In the heart of every thriving democracy lies the active involvement of its citizens. It’s the cornerstone that supports the formulation, passage, and implementation of public policies. Yet, there’s a growing concern shadowing democracies worldwide – a noticeable decline in political participation, especially among the younger generations. This trend, evident in both long-standing and emerging democracies, poses a significant threat to the democratic process.
The “Boosting European Democratic Participation” project emerges as a beacon of hope in this landscape. Its primary mission? To reverse the trend of declining electoral turnout and political disengagement, especially among Europe’s youth. Over the past four decades, we’ve witnessed a stark decrease in activities like voting and party membership, not just in Europe, but globally. This project aims to address this decline head-on, focusing on empowering young Europeans to actively engage with their political systems.
Why is youth participation plummeting? Several factors contribute, including a perceived distance from European institutions and a lack of awareness about the democratic tools at their disposal. This detachment is more pronounced at a European level, where the youth often feel their voices are unheard or unimportant. The project acknowledges this gap and seeks to bridge it, not just by consulting with young people, but by actively involving them in policy development stages, like agenda setting and implementing solutions to social issues.
The overarching goal is ambitious yet vital – aligning with the European Commission’s objectives to enhance democratic and political participation among EU citizens. However, it’s not limited to just electoral participation. The project also focuses on fostering a sense of belonging to the EU, reducing the perceived distance from European institutions, and engaging the least represented groups in the democratic process.
In essence, the future of European democracy hinges on the active participation of its youth. It’s not just about casting a vote; it’s about understanding and influencing the policies that shape our lives. The “Boosting European Democratic Participation” project is more than a campaign; it’s a call to action for every young European. It’s an invitation to be part of something bigger than ourselves – to shape the future of democracy in our continent.