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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 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.

Learn more about young people and democracy

Safeguarding civic space

Freedom of information and expression is essential to our democracies.
Through civil society, we are able to come together, share...

Representative democracy

Despite young people making up around 25 percent of Europe’s population, very few of our politicians and decision-makers are under 30...

EU Youth Dialogue

Young people all over Europe have ideas, hopes and concerns about their future. They have the best understanding of their own lives, what...

Vote at 16

Let’s make our democracies stronger! It’s time to bridge the gap between young generations and our elected politicians.

EU Youth Test

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.

Key Documents and Resources