The programme of the conference features everyday different working groups and workshops. Participants have been invited via email to make a choice for some of the workshops that they would like to follow. Here you can find a description of the workshops. The distribution of participants in the workshops and the rooms will also be published later here. 

Tuesday, 31 January 2023 Following up on the Call for Action (15:00 - 17:15)

The Youth Action Week: Democracy Now! was the key activity of the campaign, it brought together 450 young activists from Europe and beyond in Strasbourg between 27 June and 1 July 2023. The participants, through a direct democracy process, realised a Call for action with 50 priority actions to be implemented by young people, youth civil society, member states and the Council of Europe. The proposals are organised thematically on the campaign topics: access to rights and revitalisation of democracy, meaningful youth participation, digitalisation, and youth peace. The participants will work in four parallel working groups, each looking at one of the themes to propose ways in which themselves and the Council of Europe should take action to implement these proposals in the framework of the project Youth revitalising democracy. 

To read the Call for Action, go here

Wednesday, 1 February 2023 Learning from different initiatives  (14:30 - 16:30)

A lot of initiatives have been implemented addressing young people on key aspects for processes of revitalising democracy. The workshops aim to allow the space and time to learn about these initiatives in more detail from people that implemented/are implementing them. Beyond learning about the initiative, we will share about similar initiatives of participants in the workshop, and we will reflect what can we learn from this initiative, how we can replicate it, and we shall make proposals for ideas to be implemented at European level in the framework of the Council of Europe project. 

Preparing young people to stand in elections with Massimo Rottuno, Fantapolitica! (Italy)

Fantapolitica! implemented, with the support of the European Youth Foundation, a project entitled Revitalising Italian Democracy: from Fantapolitics to Fantareality. The aim was to empower young people to be the carrier of political change inside the local councils in their cities and towns, by bringing organisational and participatory democratic methods, as well as innovative policies addressing climate change and social inequalities, therefore restoring trust between young people and institutions. The project had three main phases: capacity building of 15 young candidates through a series of 5 online workshops; a 3-days long networking and capacity building event bringing together participants from the previous activity with 10 young local representatives elected in 2021 and some participants outside the NGOs network, representing different political/social movements; lobbying actions targeting local councils in 15 locations.

Preparing young people to vote with Alexandra Chatzimimikou, Youth Empowerment Centre (Greece) and Division of Elections and Civil Society (tbc)

It is important to motivate young people to take part in elections to exercise their rights, but it is also important to support young people to make their independent choices for elections. In this workshop, we will be hearing from two initiatives with different scope. 

Youth Empowerment Centre (Greece), with the support of the European Youth Foundation, implemented a project entitled Democracy Now: the far right and us, which raised awareness on the threats that far right politics might pose on democracy, equality and non-discrimination, through training youth workers and capacitates them to design and deliver action plans. The main activity is a training course followed by 4 workshops by participants at the local level. The Council of Europe e Division of Elections and Civil Society (Directorate General Democracy) at the Council of Europe provides advice and technical assistance to the member states on various aspects of elections, such as capacity building of electoral stakeholders and raising voter awareness. They have developed a toolkit, Vote outside the box, designed to enable Electoral Management Bodies to develop strategic approaches to raising awareness of electoral processes and building electoral knowledge amongst young people as potential first-time voters. On basis of the tool, they are also organising training courses on the topic. 

Let's get political! Advocating political change and engaging with politicians on youth issues with Caroline Vogt, German Federal Youth Council

In the framework of the campaign, the German Federal Youth Council has engaged in an advocacy project to bridge the gap between political representatives and young people, and to gather political support for youth issues. They have organised two important events in 2022: a side - event to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in June 2022 raising awareness on the campaign and the importance of giving place and space to proposals coming from young people and a conference entitled "Democracy and Human Rights in Times of Crisis" in cooperation with the German Bunderstag (Parliament). The conference took place in the German Parliament and brought together national youth councils representatives from Council of Europe member states and parlamentarians, focusing on the enhancement of cooperation. Read more here

Developing the capacity for local youth participation with Gianluca Rosino, Europiamo (Italy) and Amal Hamich, Bureau International Jeunesse (Belgium) - English and French

The first proposal of the Call for action is to set-up independent and youth led youth councils in every municipality, as an essential mechanism for local youth participation. This is easier said than done - it requires capacity building and support both to municipalities and young people. 

Europiamo has implemented a project The five Ws of Local Youth Councils in Italy, through which it aimed to enhance cooperation and networking between local youth councils all over Italy, looking at capacity building, networking and ways in which they can further support each other. 

Bureau International Jeunesse has been implementing for several years now a international project entitled Democracy reloading with the aim to empower municipal workers to engage young people in decision-making. The programme, based on research and feedback from various professionals, identified the competences needed by the municipality staff involved in or related to youth policy to successfully engage young people in decision-making, and thereby reload and re-engage local and regional democracy. It features an online toolkit and other capacity building activities. 

Young people and democracy in times of war with Olga Donets and Olena Glazkova, Donetsk Youth Debate Centre

The project “Voices of Young People in Ukraine” aims at amplifying the voices of young people from 5 regions of Ukraine regarding the impact of the war. During the project, young people were involved in several activities and 20 life stories were collected and shared on social media, to advocate the interests and concerns of young people in Ukraine among different stakeholders. Several meetings with local authorities were organised, during which young people could raise their voice regarding their needs. The project is implemented by Donetsk Youth Debate Centre with the support of the European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe within the Youth Campaign Democracy here I Democracy now, and in partnership with 5 youth centres in Ukraine.

Campaigning for democracy in non-democratic environments with with Marharyta Voryhava and Dzmitry Herylovich, Belarusian national youth council RADA

How do we mobilise and take a stand for democracy in non-democratic environments? How do we mobilise others to stand with us? What do we learn from the experiences of the young democracy activists of RADA the national youth council in Belarus for our own work and also how do we support each other. RADA will explain in this workshop the experience and challenges they have been facing in their work for democracy and youth participation in Belarus. 

Online tools for democracy with Nils-Eyk Zimmermann, DARE Network

DARE - Democracy and Human Rights Education in Europe is an international network that has developed two projects that address the questions of digitalisation and their impact on democracy, and democracy education. DIGIT-AL  identifies approaches, topics and tools, how to include and address the thematic field of digital transformation in adult education, and features handbooks, research and also a free and open toolbox for democracy learning, digitalisation and non-formal education: Competendo

Preparing citizen participation with board games with Daryna Sokolova, Division of Elections and Participatory Democracy

The UChange game was developed by Council of Europe experts and creates a joyful learning process for interested citizens and public servants, civil society organisations, schools and institutions, to better
understand political decision-making processes and where and how citizens can actively participate and contribute with their proposals, their opinions or their votes. The UChange game, a component of the CivicLab methodology, provides technical support with the goal of unifying public authorities and citizens in an open and fair dialogue, in order to contribute to joint decision making that benefits all and to enhance citizens’ interest and trust in their democratic institutions. It is an innovative methodology for developing, analysing and predicting the impact of decision options. In this workshop, you will also find out about the online platform BePART, developed by the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities and the Conference of INGOs to share good practices and find inspiration on civil participation. 

Thursday, 2 February 2023 Working groups on the follow-up at European level (14:30 - 16:30)

These working groups are intended to be reviewing the planned activities at European level as well as broader questions regarding communication between the project secretariat and partners, visibility, etc. The participants will look to further develop the concept of activities, but also propose ways in which we can do things together. 

Training and capacity building activities

In the programme for 2023, several activities that aim to further develop the capacity of key stakeholders are planned: 

a. Training for democracy and youth participation activists - The course will focus on developing the capacity to advocate for democratic youth participation, as well as to engage and motivate young people to take part in the democratic life of the society.

b. Seminar and study on the role of local youth councils 

c. Seminar on political youth participation

Participants will be providing input on the aim and objectives of these activities, the participants and partners to be associated, as well as other possible connections with the local and national level that need to be secured. 

Common action days

Common actions around key dates in the international human rights calendar provide a sense of acting together and allow to highlight issues relevant for all the stakeholders. The common actions will be organised in the format of Action Days of the No Hate Speech Movement campaign (and may be applied by partners in Action weeks or months) that will allow for concerted action online and offline. This could include:

  • International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
  • An Action Week around the International Day of Youth – 12 August
  • An Action Month for Democracy – starting with 15 September 2022 – the International Day of Democracy and ending with the Week
  • An Action Week around the International Day of Human Rights – 10 December.

Participants will further develop the concept of Action Days, and will propose actions for the first 2 proposed action days. 

Advocacy and lobby

The workshop will look at how and what for we should advocate at both national and European level, how can we organise and strengthen our advocacy efforts and engage with key stakeholders such as Congress of Local and Regional Authorities, Parliamentary Assembly, etc. The group should also consider the connection with the national level. 

Communication, networking and visibility

How do we communicate with each other and about our work? How can we support learning and networking among ourselves? And how do we give visibility to the actions, activities and initiatives we take.