Participants drafted the guiding framework that sets a common understanding on “youth empowerment of political participation” and adopted the guiding questions on which the consultations will be carried out. Joint recommendations on “young people’s access to rights” were also drawn up and will feed into Council Conclusions to be adopted in December 2014 by the Italian presidency.
Around 200 delegates – young people and policy makers – from all the EU Member States discussed, through workshops and plenary debates, access to rights for youth autonomy, from access to employment and credits, to the importance of information and monitoring of access to rights. Delegates reflected on important issues for the development of full participation in society. The recommendation highlights key elements on youth participation and include:
The EU and Member States should appoint an independent ombudsperson for youth rights. The role of the ombudsperson should be to increase awareness, to map and point out challenges and discriminatory practices, and to systematically work to protect the rights of young people.
In order to empower young people to become active citizens, Member States should provide citizenship education at all stages of formal education and support non-formal education providers so that young people are aware of and able to access their rights.
Member States should implement a continuous cross-sectoral approach, as well as support inter- and national NGOs for awareness-raising activities, in order to ensure outreach to disadvantaged young people and empower them to know and fully exercise their rights, especially on local level.