“This study is concerned with the participation of young people in European democratic life. A normative conception of youth participation, defining political participation broadly, is about engaging in forming opinions and taking actions to bring about positive change in society. Youth participation, in other words, fosters a sense of citizenship and makes policy processes more transparent and accountable towards young people. At the same time, it helps young people build self-confidence, develop a sense of initiative and acquire and test skills that are relevant for the workplace, such as communication, negotiation or teamwork, in a practical environment.
When it comes to the participation of young people in democratic life, Europe has no borders. Young people’s patterns of participation in society vary in line with different cultural norms, history and geography. But across Europe, the concept of youth participation is shared. The conclusions and recommendations of this study are therefore not only relevant to the member states of the European Union, but equally to other countries in the wider Europe context (which would in practice include non-EU members of the Council of Europe).”