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Safeguarding young people's civic space

Freedom of information and expression is essential to our democracies.

Through civil society, we are able to come together, share interests, concerns and ideas. Collectively, we can help shape the world we live in.

However, civil society organisations, including youth organisations, can also face serious obstacles in their work. Some even experience or fear retribution from their governments when expressing their views.

The European Youth Forum will always defend the right of civil society to create vibrant and open spaces where people can have their voices heard. Youth organisations are invaluable for society and they must be allowed to flourish!

What needs to happen?

  • Governments must guarantee a strong civic space for young people, in which youth organisations can operate autonomously and free from any interference and retribution.

  • Young people’s civic and political rights must be safeguarded by institutions and governments

  • Governments must be held accountable for infringements on civic space for young people

Our must read!

Over the years we have, unfortunately, witnessed a crackdown against civil society, including youth organisations.

In this study, Safeguarding Civic Space for Young People in Europe, the European Youth Forum puts the spotlight on challenges faced by youth organisations in Europe.

Related news and publications


The European Year of Youth Should Pave a Way for Lasting Change

Press release - 14/10/2021
In response to the European Commission Communication on the European Year of Youth 2022, the European Youth Forum’s EU Policy and Advocacy…

Conference on the Future of Europe

Publication - 14/09/2021
The Conference is a unique opportunity for the institutions to listen, to be bold, to enact real change and to improve the lives of young…