Youth4Democracy Training Courses in 2023

Written by Veronica Stefan

The Democracy Reloading Partnership, in cooperation with the NewPowerinYouth Partnership and the SALTO Participation started working on the concept of a training module for empowering young people for participating in municipal decision-making.

The Youth4Democracy Stakeholder meeting, organised in Tallinn-Estonia, 5-7 March 2022, brought together stakeholders from two strategic partnerships – Democracy Reloading Partnership and New Power in Youth. As both partnerships aim to support young people in developing their competences to participate in democratic decisions, the meeting looked at how to create synergies between all stakeholders, in the context of a new capacity building module dedicated to young people.

The meeting, co-organised by the two coordinating National Agencies (NA) from Estonia, Belgium (FR) and joined by the national agency of the Netherlands, was an inspiring practice for how to meaningfully engage young people from early stages. Starting from the precept “nothing for young people without young people”, the Stakeholders meeting brought together representatives from NAs in the two partnerships, SALTO PI, DYPALL Network as well as representatives from the Dutch National Youth Council and Lääneranna Youth Council (Estonia). The youth leaders present at the meeting shared their own reflections on the challenges and opportunities encountered by young people in decision-making processes, as well as on the support needed to ensure a long-term impact in society.

The overall focus was put into shaping a capacity building module that can support young people to engage meaningfully in local youth participation. Building on the practices and tools developed in the Democracy Reloading Partnership the new module aims, among others, to empower young people to:

  1. assess the situation and the local context to have a better overview and understanding of the real obstacles and challenges (based on the 24 competences)
  2. develop personal competences required for improving the opportunities and the qualities of the reality in their own community

The new module is meant to become a practice that can be multiplied by municipalities, National Agencies and other stakeholders interested in creating learning spaces for youth engagement in democratic life.

Apply by 27 April 2022 for the New Power in Youth call for participants International Project Lab (participation projects).

Discover the Youth Participation Strategy and Toolkit for more ideas on how to enhance youth participation in democratic life through the Erasmus+ and European Solidarity Corps programmes.

Dive into the Participation Pool and discover more resources on Youth Participation

The following experts took part in the meeting:

  1. Veronica Stefan (New Power in Youth, Estonian NA)
  2. Gerttu Osa (Democracy Reloading, Estonian NA)
  3. Alexandre Marques da Fonseca (SALTO PI)
  4. Karmen Pikkmets, Pärnu , Lääneranna Youth Council
  5. Bernard Moreau, (ESC officer, Belgian-FR NA)
  6. Laszlo Foldi, (Democracy Reloading, Belgian-FR NA)
  7. Lindsay Vogelzang, (Democracy Reloading, Dutch NA)
  8. Pia Termijn, Dutch National Youth Council
  9. Bruno Antonio (DYPALL, expert) – online
  10. Christiana Xenofontos (Bureau member, European Youth Forum) – online

We will soon (in May) publish a call for host agencies and a detailed Terms of Reference of the training module. We hope that from 2023 there will be a number of such training modules to empower young people for participating in municipal decision-making.