Youth - Young people building Europe

Council of Europe Award “Young Active Citizens” 2002


  • Project “Student Council for young applicants for asylum in the municipal education system: (integration through participation)”.
    JEMP vzw (Youth Service for social Participation), Hoogstraten (Belgium)

The project was aiming to integrate "newcomer" students into the local school and community. The objective was to integrate young asylum seekers into their living environment and to give them the opportunity to handle cultural diversity and to participate in school policy. Six young people were elected as representatives of the group of young refugees to involve the other students in the realisation of the project and to promote its progress on a regular basis. They were asked to create a students council involving also young people from outside the school and parents. The collaboration between the regular students council and the young asylum seekers students council was promoted to enlarge the possibility of integration. The project also foresaw a multicultural youth day consisting of a health care component and including dance, music and dinner. This pilot project showed that young asylum seekers can take initiatives in youth policy and that they can participate in the life of the local community.

  • Project “The Power of Partnership”
    Youth Cultural-Information Centre, Gabrovo (Bulgaria)

The project aimed to promote the partnership between youth organisations and local authorities through the establishment of clear rules and a mechanism of collaboration. Activities for the realisation of the project included research and analyses concerning youth organisations and the attitude of youth communities; training courses for young leaders on democracy, local authorities, communication and partnership; discussions, meetings and forums; popularisation and presentation of the project. A Municipal Youth Forum has been organized to achieve an agreement on the rules for the realisation of partnership programmes. This project was the logical consequence of the steps undertaken by the YCIC and the Municipality of Gabrovo to create a model for municipal youth policy. The result of its realisation has been the creation of a pattern for the implementation of the principles of the European Charter for the Participation of Young People in Municipal and Regional Life.

  • Project "Kaposvar Youth Government and the involvement of young people in political life and decision-making"
    Kaposvar Youth Government, Kaposvar (Hungary)

Kaposvar Youth Government is a youth institution which consists of elected representatives and a youth mayor. Tasks and competencies are decided by the young elected people and supervision is assured by a youth officer of the local government of Kaposvar. The main task of the Youth Government is to monitor needs and initiatives of young people and children, to analyse their problems and to give their opinions a voice. The Youth Government also gives a chance for young people to take part in the decision-making process concerning youth in cooperation with the local government in Kaposvar. It can also follow the realisation of local youth programmes and services and evaluate the results.
The youth mayor encourages and supports the involvement of young people in political life and cooperation with the local authorities. In order to manage the financial resources on a professional basis, a Youth Committee will be set up in October 2002 consisting of members from the Youth Government and the local government. Thanks to the Kaposvar Youth Government, the local bus company changed the timetable taking into consideration the special needs and lifestyle of young people and a new centre for sports and recreation has been created.

  • Project “Baltic Sea Youth eParliament (”
    Baltic Institute,Kariskrona (Sweden)

A virtual community where young people in the Baltic Sea region have the opportunity to get to know each other, to communicate and to make decisions. This is the eParliament, a project open to everyone and where young people represent no one but themselves. The objective was to stimulate the participation of young people in political and democratic institutions, to increase their influence on the policy-making process and to promote interaction and cooperation between them. Young people who wanted to become a member of the eParliament had only to register at the site without paying any fee. All registered members could make proposals.
The most interesting proposals were discussed and voted on. The result of the vote was made public and the decisions were sent to political institutions and the media. To assure that the messages in the discussion were of good quality, 20 young people from different countries in the region participated in the project as moderators. They were responsible for helping people to make proposals, stimulating discussions and marketing the project in their home countries. Funded by the Baltic Institute and the EU Youth Programme, the site was launched in mid February 2002. The activity and the participation have exceeded expectations and after one month the eParliament had about 500 members, 35 proposals had been made and 576 messages were in discussion. At the end of May, a meeting was held in Lithuania to evaluate the project. An evaluation report has been written in June.

  • Project “Friendly Municipal Youth Watch”
    The Scouting and Guiding Federation of Turke, Ankara (Turkey)

The aim of the project was to promote the application of the "Charter for the Participation of Young People in Municipal and Regional Life", adopted by the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe in 1992, in different municipalities of Turkey. The final objective was to raise awareness of the importance of youth participation and active citizenship amongst the members of the Boran Scout Groups. The project included:

  • translation of the Charter into Turkish and its distribution;
  • organisation of a workshop on interview technics;
  • preparation of a questionnaire (to find out progress made in the implementation of the Charter) and of a raising awareness document for small municipalities;
  • promotion and implementation of the project, including a pilot project in the municipality of Ankara;
  • evaluation of the project