Democracy Here |Democracy Now is a Council of Europe youth campaign for revitalising democracy and for strengthening mutual trust between young people and democratic institutions and processes. The Campaign focuses on access to human rights, meaningful youth participation and the impact of digitalisation as factors of democratisation.
The Campaign is based on activities undertaken with young people and youth organisations at local, national and international levels, supported by national contact points and European partners. These activities are supported and connected by the Council of Europe; the results and proposals emerging from young people will be organised and integrated into a call for action. The Campaign also aims to have a democratic approach: young people and their organisations explore the topic of revitalisation of democracy and make the proposals to be translated into policy and programmes at the Council of Europe level.
A thematic calendar has been established to provide the timeline for the activities to take place within the campaign:
On the theme of access to rights:
- March-April: Democracy and access to rights online and offline;
- April-May: Democracy, equality and non-discrimination.
On the theme of meaningful youth participation:
- May-June: Democracy and youth participation at national and European levels (Europe day), including mechanisms to improve them such as co-management;
- June-July: Democracy and young people’s freedom of expression and association.
On the theme of digitalisation:
- August-September: Democracy and digitalisation: the opportunities and risks digital technologies offer to young people, notably as regards democracy and democratic participation;
- September-October: Young people’s rights and digitalisation: opportunities and challenges.
Moreover, there are three main actions that are designed to support the campaign and those interested to engage in it:
- The European Youth Foundation provides financial support for international activities and pilot projects at local and national levels, organised within the framework of the Campaign. Interested organisations can apply by the 16th of May for the Special call for projects.
- The Democracy Action Week, which will take place in Strasbourg between 27 June and 2 July 2022, will bring together some 500 campaign activists to take stock of the first proposals and organise further action.
- An evaluation conference in December will sum up the results and propose follow-up actions.
The campaign, which is rooted in the Council of Europe Youth Strategy 2030, will seek to increase young people’s role in participatory democracy and restore mutual trust between young people and democratic institutions and processes, so that the institutions can respond to modern challenges in the best way possible. As part of the campaign, national contacts points will help shape specific objectives for individual countries. 20 states will take part in this initiative.