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The vast majority of countries set their ages in the range of 14 to 16; only five countries, Cyprus (17), Ireland (17), Malta (18), Turkey (18) and Vatican City (18), do not fit into this pattern.

The laws can also stipulate the specific activities that are permitted or differentially specify the age at which a given sex can participate.

In November 1996, an amendment was put before the Austrian Parliament to remove Section 209; but the vote ended in a draw, and the amendment failed to pass.

In July 1998, a similar amendment was put forward; it was voted down by the conservative majority.

Austria, Denmark, Germany, Liechtenstein, Portugal). These laws can be found mostly in the countries which have a lower age of consent.

As of 2014, 15 is the most common age of consent in the European Union.

Below is a discussion of the various laws dealing with this subject.

The highlighted age is that at which, or above which, an individual can engage in unfettered sexual relations with another who is also at or above that age.

shall be punished with imprisonment for between three months and three years." The age of consent in Armenia is 16. of the penal code contains an exception to the general age of consent: if one of the partners is younger than 16 years of age and "not sufficiently mature to understand the significance of the act", then the act is punishable.In the European Union (EU 28), there is a directive regarding the sexual abuse of children under 18, known as "Directive 2011/92/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 December 2011 on combating the sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of children and child pornography".Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Finland, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Moldova, Netherlands, Northern Cyprus, Norway, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Kingdom Some of these countries, however, have laws which offer increased protection for children who have reached the age of consent, but are still minors, for example by enacting laws which stipulate that it is illegal to engage in sexual acts with such children under exploitative circumstances (such laws exist in e.g.The offence "initiating sexual contacts with minors under 14 through the use of computer system" is punishable by two years imprisonment (Section 208a Penal Code).The Austrian Criminal Code previously specified 18 as the age of consent for male homosexual sex in which the other partner was aged 14–18, while no equivalent provision existed for heterosexual sexual conduct; this was Section 209 of the Criminal Code.

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