Rebuild democratic institutions with youth participation

Rebuild democratic institutions with youth participation

“In the face of current crises, democratic institutions must be rebuilt with the participation of citizens, especially young people, to ensure that citizens have permanent access to governance beyond elections,” said Congress Secretary General Andreas Kiefer. At the opening of August 2022 Assembly of the European Regions Summer University (ARE), in Letterkenny, County Donegal, Ireland.

He reminded that “local and regional authorities are better able to directly involve young people in decision-making and democratic processes” and “the need for youth participation” – this is one of the priorities of the Presidency. Council of Ministers – a goal promoted by the Congress for decades, especially through the European Charter for the participation of young people in local and regional life and through several reports, the most recent of which deals with the local and regional role. Authorities to strengthen Youth Action (2021), Future of Rural Youth (2022) and Children’s Participation for Sustainable Cities (2022).

“Participation means engaging with young people on an equal footing,” emphasizing that the Congress is the only international organization that allows young people to sit in the European Assembly alongside local representatives. The initiative, developed as part of the strategy “reviving politics”, gives young representatives from the 46 member states of the Council of Europe the opportunity to contribute to debates in congressional sessions and committee meetings, without the right to vote.

Leonard Wilks (Switzerland), Youth Representative in the Congress, participated in the debate “Youth and Local Government”, which focused on how to best promote youth engagement and make them active participants in decision-making processes in their communities, be it youth. Councils, entrepreneurship or other forms of civic activism.

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Enjoys the status of Assembly of European Regions (AER). Legal partner As of February 10, 2017, with Congress, he can attend meetings of bureaus and congressional committees without the right to vote. Also, A Cooperation agreement Signed on February 25, 2014 between Congress and AER to cooperate on issues of common interest, strengthen their complementarity and develop synergies.

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