would recommend actions that aid the fight against poverty and social exclusion and significantly lower the costs of living of citizens. These include providing more affordable housing, cost-efficient means of transportation, improving the education sector, and ending residential segregation.
- State of the Economy: The economy needs to be improved and one way to do that is by the creation of new jobs. Unemployment, especially amongst the youth, is a major problem that needs to be tackled as this creates an unfair divide and leads to inequalities among people with different financial capabilities.
- Public Health: There is a need for the health sector to prioritise better healthcare and accessibility for the disabled including in sports, infrastructure, education etc. Other aspects of public health that should be prioritised include mental health and sexual health.
- Climate Change: The issue of climate change keeps plaguing us. It is an issue that requires the effort of everyone, from each individual, household to every country. The world is getting hotter and the weather is even more unpredictable. There should be more focus on safe practices to help save the environment and climate such as the increased advocacy for the use of renewable energy, reduction of carbon emissions, and education of the masses about safe climate practices and debunking the myths surrounding climate change.
While there are usually myriads of issues that pose a threat to the standing of a nation, there are some which have to be given top priority to protect the well-being of the nation and its citizens. By paying attention to the needs of a nation and the opinion of the people, one can make informed decisions or recommend strategies that will aid the nation.
 European Union . How EU priorities are set. https://european-union.europa.eu/priorities-and-actions/eu-priorities/how-eu-priorities-are-set/infographic-eu-priorities_en
 International Crisis Organisation. Eight Priorities for the African Union in 2023. https://www.crisisgroup.org/africa/african-union-regional-bodies/b186-eight-priorities-african-union-202
 The White House . The Biden-Harris Administration Immediate Priorities. https://www.whitehouse.gov/priorities/#:~:text=This%20will%20include%20actions%20to,America’s%20standing%20in%20the%20world.
 Statista Research Department (2023) Most important national issues in Europe. https://www.statista.com/statistics/1220875/public-opinion-of-important-issues-facing-europeans/
 EP Eurobarometer Spring 2023 (99.1). EP Spring 2023 Survey: Democracy in action – One year before the European elections – youth – Infographics – en
 Youth For Europe. EU priorities according to young Europeans. https://youthforeurope.eu/eu-priorities-according-to-young-europeans/
Fig  Statista Research Department (2023) Most important national issues in Europe. https://www.statista.com/statistics/1220875/public-opinion-of-important-issues-facing-europeans/