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Thomas Andersson: “Engaging young people at local level: a key factor for building more inclusive societies”

Tunis 10-11 May 2018
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Thomas Andersson: “Engaging young people at local level: a key factor for building more inclusive societies”

“The active participation of young citizens in local politics and the recognition of their engagement are crucial elements in the construction of truly inclusive societies,” declared Thomas Andersson (Sweden, ILDG), speaking at the Seminar on "Strengthening the quadrilogue approach in Euro-Mediterranean youth co-operation " held on 10-11 May 2018 in Tunis.

Thomas Andersson emphasized in particular the commitment of the Congress in the implementation of initiatives to actively promote youth participation and young people’s empowerment in civic and public life. “This empowerment is one of the means to ensure better social cohesion and anchor democratic principles in our societies”, he added. He highlighted the need for young people to seize the opportunities and spaces granted to them while also learning how to manage the democratic ‘rules of the game’ so that their voices are heard. “If you are not satisfied with the situation, you need to engage and run for elections”, he concluded.

Sharing his experience as regional councillor in Sweden, he underlined that associations play a substantial role and constitute a key resource for local authorities and invited the participants to continue their efforts within their respective organisations. “Good governance can only be implemented in a society where everybody has a voice. We in Congress are convinced that building solid partnership and fostering regular dialogue between young people and the local and regional authorities is the way to go for a vibrant and dynamic democracy”, he concluded.

This seminar was held in the framework of the 6th University on Youth and Global Citizenship organised by the North-South Center of the Council of Europe in cooperation with the National Observatory of Youth of Tunisia and gathered together young representatives from Europe and from Southern-Mediterranean countries and representatives of the quadrilogue. The work of this seminar will continue with the preparation of a report and recommendations.