Digital tools to foster youth engagement: the debate is still open!
Young Europeans are not a single voice but people with different needs who often express themselves through unconventional forms of participation.
How do young people engage and behave online and offline? How do they use digital tools for participation? How to reach those living in remote areas and those who are not seeking for information?
These are some of the questions raised during the Final Conference Structured Dialogue: the use of digital tools to foster youth engagement in policy-making, held the 24th of April 2018 at the Committee of the Regions (Brussels, Belgium) and organised in the frame of the YouthMetre project.
The conference opened with speeches from:
- Yoomi Renström, Member of the Committee of the Regions;
- Antonella Valmorbida, Secretary General of ALDA;
- Karl Donert, Project Coordinator of the project YouthMetre and President of EUROGEO.
Then two panels comparing different perspectives regarding the use of digital tools for youth engagement in policymaking followed showing:
- The Institutional Stakeholders’ perspective on forward-looking tools for youth empowerment and current developments and challenges on youth active participation in democratic life.
- The Practitioners’ perspective, who presented existing practices and successful experiences on the use of e-tools for youth participation and their future perspectives.
To the first panel contributed:
- Casba Borboly, Member of the Committee of the Regions;
- Emilian Pavel, Member of the European Parliament;
- Alessandro Senesi, Deputy Head of Unit at DG EAC;
- Davide Capecchi, Research and Policy Officer at the Partnership between the European Commission and the Council of Europe in the field of youth;
- Stéphanie Nowakowski, Project Officer at the Bureau International Jeunesse;
- Wout Van Caimere, Coordinator of the Youth Intergroup of the European Parliament.
EU institutions respond to the need of more youth engagement through two main tools: the Structured Dialogue and the Erasmus Plus Programme.
As Mr. Alessandro Senesi stated this is a crucial moment where it is important to link the ongoing debate and what happens at the level of the local authorities with the future of the youth policy, the preparation of the new Erasmus Plus Programme and the new European Youth Strategy. This is the time to analyse all these experiences and built on them.
Speakers of the second panel were:
- Alessio Lupi, Secretary General of ARS for Progress of People;
- Céline Guedes de Carvalho, Policy Officer at FEPS;
- Valentin Dupouey, Secretary General of JEF;
- Delphine Rochus, Belgian Young Ambassador on behalf of the Youth Council;
- Ms Elisa Lironi, Digital Democracy Manager at ECAS;
- Evaldas Rupkus, Project Manager at IJAB;
- Matías Nso, CEO and co-founder of Kuorum.org;
- Daniel Van Lerberghe, Dissemination and Communication Partner at Cafébabel.
Beside YouthMetre the following experiences were presented:
- DEEP-linking Youth project European Citizen Action Service;
- #ASK – Augmenting Social talK;
- We All Count Europe;
- OPIN! – European toolbox for youth eParticipation projects;
- Millennial dialogue.
The practitioners shared their projects and lessons learned in using e-tools to foster youth participation at local, national and European levels. All organisations expressed the interest in considering possible future synergies between these different experiences.
The discussion on e-tools for participation is rather than be closed.
About the project
YouthMetre: a tool for forward looking youth participation is co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme, KA3: Support for Policy Reform with the aim to support EU Member States, municipalities and regions in carrying out effective policy reforms in the field of Youth.
The project partnership holds together 6 organisations:
- EUROGEO – European Association of Geographers(Belgium, coordinator);
- UNIVERSIDAD DE ZARAGOZA(Spain);
- EYP – European Youth Press – Network of young media makers e.V. (Germany):
- ALDA – European Association for Local Democracy(France);
- ARS for Progress(Belgium);
- CESIE (Italy).