Politics needs to “Youth UP” in order the ensure the future of our democracies

European_Youth___ForumThe European Youth Forum and the League of Young Voters will today launch a new campaign, Youth UP, in order to help create a more inclusive politics and to combat the political inequality and marginalisation that young people face. 

To coincide with today’s launch Youth UP has published in-depth research, Young People and Democratic Life in Europe, which illustrates that young people – far from being “disengaged” with politics – do care deeply about politics, but that there is a need to look beyond elections and voter turnout when looking at youth participation. There is a problem with youth participation, the study reveals, but this problem is to do with outdated institutional politics.

There is a strong interest among young people in the politics of issues and causes. Whilst the report shows that they may not vote[1], they do however have a strong interest in the politics of organising, mobilising and contesting power from the outside; for example, they are more likely to sign an online petition or join protest movements.

The study also shows that young people are seriously underrepresented in the traditional structures of institutional politics (with only 0.5 per cent of parliamentarians in Europe are under the age of 30). Only 5 per cent of 18-30 year olds took part in activities of political parties in the last year. Only 14.5 per cent of young people (from the EU) believed that it likely that they would stand as a candidate in an election sometime in the future.

Johanna Nyman, President of the European Youth Forum, comments:

“This new study totally debunks the myth of young people’s apathy when it comes to politics. We do care about politics, and this is evidenced by new emerging forms of political activism. This should be a wake-up call for our politicians. If a significant proportion of our young people are excluded from democracy, then we are not living in a true democracy, levels of distrust in the system will increase and traditional politics risks becoming increasingly anachronistic and illegitimate. Youth organisations are key to engaging young people in civic and political life, but they need to have stable, sufficient support in order to continue to do this.”

The study goes on to make a series of recommendations in order that traditional politics can respond to the changing face of young people’s participation, including:

  • Political literacy and critical thinking skills should be learnt through partnerships between schools and youth organisations, in joint programmes that are part of the curricula and that foster a democratic culture;
  • There should be more decision and policy making that truly involves young people and gives them equal decision making power;
  • The voting age should be lowered to 16 in all elections.

The new campaign, Youth UP, aims to open up a Europe-wide debate on the best ways to “youth UP” politics. Youth UP will also crowd-source examples of different forms of youth participation and civic engagement from across Europe, to truly empower young people and help spread successful grassroots movements that are already underway.

Today’s event, co-hosted by UK MEPs from across the political groups (Catherine Bearder (ALDE), Richard Corbett (S&D) and Jean Lambert (Greens)), will include a discussion on what can be done to re-engage young people in politics and how political institutions can regain the trust of young people. This will be followed by a debate on giving the vote to 16 year-olds in the United Kingdom’s referendum on EU membership.

The Youth Forum is calling on young people and youth organisations to submit their ideas, campaigns, and events to co-create its crowd-sourced campaign, Youth UP, or to sign up for further information: http://www.youthup.eu/

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Everybody against Germany over the expensive euro

EU-U.S. Trade Talks: European Commission presents draft negotiating mandates

How do we go about improving mental health in the community and reducing suicide rates in the 15-29 age group?

African economies sustain progress in domestic resource mobilisation

UN updates guidelines to ensure successful return to civilian life for former combatants

The new North America trade deal USMCA punishes German cars

Lebanon: UN rights office calls for de-escalation of protest violence

Guterres welcomes conduct of Afghan elections, commends ‘all who braved security concerns to uphold their right to vote’

This is why we should test everyone for COVID-19

Hope for ‘long-elusive progress’ in negotiating peace in eastern Ukraine

Eurozone: There is a remedy for regional convergence

Refugee crisis update: EU lacks solidarity as migration figures drop

Criminals thrive on data abundance – here’s how we’ll catch them

4 crazy things that are happening in the Arctic right now

Counting unemployment in the EU: The real rate comes to anything between 16.1% and 20.6%

Mental Health Policy, a significant driver for growth

MEPs strengthen EU financial watchdogs

Time to be welcome: Youth work and integration of young refugees

These LGBTQI Davos leaders shared their advice on coming out

Pharmaceuticals spend millions to push TTIP while consumer groups spend peanuts

European Youth Forum welcomes establishment of new Youth Intergroup in the European Parliament

Under fire, UN refugee agency evacuates 135 detained in Libya to Niger

Secure 5G networks: Commission endorses EU toolbox and sets out next steps

Telemedicine can be a COVID-19 game-changer. Here’s how

Fighting against the Public Health System dismantling means guaranteeing assistance to all

UN blue helmets in South Sudan use Sustainable Development Goals to help build peace

What makes America the world’s most competitive economy?

Is Germany yielding to pressures for more relaxed economic policies?

In polarized America, a new divide looms

Humans aren’t made for repetition – it’s time AI took over manufacturing

This is what you need to know about the Iran nuclear deal

Where do health literacy and health policy meet?

Why we need to start a new pro-vaccine movement

Parliament seals 2014 EU budget and the spending ceiling until 2020

Electronic or conventional cigarettes – which is safer?

The EU cuts roaming charges further while the UK weighs Brexit impact

Fashion has a huge waste problem. Here’s how it can change

Young people are key to defusing unrest and restoring public trust

Early detection of chronic kidney disease can save lives and cut costs

In post-COVID Latin America, investment in infrastructure can bring back tourism – and rebuild the economy

Renewed pressures on Berlin to adopt growth policies

Worth going ‘extra mile’ for a new Syrian constitution, UN envoy urges

How can batteries become more sustainable? This young scientist might have the answer

In Bahrain, Global Forum for Entrepreneurs and Investment examines empowerment of women, youth through innovation

Thousands returning to Nigeria’s restive Borno state ‘at risk’; UN ‘gravely concerned’

We can end TB right now. Here’s how

Why today’s leaders need to know about the power of narratives

WHO supports measles campaign targeting millions of children in northern Nigeria

Deutsche Bank chased away from US, threatened with more fines

Climate change is speeding up. Our response needs to be even faster

First-ever EU defence industry fund to finance joint development of capabilities

Tax revenues continue increasing as the tax mix shifts further towards corporate and consumption taxes

Manufacturing reimagined: from improved productivity to profitable growth

Will Turkey abandon the refugee deal and risk losing a bonanza of money?

VW diesel scandal and climate change: can increased independent car checks lead to cleaner mobility?

Humanitarian migration falls while labour and family migration rises

Thursday’s Daily Brief: Climate crisis and food risks, fresh violence threat for millions of Syrians, calls for calm in Kashmir

Boris to end up in jail if he loses the next elections?

Social enterprises can change entire industries. This is how

Here are three technology trends changing the way you travel

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s