Deliberative youth participation aims to include young people from all backgrounds in public debate and dialogue about a decision or group of decisions, in order to influence the way they are taken. This often takes place as a one-off event or a series of events (Crowley & Moxon, 2017).

At EU level, the most prominent example of deliberative participation is the European Union Youth Dialogue – which is the biggest structured citizen participation process in the European Union. EU Youth Dialogue constitutes a series of youth consultations on a mutually agreed topic, and it takes place simultaneously across all of the EU member states. EU Youth Dialogue happens in 18-month cycles and is coordinated by youth-led national working groups in EU member states and a European Steering Group at EU level. Consultations are coordinated by national working groups, which are led by youth organisations and usually involve government institutions responsible for youth affairs, youth researchers and the national agencies of Erasmus+ programme.

 

Twice a year, the current EU presidency country hosts an EU Youth Conference where youth representatives and decision-makers from EU member and candidate countries meet to engage in dialogue and discuss the results of national consultations. Each 18-month youth dialogue cycle usually ends with the results of the national consultations and EU Youth Conferences being compiled and presented to ministers at the Council of European Union, who consider them and adopt a policy or document based on the results. An example of one of the recent outcomes of the EU Youth Dialogue process was the adoption of the 11 EU Youth Goals.

Another example of deliberative participation in action is the Wisdom Council model.

Authors

Martti Martinson

Martti Martinson is an Honorary Fellow at Victoria University, Australia and his research and advocacy work is focused on the enabling environment for youth participation in decision-making processes. He is a strong advocate for the concept of human rights based youth work and legislating youth participation.