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Council of Europe: Reykjavik Declaration refers to democratic youth participation in decision-making

Heads of State and Government gathered in Reykjavík on 16 and 17 May 2023 to stand united against Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine and to give further priority and direction to the Council of Europe’s work, and they concluded their visions in the Reykjavik Declaration that includes also a very clear and specific note on youth participation in decision-making.

In the Appendix III. Reykjavík Principles for Democracy, the Heads of State and Government committed themselves to securing and strengthening democracy and good governance at all levels throughout Europe, by protecting and promoting the three fundamental, interdependent and inalienable principles of democracy, rule of law and human rights, as enshrined in the Statute of the Council of Europe and in the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.

They consider democracy as the only means to ensure that everyone can live in a peaceful, prosperous and free society. They will prevent and resist democratic backsliding on our continent, including in situations of emergency, crisis and armed conflicts, and we will stand firm against authoritarian tendencies by enhancing our shared commitments as member States of the Council of Europe.

In Point 8 it is also stated that they will invest in a DEMOCRATIC FUTURE by ensuring that everyone is able to play their role in democratic processes. Priority will be given to supporting the participation of young persons in democratic life and decision-making processes, including through education about human rights and core democratic values, such as pluralism, inclusion, non-discrimination, transparency and accountability.

They conclude that they will share and promote these principles together with States and international organisations including the UN, the OSCE and the EU, as well as all those willing to work with the Council of Europe to further the achievement of greater unity and better global governance. The Democracy Reloading Partnership is encouraged and further inspired by this Declaration, and will continue doing its best to inspire local municipal authorities to establish or develop local / regional democratic youth participation in municipal decision-making.

You can download the full Reykjavik Declaration here: