9 Feb 2024

Youth Engagement: Essential to Renewing European Democracy with Nets4Dem

In a rapidly changing world where democratic values are tested, Nets4Dem (Network of Networks for Democracy) aspires to unite diverse voices and organisations driven by the belief that a path towards vibrant and inclusive democratic societies across Europe can be forged.

At its core, Nets4Dem isn’t just about creating networks; it’s about weaving a tapestry of connections that transcend borders and ideologies. The belief is that by bringing together policymakers, practitioners, and researchers, conversations beyond the usual rhetoric will spark. This fosters mutual learning and forms innovative partnerships for real change, all in a landscape of growing citizen dissatisfaction and waning trust in institutions.

Democratic Society, with its partners, pushes to place youth at the forefront, recognising their pivotal role in shaping the future of governance. Amidst the urgent need for democratic renewal, their participation is crucial within the context of large European networks and the future of the EU for several reasons. Firstly, youth organisations and networks represent a wide range of backgrounds, experiences, and viewpoints among young people. Further, they are often a source of new ideas, innovation, and fresh perspectives. By involving them in large European networks, they can gain valuable experience in leadership and decision-making at the European level. Ultimately, incorporating youth into large European networks strengthens the legitimacy and trust in the European project.

Therefore, for the Place-Out programme, Democratic Society will be devoted to sharing its expertise on participatory processes. We believe learning about participatory processes is crucial for young people because it empowers them to actively engage in decision-making processes that affect their lives and communities. Secondly, it fosters a sense of civic responsibility and ownership over democratic processes, encouraging them to become informed and active citizens. In conclusion, the power of collaboration to renew and revitalise European democracy can inspire every young individual.

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