Podcast: Shrinking civil society space for young people

Year of production: 2021

The Youth Partnership’s podcast “Shrinking civil society space for young people” is discussing the phenomenon of shrinking civil society space for youth organisations and youth movements – what forms it takes, how it affects young people and what can be done about it.

Youth organisations have experienced the shrinking space for civil society in a variety of ways and on many different levels. Space can start to shrink when governments see civil society as a threat. As a result, they employ tactics to discredit and weaken them, thereby shrinking the space in which they can work.

In this episode, the discussion focuses on how the space for civil society is changing, particularly for young people. It also reflects on newer developments impacting this change (e.g. digitalisation, COVID-19), how young people are engaging with these changes and what can be done on different levels to address this trend.

The podcast includes as guests (roles and titles at the time of the recording – February 2021):
Andreas Hirsch is an Advisor on European Youth Policy at JUGEND für Europa, the German National Agency of Erasmus+: Youth in Action and European Solidarity Corps. He has also worked several years with a European civil society youth organisation advocating for topics ranging from gender equality to sustainability to mental health of young people.

Leonie Martin is a member of the Advisory Council on Youth at the Council of Europe, a body of 30 youth representatives who advise the Committee of Ministers on decisions relating to youth. Together with others, she works on the issue of shrinking civic youth space. She is furthermore President of the non-partisan youth NGO Young European Federalists, called JEF, which is active in more than 30 countries, organising activities and advocating on issues of European democracy and citizenship.


EU-CoE youth partnership logo
The Partnership between the European Commission and the Council of Europe in the field of youth

The EU-CoE youth partnership is a co-operation programme between the European Commission and the Council of Europe in the field of youth, created in 1998. It is based on the principle of a balanced involvement of the partner institutions in terms of political priorities, management, funding and visibility.