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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 possible 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.

Our must read!

Dive deeper into the issue of youth participation by reading our policy paper, voted on by over 100 youth organisations from across Europe.