European Youth Forum
Youth concerns about politics go beyond elections. “YouthUP”, is a campaign run by the League of Young Voters in Europe that seeks to tackle declining youth participation as a multi-dimensional issue, focusing on the growing distance young people feel from formal politics.
Europe, Brussels, Other main cities
The decline of conventional political participation across the democratic world is undeniable, particularly for youth. Yet, youth are more likely to engage in more unconventional and concentrated movements seeking political change. Acknowledging this, voting remains the most influential form of participation & a decline in voter turnout in elections at all levels may have serious consequences for the health of democracy in Europe and the attitude of future generations to it. YouthUp engages in these trends by opening up to & empowering those young people who want to change the way politics are done to reflect their interests. It has never been done, and we are in the unique position, in terms of our expertise and as representing over 100 youth organisations in Europe, to make this happen!
Through YouthUp, we want to contribute to building the confidence and competences of young people to develop a politics that reacts and reflects their interests and reaches out to their political engagement potential.
Our project will be successful if the YouthUp campaign:
- Builds an online and offline community of initiatives that care and promote the value of youth participation;
- Leads to more opportunities for young people to practice democracy and/or shape decision making on issues that affect them;
- Creates a visible and long term platform where all knowledge and resources about youth participation can be found;
- Creates more opportunities for young people to hold their political representatives accountable to them.
Main steps include:
State-of-the-art research on the transforming relationship of young people with democracy;
An online Hub crowdsourcing youth participation-related campaigns, offering material to be used openly, and launching a new branding for this on- and offline community;
Advocacy campaign demanding EU-action under the heading of Art. 165 of the EU treaties, which mandates the inclusion of young people in democratic life in Europe;
Create a network of youth-led movements and campaigns running in the context of elections at national, regional and local levels;
Develop guidelines for political parties to open up their structures to young people’s modes of participation;
Foster a network of young legislators in Europe to better represent the interests of young people.
Funding requested from Advocate Europe
Even if not selected, we hope other initiatives will join our network to improve our chances of ensuring greater youth participation in democratic decision making in Europe!