This online Toolkit aims to support municipalities and local authorities in successfully engaging young people in decision-making. Democracy Reloading is grounded in the values and principles of human rights, equality, democracy and the rule of law. The Toolkit is based on a set of 24 competence elements (attitudes, values, knowledge and skills) that will help a local (municipal) or regional government design, implement and evaluate a successful youth participation structure. This is aimed at engaging young people in the local/regional council’s decision-making process. A number of Erasmus+ Youth national agencies have cooperated and worked together with practitioners and experts, through research and collective learning/sharing activities, to identify these competences. Each competence is described in detail and includes a variety of resources that will help you understand theories and concepts, learn about related practices and improve your implementations skills.


The Toolkit will help youth policy-related municipality staff become empowered, competent and ready to encourage young people to become involved in decision- making, thereby improving active citizenship and democracy in local communities. The Toolkit is also in line with the European Youth Strategy 2019-27which aims to actively engage young people, youth organisations and other organisers of youth work in policies that affect their lives at all levels. It also aims to support youth representatives at local, regional and national level and to recognise young people’s rights to participate and self-organise. The competences are explained via three notions: values and attitudes, knowledge, and skills.


Democracy Reloading research identified 4 main tasks for a municipal youth policy officer/department,
which deal with engaging young people in decision-making.

View the full reference framework of competences

The four tasks


Creating a supportive environment within the MUNICIPALITY to involve young people in decision-making.

Young People

Empowering YOUNG PEOPLE and their organisations and communities to participate in municipal decision-making.


Developing policy, STRATEGY and structure for youth participation in decision-making.


MANAGING youth participation in decision-making and validating its impact.

Under each task, you will find the 6 competence elements (2 attitudes, 2 knowledge-based and 2 skills) that will allow you to carry out the task successfully. The strong presence of these 6 competence elements in your municipality will form the basis of an organisational culture and supportive environment that will empower your municipality to accomplish this task.

Values and attitude

There are always specific values and principles behind actions and policies. Everything we do is rooted in these values and reflects how a person or organisation considers and approaches other people or issues. Each TASK will be supported by 2 attitudes and values that you are expected to agree and identify with.


A competence requires the acquisition of relevant information, an understanding of various theories, the carrying out of research, the cognitive processing of this information, and an understanding of the relationship between the various elements. Each task will be supported by 2 knowledge sections, so that you can understand why, what and how things can be done.


In order to act, implement policy and achieve objectives, you need specific abilities. These abilities will empower you to be competent and effective in your implementation. Each task will be described via 2 specific skills.

When you complete the learning and development process of the 24 competence elements, you (or your team) are ready and empowered to design and develop youth participation in decision-making for your municipality. Your work will contribute towards improving democracy in your local community.


The Toolkit is user-friendly and is based on a non-formal education approach. As you read through the 24 competences, the Toolkit will show you your individual progress, as well as that of your municipality, all visualised through the construction of four buildings. We recommend that you work through the Toolkit together with colleagues who are – or should be – involved in the implementation of youth participation in decision-making in your municipality/organisation. It may only be one person, or it may be a team of people who are working on this issue; it all depends on the size and resources of the municipality. So please identify carefully who should be involved in learning with this Toolkit, and plan your learning process together. The time you invest in using the Toolkit will eventually pay off, as it will thoroughly prepare you to design and implement (or improve) youth engagement in decision-making.