Why this Campaign?

The Council of Europe recognises the “considerable potential and therefore fundamental role in promoting Council of Europe’s values” that young people play. Democracy has been particularly challenged in recent years due to the rise of populism and demotatorships, fake news, shrinking space for civil society and, more recently, the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. All of this contributes to a climate where young people fear retribution when exercising freedom of expression and, at the same time, “show a high degree of political interest but a low degree of engagement with essential democratic processes”. Concerns regarding the health of democracies in Europe have been consistently raised, especially in view of the successive and multiple crises that trouble the perspective of growing up with confidence about the future. The war in Ukraine aggravated the sentiment of crisis and the need to act to save democracy and peace.

The only response to the problems of democracy is more democracy: democracy is a process of democratisation. Learning about and for democracy, support and recognition given to structures and new forms of youth participation, including an enabling environment for youth civil society, remain key areas of action.

What is Democracy Here | Democracy Now?

Democracy Here | Democracy Now is a Council of Europe youth campaign for revitalising democracy and for strengthening mutual trust between young people and democratic institutions and processes. The Campaign focuses on access to human rights, meaningful youth participation and the impact of digitalisation as factors of democratisation.

The Campaign is based on activities undertaken with young people and youth organisations at local, national and international levels, supported by national contact points and European partners. These activities are supported and connected by the Council of Europe; the results and proposals emerging from young people will be organised and integrated in a call for action. The Campaign is democratic: young people and their organisations explore the topic of revitalisation of democracy and make the proposals to be translated into policy and programmes at Council of Europe level.

  • The Democracy Action Week, which will take place in Strasbourg between 27 June and 2 July 2022, will bring together some 500 campaign activists to take stock of the first proposals and organise further action.
  • The European Youth Foundation provides financial support for international activities and pilot projects at local and national levels, organised within the framework of the Campaign.
  • An evaluation conference in December will sum up the results and propose follow-up actions.