Seminar / Conference
6-8 October 2014 | Brussels, Belgium – FR
Background: In a number of countries, the European Parliament election results revealed an increase in support for nationalist, anti-European and xenophobic parties – some of which now have a presence in the European Parliament.
There appears to be a sense of dissatisfaction with what is considered the “European Project” – as well as with the functioning of liberal democracy.
This produces a dangerous amalgam that is gaining force in almost every country across Europe. It is therefore time to redefine the participation of young people in a democratic Europe – previously considered a mere nice-to-have option for youth NGOs and interested youth workers. Learning to participate in practical and effective ways in daily life, and experiencing that one’s opinions and activities can actually shape the political dialogue with those in power, may be a highly effective way to prevent young people from becoming too discouraged and apathetic to make their voices heard in a democratic society.
That said, political decision-makers, too, have to learn to open to an early dialogue about political decisions that involves target groups of all ages on all levels. Is that a naïve vision? Or is it the state of the art of good governance?
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