From participation to influence: can youth revitalise democracy?, Strasbourg, 3-5 November 2014
Democracy is played out in the political institutions of society, but also in the multiple arenas where people come together: formal and informal education, the work place, sport, culture, civil society and increasingly, in social media via the Internet. Democracy requires firm and unshakeable foundations, but must be transmitted and renewed from generation to generation.
Today, we witness among young people a rising abstention from electoral participation and party politics, distrust in mainstream media, and sometimes violent rejection of traditional embodiments of political power. In transition democracies, young people are at the forefront of movements of popular rejection of corruption and electoral fraud, but are conversely marginalised in the process of democratic consolidation. In times of economic crisis, young people are increasingly faced with exclusionary barriers in the "everyday arenas". How to increase any democratic participation of youth through the labour market when employment opportunities decrease? Is education a real promise for prosperity and security, and is it a good vehicle for inclusion that extremely qualified generations now have less guarantee of access to the labour market, leading some to speak of a "lost generation"? (Video: 2014 WFD Trailer)