Study New and innovative forms of youth participation in decision-making processes

Year of production: 2017

This study of new and innovative forms of youth participation focuses on young people’s participation in desicion-making processes at national, regional and local levels. It also identifies and explores innovative forms of youth participation.

Growing concern at political level and evidence to indicate that young people have been turning away from established forms of democratic participation,for example increased abstention from voting and decreasing membership in political parties, have led some commentators to argue that young people are disengaging from “traditional” forms of participation and finding “alternative” or “innovative” forms of participation to replace them.

The participation of young people in decision-making processes – be they political, civic, civil society or other – fosters their active citizenship, enhances their inclusion, and strengthens their contribution to the advancement of democracy. It is essential, therefore, to foster this participation and one of the Council of Europe youth sector’s strategic objectives is to support young people’s (positive) attitude to influence decisions in democratic processes – be that at national, regional or local levels – and to increase their involvement in the development of inclusive and peaceful societies.


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.

Anne Crowley

Dr Anne Crowley is a policy and research consultant and recently completed a PhD on the impact of children’s and young people’s participation on decision making. She is currently an Associate at the CASCADE research centre at Cardiff University where she is involved in a range of research and policy projects. From 2010-12, Anne worked with the Council of Europe on drafting Recommendation CM/Rec(2012)2 of the Committee of Ministers to member States on the participation of children and young people under the age of 18, and has subsequently been engaged with the Secretariat and other experts to develop the Child Participation Assessment Tool (CPAT) for member States to use to assess their progress in implementing the Recommendation. Prior to becoming involved in policy and research, Anne worked with marginalised young people as a social worker and a probation officer.

Photo of Dr. Dan Moxon
Dr. Dan Moxon

​Dan is researcher and practitioner specialising in inclusive youth participation with over 20 years experience working with children and young people in the voluntary, public, for-profit and academic sectors. His research focuses on how children and young people's participation can influence policy, as well and the development of participatory structures and processes. Originally a youth worker at local and regional level in the North West of England, he now works throughout Europe and beyond supporting a variety of organisations, to develop their approach to youth participation. In 2017 he was invited to re-develop the consultation process behind the EU’s Youth Dialogue. This engages nearly 50,000 young people from across the EU, and was instrumental in developing the new European Youth Goals. In 2020, his advice paper to the Ukrainian Government led to a revision of a draft law which enabled under 18s to participate in local civic processes.