Pistessolidaires has joined forces with European partners (Italy, Norway, North Macedonia and Cyprus and Greece) to promote active citizenship among young people. Within the framework of the project called NEUEYT, the partners have identified methods to involve young people in civic and democratic processes, to develop their civic participation and their capacity to act.
the project targets young people aged 16 to 20, especially those under-represented in political decision-making and those living in rural areas.
PistesSolidaires proposed to the Maison Familial etRurale of Mont, a rural village, to implement “the 6 steps for participation in civic and democratic processes” with 15 trainees of the secondary school, aged 16-17
Step by step, the trainees were invited to :
– to become aware of the different current societal challenges by taking ownership of their environment. At this stage, the trainees discussed environmental protection, climate change, inequalities, solidarity, sustainable development, access to information and new technologies.
– To reflect more specifically on situations that affect their daily lives or that challenge them in particular, and to choose one of them to act on. By starting with their needs, young people become involved in the process of improving the situation.
They explore the causes and consequences and find perspectives for concrete action by establishing a diagnosis of their knowledge. The collective construction allows for the exchange of points of view and argumentation in order to fully understand the problem they are facing. The debates focused on food waste, equality and respect for the environment.
– seek solutions to take part in the evolution of the situation and be an active citizen. To encourage critical thinking and to demonstrate to the trainees that they have a place in the democratic process, the trainees share their diagnosis with the members of the Board of Directors and collectively build solutions.
– act collectively by setting up their concrete actions that can be carried out by the group (trainees, board members, teachers, partners if necessary)
– Then comes the time for reflection, for taking a step back from the contributions of each person to identify the stages of involvement necessary for active citizenship.
This gradual approach to the democratic process gives young people confidence in their ability to express themselves, propose and defend their ideas.
The young people felt useful and empowered in their role as citizens. They were listened to by decision-makers from the MFR of MONT and encouraged in the collective elaboration of solutions for their community.
Young people will be soon ready to share their proposed actions with other classes and teachers. They have considered different media, including digital, to explain their proposals and the actions to be implemented.
On December 6, the second round of discussions on the theme “Youth and political commitment” for the city and province of Verona took place.
Michele Sartori – Scaligera ULSS9 company, Sara Benetti- Vice president of the Sulle Orme association, Alessandra Mozzo – L’albero cooperative designer, Rachele Tomezzoli – anthropology student and self-managed laboratory activist Paratodos, Giulia Gambaretto – political science student, Jacopo Buffolo – Councilors for youth policies and equal opportunities of the municipality of Verona, Marco Tabacchini – high school teacher, Hamza Khamlich – former student of Economics and management.
For Glocal Factory: Sara Khamlich and Anna Schena
After a short round of presentations we gave some information about the project that gave us the opportunity to meet: NEUEYT- Youth Digital Participation. Then Anna presented all initiatives and introduced We&Us Panel.
Giulia Gambaretto, part of the Scientific Committee of We&Us, participating online, told policy makers what it was like to be part of We & Us panel. After some questions and correspondent answers, the discussion moved on the following questions:
When and how did we experience the use of digital means to encourage the active participation of young people?
What critical issues have you encountered? What opportunities have you tested or glimpsed? What are the other possibilities, outside of digital?
This allowed us to share our experiences and discuss together the use of social media, websites and participatory platforms in political life with particular reference to the youth sphere. Among important general reflections and concrete practices, a complex and multifaceted theme has emerged in which it is difficult to distinguish the boundary between opportunity, empowerment, risk and concrete danger.
But the discussion has just begun!
Following table is planned in March and in the agenda is already there the follow up.
Last week on 14 December 2022, Glocal Factory with the support from Poraka Nova and Foris organized the online We&Us Panel Initiative final meeting with policy makers from Italy and N.Macedonia in order to present the report behind the survey conducted by young people from the same countries who were involved in this initiative.
We&US is an initiative having the aim of sustaining youngsters in giving proper wording to their needs, to display them to policy makers and stakeholders and to use effective communication channels which enable their voices to be heard. A group of involved youngsters had the opportunity to elaborate a report on a panel of crucial topics presenting the findings in several multi-stakeholder events.
After recruiting the young people for We&Us Panel back in May 2022, a Scientific committee was established who worked on the development of the survey, the collection of the answers, fine tuning and last steps result elaboration and presentation during June and December 2022.
We are so proud that 28 participants joined the online meeting from whom 17 were policy makers who had a chance to see the results, debate with the young people and provide their feedback.
We&Us Panel Survey managed to receive 210 answers, it was constructed with 8 closed ended questions and 7 open ended questions. Main selected topics by the youngsters were Employment and working conditions, Fighting climate change, sustainability recycling and International mobility.
Find the full report and conclusions from the survey HERE.
Thanks to all amazing youngsters who joined and participated in this initiative, and thanks to the policy makers who attended the meeting, we hope for long collaboration and developing maybe future joint programs or actions to support the youth participation in all democratic processes.
On the 1st of December the tactical members of Trikala’s Youth Council had a meeting at the City Hall organized and supported by E-TRIKALA NEUEYT team and representatives of the local stakeholders. During this meeting they had their first elections in order to vote for their President, Vice president and General Secretary. They also decided to create three committees inside the youth council (Committee on Sports, Culture & Education, Committee on Environment and Sustainability and Committee on Social Matters). What is more, during this meeting the 6 steps local workshop also took place. The methodology was presented to the youth council and the intervention plan template was explained and used by the members to start planning their first activities. It has also been decided that the 6 steps methodology and tools will be used by the Youth Council in all future interventions. The meeting was contacted in a hybrid form and was also live streamed by the Municipality’s YouTube channel.
On the 21st of November 2022 our youth council was invited to participate on a workshop of a project called EU_INCLUDE that took place in the city of Trikala. Two members of our youth council (Mr Giannis Lappas and Mrs Elia Kostopoulou) took part on a round table discussion between officials of the participating municipalities in charge of managing the processes of citizen participation and social workers from associations linked with civic participation and democratic life about European Rights for European Citizens.
The youth council representatives were asked to give their opinion on the following issues:
Taking into consideration that Democracy is one of the fundamental values of the European Union, which are the values and the principles that are vivid in contemporary diverse societies?
How will the Generation Z become active members of inclusive and participatory societies and cities?
Living in the European Union brings with it fundamental rights and responsibilities, too. What is necessary for societies to function democratically?
The issue of participatory democracy and its links with representative democracy is vital for civic participation. Is the civic engagement an essential pillar for a proper collective functioning?
Is citizens’ participation to political, economic, social and cultural life crucial for people’s commitment to the values of Democracy?
Are representation and participation, the two main pillars of a strong democracy?
Describe with one word, your perspectives of the participation to the Youth Municipal Council.
What is more NEUEYT was also presented during this meeting by Mrs Christina Karaberi, member of E-TRIKALA, as a best practice in promoting young people democratic participation The workshop was also broadcasted live via the venues YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5RLR3OJ_HlQ
NUEYET project partners Agder fylkeskommune (Norway) recorded the first podcast on the topic of youth participation, where youth could also meet policy makers.
Several young people from Lillesand met Lillesand mayor Einar Holmer Hoven to discuss the NEUEYT-project and its activitites, as well how to better improve youth involvement in society, with focus on youth participation in democratic process.
The whole podcast is available on the video below!