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“We have to revitalise democracy and strengthen mutual trust between young people and democratic institutions” says Thomas Andersson at Youth Action Week.

Current Affairs Committee Strasbourg, France 1 July 2022
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“We have to revitalise democracy and strengthen mutual trust between young people and democratic institutions” says Thomas Andersson at Youth Action Week.

On Friday 1 July, Thomas Andersson (Sweden, ILDG), Chair of the Current Affairs Committee, participated in the closing plenary of the Youth Action Week. Addressing the 400 young participants, Mr Andersson stressed the crucial role of local and regional elected officials in ensuring the participation of young people and the revival of democracy in Europe’s cities, towns and regions.

“The Congress members, as mayors, city councillors and regional representatives, have to be at the forefront of this revival. We know that if we want to be relevant, we have to listen to you - young people” said Thomas Andersson to the participants before presenting actions taken by the Congress to include youth in politics.

Indeed, the Congress of local and regional authorities is active in promoting youth participation at local and regional levels of governance in in member states, notably with the adoption in 1992 of the European Charter on the Participation of Young People in Local Life. But also, by opening its doors to young people and inviting them to be youth delegates through the “Rejuvenating Politics” initiative.

Lastly, Mr Andersson showed his support to the pledges and proposals made by the participants in the framework of the Democracy Here | Democracy Now youth campaign. “I hope that the Congress’ work will help realise the pledges and proposals you made today, but I also encourage you to go to your local administrations and make your voice heard,” Mr Andersson said, reminding the participants that they, as young people, are the future of democracy.

The Youth Action Week, organised under the patronage of the Irish Presidency of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe and in partnership with the City of Strasbourg, brought together 400 young people from Council of Europe member states. They discussed revitalising democracy and links with human rights, meaningful youth participation, digitalisation, and peace. The participants took part plenary session as well in working groups and workshops.

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