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A New Era of Youth Participation?

no picture Yasmin Youssef
Member since June 20, 2016
  • 44 Posts
  • Age 19

In the context of the World’s Children Day 2017 (21.11.2017) I had the opportunity to join a panel-discussion in the European-parliament. This was the first time that the European Parliament celebrated Universal Children’s Day by opening its doors to children and young adults for a constructive and trustworthy debate. Panellists where Anna Maria Corazza Bildt, Nathalie Griesbeck, Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, Margaret Tuite, Ionnis Dimitrakopoulos and Per Leander.

During the event we had the possibility to ask the panellists questions about youth participation, their career, the role and function of the EU and its aims for the future on topics like education, democracy and inclusion etc. It resulted in an interesting discussion, that continued after the event, in the form of personal conversations.

During the event it became quite evident that there is currently a big misunderstanding between young people and adults. It is viewed that adults often moan, that young people are demotivated and do not participate enough. At the same time it is seen that young people often moan that adults don’t listen to them, do not consider and respect their ideas often feel hindered in their projects. During the panel-discussion it however became quite clear that both groups are not entitled to claim these things! Adults want to support young people and young people want to make a change. However there seems to be have been an obstacle until now in the efficient conduction: communication.

If we want to make a change in the world young people and adults have to start working together as one functional unit. This presupposes trust, respect and most importantly interaction. Only if young people and adults work together, combine and refine their ideas, knowledge and skills and communicate eye-to-eye we will be able to induce change and find sustainable solutions local, national and international problems. Therefore here is my plea: we have to stop working as separate entities and aim for constructive and efficient collaboration.

Yasmin Youssef

© November 2017

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