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 There is a problem with youth participation, the study reveals, but this problem is to do with outdated institutional politics.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/

Advertising

the sting Milestone

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

What you need to know about the Sustainable Development Impact Summit

Judges urge Security Council to serve interests of all UN Member States

‘World’s deadliest sea crossing’ claimed six lives a day in 2018: UN refugee agency

Thursday’s Daily Brief: Safeguarding civilians, strengthening Ebola response in DR Congo, marking Fistula Day, updates on CAR and Syria

Germany and Europe prepare for Trump’s America

Overseas investment falling, developing countries largely unscathed: UN trade agency

5G networks: to slice or not to slice?

‘The welfare of the Libyan people’ the UN’s sole agenda for the country, says Guterres in Tripoli

MEPs call for a reduction in pesticides to protect bees

Commission goes less than mid-way on expensive euro

This start-up is making a palm oil alternative from used coffee grounds

Eurobarometer survey: Majority of EU citizens positive about international trade

Wednesday’s Daily Brief: Syrian detainees, Zimbabwe hunger crisis, Kabul attack, Mexico disappearances, new tech to feed the world

Main results of Foreign Affairs EU Council, 16/07/2018

Future of EU farming: MEPs push for modern common policy with fair funding

Does Indonesia have the world’s most complicated elections?

MWC 2016 LIVE: BlackBerry acquires Encription, talks Microsoft and health

‘Break the cycle’ of disaster-response-recovery, urges top UN official, as death toll mounts from Cyclone Idai

Sustainable investment is on the rise – here’s how to connect the dots

Why we need artists who strive for social change

How cultural understanding can help in the cultural shock

The creation and maintenance of smoke-free public spaces in the UK

Privatization as a symptom of health inequity

Reform of road use charges to spur cleaner transport and ensure fairness

YOUTH RIGHTS AT RISK FROM RISE OF EXTREME-RIGHT AND POPULISTS IN THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT

State aid: Commission approves €790 million Croatian guarantee scheme for companies with export activities affected by coronavirus outbreak

TTIP fight round 6: last chance for the negotiators to finally open up as they touch the Brussels ring

Draghi drafts a plan to donate more money to bankers, the era of ‘money for nothin’ is flourishing

This company grows crops inside, stacked on top of one another

This is how we inspire young people in the Middle East to join the fight against climate change

Africa-Europe Alliance: European Commission committed to a sustainable African agri-food sector

Lagarde’s metamorphoses, not a laughing matter

EU regional differences betray an unjust arrangement

Teenage girl’s death sentence spotlights Sudan’s failure to tackle forced marriage, gender-based violence – UN rights office

Here’s how data can shine a light on financial crime

10 million Yemenis ‘one step away from famine’, UN food relief agency calls for ‘unhindered access’ to frontline regions

Governments and non-state actors need to take urgent action to meet Paris Agreement goals

World Food Programme accesses Yemeni frontline district for first time since conflict began

2014 will bring more European Union for the big guys and less for the weak

The future of energy in Puerto Rico is renewable

6 young leaders who are improving the state of the world on International Youth Day

How to keep our cities cool as temperatures rise

UN mission in DR Congo appeals for calm as violent protests continue

WHO coronavirus briefing: Isolation, testing and tracing comprise the “backbone” of response

Coronavirus: a common approach for safe and efficient mobile tracing apps across the EU

A European young student shares his thoughts on Quality Education

A week to decide if the EU is to have a Banking Union

Bacterial resistance: the significant worldwide problem

Gas pipeline in the European Union. (Copyright: EU, 2012 / Source: EC - Audiovisual Service / Photo: Ferenc Isza)

EU Investment Bank approves € 1.5bn loan for Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP)

So, what is your favourite Sustainable Development Goal?

3 things the G20 can do to save the World Trade Organization

Delivering masks across borders: EU Single Market protecting citizens’ health

Yes, together we can make a change! YO!Fest and EYE 2016

Missile strike kills at least 12 civilians, including children, in Syria’s Idlib: UN humanitarians

Will AI make the gender gap in the workplace harder to close?

This mobile laundry gives homeless people free showers and washes their clothes

Greece bailout ends but with no substantial effect on citizens’ life

Half the population of Yemen at risk of famine: UN emergency relief chief

MEPs propose measures to combat mobbing and sexual harassment

World Cancer Day: Here’s how perceptions about the disease differ around the world

More Stings?

Advertising

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