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 There is a problem with youth participation, the study reveals, but this problem is to do with outdated institutional politics.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
















Featured Stings

The EU Commission predicts a decimated growth in the next years

How painful is the Greek tragedy for the Germans?

‘Habitual residence’ rules deprive EU workers from social benefits

Brexit: The Conservative Party drives the UK and Europe to a perilous road

The Commission tells Berlin it is legally obliged to help Eurozone out of stagnation

At the edge of humanity: refugee healthcare in Greece and the EU

Is Europe misjudging its abilities to endure more austerity and unemployment?

French Prime Minister passes Stability Program and takes his ‘café’ in Brussels this June

Banks, insurance giants are free again to abuse the real economy

The cuts on 2014 Budget will divide deeply the EU

To Bing or Not to Bing? That is the question

Who is responsible for public health? The tendencies and its benefits –or not– on Health Education around the world

What our leaders hide from us

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

No tears for Cyprus in Brussels and Moscow

Brussels to point the finger to Washington for lack of commitment over TTIP

What does Tsipras have to offer to the rest of Europe? Is it worth an early advance of €10 billion? Berlin sturdily denies it

“The Sea is vast as it admits all rivers”, Ambassador Yang Yanyi of the Chinese Mission to EU gives her farewell address in Brussels

The EU has to prove it can remain one piece

Minority governments ‘à la mode’ in Europe but can they last long?

EU migrant crisis: Germany, France and UK to show the way. Will the rest of the EU follow?

Modern humanitarian aid at times of global crises

EU Commission: Germany can make Eurozone grow again just by helping itself

EU Council approves visa-free travel for Ukraine and cement ties with Kiev

Merkel, Mercedes and Volkswagen to abolish European democracy

Immigration crisis at its very worst: EU to outsource rescue business to North Africa?

Tsipras bewildered with Berlin’s humiliating demands; ECB expects political sign to refinance the Greek banks

What the future holds for the EU – China relations?

At last a good price for the Greek debt!

Telecommunications and Internet: A Jungle with no principles?

Does EURES really exist?

Erdogan’s Turkey in dire straits for flip flop policies in the Middle East

How bad could British healthcare get for its citizens abroad post-Brexit?

The Sichuan Province of China presents its cultural treasure to the EU

A Sting Exclusive: “Paris and beyond: EU action and what COP21 should deliver”, Green MEP Keith Taylor discusses from Brussels 

Youth unemployment: No light at the end of the tunnel

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

The European Commission to stop Buffering

The EU Parliament endorses tax on financial transactions

Draghi tells the EU Parliament his relaxed policies are here to stay

Making money from meeting the SDGs? An overarching approach to sustainable development.

GradList Launched At TheNextWeb 2014

Young people meet in Malta to shape the future of Europe

Athens searches frantically for a new compromise between politics and economic reality

Eurozone: Avoiding a new Greek accident

European Globalisation Adjustment Fund, who gets it and who pays the bill?

Creating shared value: an opportunity and challenge for entrepreneurship

David Cameron’s formal letter/threat that officially opens pandora’s box for the UK

Eurozone recession subsides

Parliament to ask for the suspension of EU-US deal on bank data

Greece did it again

Lithuania vs Parliament over 2014 EU budget

It’s Time to Disrupt Europe, Digital First

“Access denied”: the Greek health system under pressure

Connectivity and collaboration in the ICT industry: the key to socio-economic development

China, forever new adventures

Europe eyes to replace US as China’s prime foreign partner

A European young student shares his thoughts on Quality Education

Eurozone: GDP development heads to naught; the expensive euro serves only Germany

Real EU unemployment rate at 10.2%+4.1%+4.7%: Eurostat Update

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 )

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s