Program: Erasmus+ Youth Key Action 1, Youth Exchange
Partners: Stadt Kassel, Jugendamt, Kommunales Jugendbildungswerk, Germany – Hosting Organization, I Participate – Συμμετέχω (Greece), Municipality of Oslo (Norway), Comune di Padova (Italy).
The 2003 Council of Europe’s “Revised European Charter on the Participation of Young People in Local and Regional Life”, states that “participation in the democratic life of any community is about more than voting or standing for election, although these are important elements. Participation and active citizenship is about having the right, the means, the space and the opportunity and wherever necessary the support to participate and influence decisions and engaging in actions and activities so as to contribute to building a better society.”
Young people are not – or not only – “future good citizens in training”, a role where they are often pushed back by education and political institutions. They are actors of today’s democracy. It has become particularly clear since the beginning of the second decade of the century. Young people have taken the leading role in movements that protest the mechanisms that led to post-democracy and proclaim the urgent need to deepen and expand democracy (Analytical paper on Youth Participation, EU & CoE).
Active participation of young people in decisions and actions at all levels is essential in order to build more democratic, more inclusive and more prosperous societies. Involving young people in addressing issues such as social inequalities, unemployment, and corruption is fundamental. Youth participation represents the opportunity of young people to understand democracy and responsibility, in order to be able to deal with democratic values, youth social and human rights and to contribute to the development of democratic structures in their countries, with faith in public authorities, contributing at the same time in the strengthening of the democratic institutions.
This project aims to improve the quality standards for youth participation by encouraging dialogue between young people, youth workers and youth decision-makers and establishing a network of young people and youth organizations that will contribute to structuring regional thematic cooperation between youngsters on the one hand and public and local authorities on the other. By encouraging dialogue between young people, youth workers and youth decision-makers this project aims to explore what active youth participation means in practice. In addition, this project aims to develop young people and youth workers competences in the field of project management and youth participation through non – formal education training.
- Develop participants understanding of necessary conditions for active youth participation• Increase participants understanding of youth participation in its different dimensions: decision making, youth policy lobbying, NGOs’ programs and activities and improve mutual understanding of institutions and youth on participation.
- Exchange experiences, good practices, opinions, educational tools and materials related to youth participation projects
- Promote European values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities and refugees (based on Article 2, Treaty on European Union)
- Increase the level of active citizenship of young people and, consequently build social conscience for democratic participation, both in a local level in their communities and in a European one
- Provide young people the opportunity to develop their competences on tackling personal problems that their community is facing, such as exclusion from institutions by active youth participation
- Inform participants on the Erasmus+ Youth Programme for 2014/2020, giving special focus on active inclusion of youth.