"Youth" activities of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities
The Council of Europe Congress has long been committed to promoting the active participation of young people in civic life as a means of securing social cohesion and anchoring democratic principles in a society based on respect for human rights. This approach was borne out by the adoption of its European Charter on the participation of young people in municipal and regional life in 1992.
But as highlighted in the Congress’ 2012 report on “Youth and democracy: the changing face of youth political engagement”, in the 21st century, young people are engaging differently. There is a wide gap between political institutions’ and young people’s understanding of participation. During the Congress’ 2014 conference on promoting youth participation, it became clear that institutions have difficulty in grasping not only what these new forms of youth participation are but also the issues that mobilise young people. For their part, young people are facing unemployment, job insecurity, difficult transitions to work and adult life. They are increasingly disenchanted and cynical and feel marginalised from the political process.
The active participation of citizens in democratic structures and representative institutions is decisive in guaranteeing the legitimacy, credibility and operation of democratic systems. The Congress is cooperating with young people and local and regional authorities to find a way forward towards achieving the meaningful participation of young people.
- John WARMISHAM: "The integration of young Roma involves their political participation"
- 40 youth delegates participate in the 33rd Session of the Congress
- Forum for Local Democracy in Ukraine: mayors, councillors and young local leaders commit to strengthen good local governance
- Forum for Local Democracy in Ukraine: The Council of Europe Congress gathers together mayors, municipal councillors and young leaders in Snovjanka
- “Strengthening the capacities of mayors, councillors and young leaders is essential to build a genuine local democracy in Ukraine”, says Congress President
- Youth participation in local affairs: a key feature of democracy in Ukraine
- Young leaders from Eastern Ukraine engaged for change at local level
- Participation of youth delegates in the 32nd Congress session
- Promoting young people’s transition to autonomy and working life through local and regional policies
- Youth participation central to the debate on the quality of democratic participation at regional level
- Young people to the Congress: “Let us create partnerships”
- 31st Session: Congress showcases youth projects as part of its initiative “rejuvenating politics”
- Call for applications for young people to participate in the 30th and 31st sessions of the Congress
- Bringing down barriers to youth participation: adopting a lingua franca for local and regional authorities and young people
- Igor CRNADAC: “The voice of the younger generation can be enlightening and innovative and bring a most valuable contribution to deliberations”
- Youth delegates participate in the 29th Session of the Congress
- Gudrun Mosler-Törnström “Voting at 16 in national elections could be a starting point for granting the right to vote to very young people in national elections and referenda”
- Local youth councils, a first step towards better political representation for young people?
- Malcolm Byrne: “Efforts must be made, at all governance levels, to promote young people’s autonomy and their social inclusion in society”
- Prevention of radicalisation, youth participation and combating poverty on Current Affairs Committee’s agenda
Since October 2014, the Congress has invited young people from different backgrounds to take part in its sessions, to have their say in the debates and to exchange with Congress members on the issues on the agenda.