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The situation of youth organisations across Europe


Youth Organisations across Europe are facing an increasingly challenging situation. Political and economic circumstances are leading to shrinking civic spaces and therefore a shrinking chance of youth organisations to fulfil their purpose and represent the voice of young people. Youth organisations - National Youth Councils (NYCs) and International Non-Governmental Youth Organisations (INGYOs) alike - and the whole youth sector are currently being impacted by wars, democratic, rule of law and human rights backsliding and the overall global economic situation. While they are trying to provide spaces for young people where they can live and enjoy their democracy and freedom of participation, these spaces are at risk.

why this issue matters now

The current situation of democracy in Europe has reached a critical point. Europe is witnessing a rise and normalisation of the far right and other antidemocratic ideologies, burgeoning nationalism, threatening the welfare system, social rights and fiscal distributive justice, while conflicts and war are also threatening the existence of youth civil society in parallel. Many of our fellow NYCs and INGYOs are struggling in these circumstances.

Read the motion to find out which of the European Youth Forum's members have been impacted and how, as well as what we commit to internally as part of our Strategic Plan and what we call for externally.

Related publications


Empowering Youth Voices: Defending Democracy and European Values

Motion - 18/05/2024

We cannot deny the European Union and its values are facing threats from both inside and outside. The European Youth Forum is committed to actively speaking out against these threats and protecting the values of intercultural understanding, democracy, respect, diversity, human rights, active citizenship, and solidarity.

Safeguarding civic space

Protecting civil society and civic spaces in Georgia

Motion - 18/05/2024

In March 2023, the Government of Georgia initiated work on a legislative proposal on “foreign agents” that would have forced civil society organisations to be registered as being under foreign influence should they be receiving funding from sources outside of the country. As Georgia initiated negotiations for EU membership merely 6 months ago, this underscores how fragile Democracy and the Rule of Law are in our societies and how civic spaces must be protected tirelessly every day, everywhere.

Social and economic rights

Always on standby: How precarious work impacts young people’s mental health

Policy document - 26/03/2024

Precarious work is not inevitable; rather, it is a result of political decisions and can therefore be mitigated and ultimately eliminated. This paper outlines actionable steps at both the national and EU level to address the issue, paving the way for a better relationship between mental health and the world of work for young people.