Open Call: Seminar “Democracy done right: young people as key actors in pluralistic democracies & the role of the European Youth Card”
The seminar “Democracy done right: young people as key actors in pluralistic democracies & the role of the European Youth Card” is organised to support the recognition of various forms of participation in community and democratic societies and to explore the different ways in which the EYC can be a tool for engagement of all young people.
About the organisers
The Partial Agreement on Youth Mobility through the Youth Card exists since 1991 and is a programme of the Council of Europe aimed at developing the youth card scheme, particularly at European level, in the best interests of young people with a view to facilitating their mobility as well as access to the various goods and services necessary for their personal and cultural development.
The European Youth Card Association (EYCA) groups around 36 youth card organisations all over Europe and is the Partial Agreement’s statutory partner. EYCA’s vision is a Europe where all young people are mobile and active (socially, culturally, educationally and economically). EYCA’s mission to reach this objective consists in delivering quality youth card services and in contributing to a better policy on youth mobility and active citizenship. Today, over six million youth card-holders benefit from youth card opportunities.
About the seminar
The Council of Europe is the leading Pan-European international organisation promoting inclusive, human-rights based youth policies. The Council of Europe highly values the active participation of young people in decision-making particularly through one of the most advanced models of youth participation world-wide – the co-management system (see https://www.coe.int/en/web/youth/co-management ).
Over the past years, youth participation witnessed various ways of expression, from actively running for elected positions, to protests and using the social media to draw attention to different political issues, with young people finding new, alternative ways of engaging. However, the space for civic participation for youth has consistently shrunk over the past years, in particular due to civil restrictions caused by health crisis measures.
In response to the many challenges present, the Council of Europe launched the campaign Democracy Here, Democracy Now, aiming to revitalize democratic participation. From increased media disinformation – in particular over the past months and during the war in Ukraine – to rise of extreme right in many European countries, young people are at risk of democratic disengagement. They need to be recognized as key actors in our pluralistic democracies and strengthen their agency as citizens and as a very particular electorate.
In this context, social media clearly create new opportunities for voice, for action and possibly influence. But they create risks too as engagement with participatory politics might not always develop in positive ways. That's where schools come into the picture, playing their traditional role of preparing students to be citizens. It will be a challenge for researchers, teachers and education policy makers to keep pace with the rapid use of digital media by youth. But it seems clear that the virtual world can be good for the real world.
The seminar aims to:
1) Offer the space for debate and reflection on how pluralistic democracies can be revitalised and what is the role of youth organisations;
2) Identify how tools such as the European Youth card can be used to educate and engage young citizens in constant civic debates and empower them as key actors in their communities:
3) Make policy recommendations strengthen youth participation in emerging areas such as internet governance, while implementing the principles of Council of Europe policy frameworks (ex. the Revised European Charter on the Participation of Young People in Local and Regional Life).
Profile of the participants
This one-day-and-a-half seminar is open to up to 40 participants with expertise in youth affairs/youth mobility, youth work and youth participation:
- Governmental representatives of the member states of the Council of Europe;
- Researchers in youth participation;
- EYCA member organisations, partners and networks;
- International organisations;
- European youth organisations and civil society organisations;
- Young activists and non-organised young people from the States party to the European Cultural Convention (EES).
The selected participants are responsible for arranging their own travel possibly in a most economical way. EYCA will reimburse international travel costs upon receiving the justificative documents, up to 350 euros and the tickets need to be booked at least 15 days in advance before travelling.
- Request for reimbursement (to be sent to all attendees)
- E-ticket/ invoice / train/bus tickets clearly showing the paid amount
- Traveling by car: 0.25 Euros/km, upon receiving the gas receipt
The participants’ travel to and from the event as well as their stay during the seminar will be covered by the Council of Europe insurance.
Venue meeting, board and lodging
The event will take place at the Santa Severa Castle, address: SS1 Via Aurelia, Km 52,600,
00058 – Santa Marinella
All confirmed participants will be offered more information about the local transport. Accommodation and lodging will be offered by organisers.
Those participants who need visa to travel to Italy are requested to fill in Appendix III and send a scanned copy of their passport. Please note that the Council of Europe will assist with obtaining a visa for the selected participants.
If selected, please expect a reply in maximum a week.
 « Digital media shapes youth participation in politics » by Joseph Kahne and Ellen Middaugh.