Democracy and young people
Strong, inclusive democracies need youth participation!
Young people are politically active, engaged and often at the forefront of global movements and campaigns.
However, they are also the generation most likely to be underrepresented in policy-making, leading to decisions that do not reflect the realities of young people.
The European Youth Forum aims to make sure that all young people have the right to participate in democracy and become active citizens. This can be achieved with better citizenship education, electoral reform and lowering the voting age.
What needs to happen?
- Governments and institutions must meaningfully involve young people and youth organisations throughout all policy-making processes. Co-management and co-creation structures are the best way to ensure direct participation.
- Policies and legislation that affect young people, must include an impact assessment, and ensure there are mitigation measures in place for those youth groups that might be negatively impacted by the new policy or legislation.
- Any consultations or engagement with young people by governments or institutions must have a visible follow-up to the outcomes.
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In May 2024, young people from across Europe will exercise their important democratic right and vote to elect members of the European Parliament. Young people care, act, and speak up! We are the future of our societies and we should be at the heart of all EU decision making.
We will therefore support politicians who represent and choose to prioritise the interests of young people.
Learn more about young people and democracy
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Let’s make our democracies stronger! It’s time to bridge the gap between young generations and our elected politicians.
What is the EU Youth Test? It is an impact assessment tool that will ensure that young people are considered during the policy-making processes within the EU. Thanks to the Youth Test, the EU will be able to create better policies that are long-lasting and impactful, reducing inequalities, while considering the needs of young people both today and in the future.