In Spring 2019, MIJARC Europe organized so-called “local visits” in 10 countries in which we have a member organization.

The objective of the activity was to discuss with young people, youth workers and local and regional authorities about youth participation, discover what they think about it and how they assess youth participation in their community.

MIJARC Europe is now publishing the report of these local visits.

No starting point to be youth

In most countries we visited, youth is defined by the age. In general there is no under limit: only three focus groups named the age at which you start to belong to “youth”. Nevertheless, there is a strong acceptation of the upper limit to youth, which is situated between 25 and 30 years old.

Youth organizations as spaces of real youth participation

The young people and youth workers assessed at a high level of participation the orginzations in which they are active. Most of them consider that their organization is a place where the decision process is shared between youth and adults, sometimes it is even completely youth led and initiated.

What happen if it does not happen?

The question “What happen if youth participation does not happen?” opened and gave participants the opportunity to reflect on the long term. The results were strong pessimistic. On one side, no youth participation would have bad influence on the society. If young people are not in a situation to participate and through this to become engaged and aware citizens, they would in the future no engaged adult and all our democratic system would be in danger. On the other side, the participants underlined the importance of youth participation for their personal development. They gave examples of skills they learned and ideas about what they want to do in the future they get through volunteering.

Check the complete report here.