Young people are the present: participatory budgeting and other examples of active citizenship

Thursday 29 February 2024

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How can we stimulate social change, support educators and policymakers in implementing participatory democracy, enhance the empowerment of young people in active participation in the construction of the common good? These are the challenges and questions that the YUPAD – YoUth PArticipatory budgets empowering young people using big Data project attempted to answer.

On Monday 26 February 2024, on the occasion of the event Contributing to the local community: participatory budgeting and other examples of active citizenship, numerous people including young people, educators and policymakers met at Moltivolti to explore the topic of participatory budgeting and to discover strategies and good active citizenship practices put into practice by some local entities.

The meeting began with the presentation of the results of the project, the activities carried out and the outputs created (YUPAD cookbook, YUPAD recipes, YUPAD Calculator, YUPAD Curricula for educators and political decision makers). The two teams of young people who were involved in the training and planning of the project (YUPAD Bees) also participated in the event: the Gratteri Youth Council and the Prizzi Youth Council.

The two groups talked about their experience within the project, the dissemination of the YUPAD Calculator questionnaire among their peers, the results of the survey and the analysis of the responses, which led to the creation of the project ideas developed at the end of the course. As part of the project, CESIE allocated a small sum to both groups for the realization of the projects and at the end of the event announced the winning group of a bonus prize which was awarded to the most sustainable project idea.

In addition to the presentation of the activities of the YUPAD project, the event was an opportunity to talk about the Law on participatory democracy in force in Sicily, presented by Parliament watch Italia, represented by Giuseppe D’Avella who explained to the public the functioning of the law on participatory democracy in Sicily and the critical issues faced by administrations and citizens in the implementation of participatory budget processes. During this speech, the Scriviamola insieme petition was also presented, through which the Sicilian Region is asked to co-design a new law that allows the Municipalities to use the quota available each year in a simple, effective and truly participatory way and at citizenship to participate in appropriate processes.

The associations Laboratorio Zen Insieme (Fabrizio Arena) and Tu sei la città (Alfredo Pensabene and Filippo Munafò) presented their initiatives for involving citizens in participation processes. Laboratorio Zen Insieme participated in the meeting together with a representative of the Permanent Youth Committee of Zen made up of young people from the area who have carried out urban regeneration and active citizenship actions in their own neighbourhood.

The event was an important opportunity for discussion, during which all participants were able to increase their awareness on the topic of participation and active citizenship or discovered the possibility of participating in the participatory budget with project proposals or by voting.

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YUPAD aims to enable young people to understand, practice and influence participatory budgeting in European cities, develop the capacity of educators and local authorities to implement participatory budgeting, and increase civic participation among young people.


For further information

Read more about the project and visit the website.

Contact Cinzia Costa:

YUPAD Project was funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or [European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA)]. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.

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