International Democracy Day: EU launches youth engagement group to promote democracy worldwide

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International Democracy Day: EU launches youth engagement group to promote democracy worldwide

The European Commission is one of the leaders of the group, along with the governments of Nepal and Ghana, the European Partnership for Democracy, AfricTivistes and the European Youth Network for Democracy.

On her occasion International Day of Democracy and his European Youth Yearthe European Commission today launched the Youth in Politics and Civic Engagement Group to support young people in promoting democracy locally and globally. The European Commission is one of the leaders of the group, along with the governments of Nepal and Ghana, the European Partnership for Democracy, AfricTivistes and the European Youth Network for Democracy. The launch took place at an event attended by representatives of governments, EU institutions, USAID, civil society organisations, universities and think tanks.

International Enterprise Relations Commissioner Jutta Urpillainen said: “The broad engagement and participation of young people at all levels of policy-making is the driving force that pushes democracies forward strongly and steadily. The European Commission is committed to promoting young people’s participation in democratic processes worldwide, as also demonstrated by the imminent adoption of our first Youth Action Plan under the EU’s external action. I am proud of the involvement of so many partners in the joint launch of the youth participation group.”

A global intergenerational alliance to reform democracy

The Youth Political and Civic Engagement Group is one of several multilateral platforms being created under the Democracy Summit Year of Action, launched by United States President Joe Biden in December 2021, in which the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen also participated. These groups bring together governments, civil society, and the private sector—and their resources, activities, and expertise—to advance good governance and democratic renewal around the world.

The youth participation group in politics and society sets the following goals:

  • Promoting young people’s political and civic participation at local and global levels, including by identifying barriers to such participation and specific commitments from governments
  • Promoting young people’s understanding of democratic principles and the relationship between democracy and long-term stability and prosperity
  • Promoting diversity and inclusiveness within youth groups and in promoting youth issues
  • Supporting young people and their organizations to evaluate democratic institutions and processes and to formulate views on possible reforms
  • Facilitating young people, their organizations and movements to reshape democracy into a more robust, inclusive, effective, transparent, accountable and equitable form of

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The EU promotes human rights and democracy around the world, including through its €1.5 billion Global Europe for Human Rights and Democracy 2021-2027 programme. This thematic program complements other programs at local, national and regional level. The multi-annual action program 2022-2024, adopted in July 2022, supports actions in line with the goals of the democracy summit and contributes to the activities of the youth participation group.

In early October, the Commission will adopt its first Youth Action Plan for external actions, to promote youth leadership, global citizenship education and strategic partnerships with young people to promote democracy and human rights.

Lena Flitzani

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