Youth participation in politics and in the European integration process is affected by path dependency and lack of capacities. The objective is to improve effectiveness of youth engagement by strengthening capacities and setting up a well structured and sustainable knowledge-sharing, debating and educating platform. Ad hoc curricula for training, a debating school/forum, promoting collaboration and best practices, will be few of the methods used for the change, that only they can bring.
Albania is eager to join the EU and democracy is key concerning the political criteria for membership. Having a much more qualified and incisive youth action in democratic processes will help the country move forward much faster and enable it to contribute to European stability and democracy.
A successful outcome would be much more informed and qualified youth, referring especially to those involved in contributing to democratic processes and European integration. The number of young people becoming part of the training and debating platform would be a success indicator.
The project will first assess thoroughly the situation of youth participation (desk study, survey and semi-structured interviews) and then formulate and design mechanisms and a platform for achieving the project goals goals. It will design ad hoc curricula for training, set up a debate school with regular schedule and public visibility, promote youth engagement in the European integration process, organize sessions for training trainers, and establish a permanent network among them.
Our staff has been involved in the democratization process of Albania as lecturers, think tank researchers, activists, and practitioners in the European integration process. We strongly believe that a well informed and equipped youth can bring the needed qualitative change in these processes.
The target groups of this project are young people involved in democratic processes and in public policy, especially related to European integration. This includes political parties' youth, youth movements, civil society organisations, student unions representatives, young journalists, etc.
We would like to hear other similar experiences and practices, how can we improve the approach of our idea and what to avoid in order to succeed.