A protestor holds a poster as he attends a protest rally of the 'Friday For Future' movement in Berlin, Germany, Friday, May 24, 2019. Some thousands students attend the demonstration near the Brandenburg gate in the German capital. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

BERLIN (AP) — Protesters — many of them too young to vote — took to the streets Friday across the European Union to demand tougher action against global warming as the 28-nation bloc elects a new parliament.

From Portugal to Finland, from Italy to Britain, students followed the call of Swedish teenage activist Greta Thunberg to stage 'school strikes' against climate change.

The issue has come to the fore ahead of the elections that began Thursday and end Sunday for the EU's 751-seat assembly. The vote is expected to boost the influence of parties that have a strong environmental message.

In Berlin, thousands of mostly young people rallied in front of the German capital's landmark Brandenburg Gate waving banners with slogans such as "There is no planet B" or "Plant trees, save the bees, clean the seas."

Clara Kirchhoff said although she's not yet allowed to vote, she's been pressing family members and older friends to consider the world's long-term future when they go to the polls Sunday.

"I think, particularly at the European level, it's an important issue to create a level playing field, because there's no point in Germany doing a lot for the climate and others not pulling their weight," the 17-year-old said.

Fourteen-year-old Parvati Smolka said she and her fellow students felt an obligation to attend the Berlin rally on behalf of future generations.

"We've got a chance to go on the streets here and make our voice heard," she said.

A few thousands of people, mostly high school and university students, marched Friday in the streets of Paris in a joyful atmosphere to demand action against climate change. Some sang "One, two, three degrees, that's a crime against humanity" and waved posters reading "No nature, no future."

Thunberg, who was recently nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, said she consciously chose he run-up to the EU parliamentary vote to organize another continent-wide protest.

"We think that it spreads a message that this is a very important election, and that it should be about the climate crisis," she told Sweden's TV4.

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Sylvie Corbet from Paris contributed to this report.

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For more AP coverage on climate issues go to apnews.com/Climate

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For more news from The Associated Press on the European Parliament elections, go to https://www.apnews.com/EuropeanParliament

Young protestors hold a sign reading 'vote for the planet because your kids can't' ahead of the European elections during a climate strike of school students as part of the Fridays for Future movement in Frankfurt, Germany, Friday, May 24, 2019. (Boris Roessler/dpa via AP)
Students hold posters as they attend a protest rally of the 'Friday For Future' movement in Berlin, Germany, Friday, May 24, 2019. Some thousands students attend the demonstration near the Brandenburg gate in the German capital. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
Young demonstrators take part in a demonstration organised by 'Global Strike 4 Climate' beneath the Monument of the Unknown Soldier, in Rome, Friday, May 24, 2019. (Maurizio Brambatti/ANSA via AP)
Young demonstrators take part in a demonstration organised by 'Global Strike 4 Climate' beneath the Monument of the Unknown Soldier, in Rome, Friday, May 24, 2019. (Maurizio Brambatti/ANSA via AP)
Young demonstrators take part in a demonstration organised by 'Global Strike 4 Climate' near Parliament in London, Friday, May 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
Young demonstrators take part in a demonstration organised by 'Global Strike 4 Climate' near Parliament in London, Friday, May 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
Young climate activists demonstrate in front of the Finnish Parliament building in Helsinki, Finland, Friday May 24, 2019, a global day of student protests aiming to spark world leaders into action on climate change. (Vesa Moilanen/Lehtikuva via AP)
Thousands of students demonstrate front of the Credit Suisse bank during a « Climate strike » protest in Lausanne, Switzerland, Friday, May 24, 2019. Students from several countries worldwide plan to skip class Friday in protest over their governments' failure to act against global warming. (Jean-Christophe Bott/Keystone via AP)
Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg takes part in the demonstration Global Strike for Climate, in Stockholm, Sweden, Friday,  May 24, 2019. (Janerik Henriksson/TT News Agency via AP)
Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg speaks on stage in Kungstradarden park during the demonstration Global Strike for Future in Stockholm, Friday May 24, 2019. (Janerik Henriksson/TT News Agency via AP)
A girl shouts slogans as she marches with others during a climate protest in Brussels, Friday, May 24, 2019. Protesters are holding rallies in several European Union countries to demand tougher action against global warming, as the 28-nation bloc votes to fill the European Parliament. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)
Young demonstrators take part in a climate protest organized by the Fridays For Future Hungary and the Extinction Rebellion Hungary in downtown Budapest, Hungary, Friday, May 24, 2019. (Balazs Mohai/MTI via AP)
Youths take part to a climate march Friday, May 24, 2019 in front of the Opera house in Paris. Organizers expect more than one million young people to join protests over the world. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
Youths take part to a climate march Friday, May 24, 2019 in front of the Opera house in Paris. Organizers expect more than one million young people to join protests over the world. Banner reads
Youths take part to a climate march Friday, May 24, 2019 in front of the Opera house in Paris. Organizers expect more than one million young people to join protests over the world. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)