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 There is a problem with youth participation, the study reveals, but this problem is to do with outdated institutional politics.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

FROM THE FIELD: India’s plastic waste revolution

Integration of migrants: Commission launches a public consultation and call for an expert group on the views of migrants

Human rights: breaches in Russia, the Rakhine State and Bahrain

How upskilling could help cities rebuild after Coronavirus

EntEx Organises 5 Summer Schools for Young Entrepreneurs across Europe in June/July 2014

The female struggle in the face of medical devaluation

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

Dare to be vulnerable, and three other lessons in leadership

How businesses can create an ethical culture in the age of tech

The challenge to be a good healthcare professional

Act now to prevent Desert Locust catastrophe in Horn of Africa: UN agencies

The most unlikely innovators are changing ICT for development – it’s time we took notice

What is environmental racism?

Climate change: cutting the good by the root?

Guterres condemns killing of Bangladeshi peacekeeper in South Sudan, during armed attack on UN convoy

Venezuela’s needs ‘significant and growing’ UN humanitarian chief warns Security Council, as ‘unparalleled’ exodus continues

More than speed: 5G could become the next big economic driver

Asylum: more solidarity among EU member states and funds for frontline countries

European Commission requests that Italy presents a revised draft budgetary plan for 2019

Greener tourism: Greater collaboration needed to tackle rising emissions

Juncker’s Investment Plan in desperate need for trust and funds from public and private investors

Europe, US and Russia haggle over Ukraine’s convulsing body; Russians and Americans press on for an all out civil war

The “Colombo Declaration” adopted at the World Conference on Youth 2014

IMF: World cup and productivity

Cameron postpones speech in Holland

‘Great cause of concern’ UN chief tells Security Council, surveying ‘bleak’ state of civilian protection

1.1 billion people still lack electricity. This could be the solution

5 leadership lessons I learned from doing my own ‘undercover boss’

If we want to solve climate change, water governance is our blueprint

The World Health Organization has called on countries to ‘test, test, test’ for coronavirus – this is why

EU budget: Commission helps prepare new Cohesion programmes with Regional Competitiveness Index and Eurobarometer

Catalonia secessionist leader takes Flemish ‘cover’; Spain risks more jingoist violence

Marriage equality boosted employment of both partners in US gay and lesbian couples

Europe had a record year for Measles – and it’s partly down to anti-vaccine campaigners

From Policy to Reality: Discrepancies in Universal Health Care Systems across the EU

AI looks set to disrupt the established world order. Here’s how

Early healthcare investment is our best chance at healthy ageing

The EU sides with China against the US; but has Germany capitulated to America?

Preserving biodiversity vital to reverse tide of climate change, UN stresses on International Day

Educate children in their mother tongue, urges UN rights expert

Russia and the West to partition Ukraine?

GDPR and the World Cup have these 4 things in common

Your chocolate can help save the planet. Here’s how

ECB embarks on the risky trip to Eurozone banking universe

New rules to help consumers join forces to seek compensation

Thinking like Leonardo da Vinci will help children tackle climate change

Parliament approves EU rules requiring life-saving technologies in vehicles

World Bank downgrades global growth forecasts, poorest countries hardest hit

What we need is more (and better) multilateralism, not less

International Women’s Day 2019: more equality, but change is too slow

How to fix our planet: the pioneers fighting to bring nature back

How China Mended My Heart

Children are forgetting the names for plants and animals

Labels for tyres: deal for greener and safer road transport

Commission presents its response to Antisemitism and a survey showing Antisemitism is on the rise in the EU

The Ecofin deceives the SMEs with the EIB €10bn capital increase

Consumers suffer three defeats

Sexual exploitation and abuse: latest UN quarterly update

The economic effects of the COVID-19 coronavirus around the world

New VAT rules in the EU: how a digital sea could have become an ocean

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