The conference brought together stakeholders and youth leaders from Greece, Slovakia, Latvia, Spain, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, Sweden, Italy and Portugal to discuss and reflect on strategies to further develop work on increasing young voters’ turnout in European elections and the democratic participation of young people in the EU in general.
Ms Eduarda Marques, Regional Director of Lisbon and Tagus Valley of Portuguese Institute of Youth and Sports, opened the Conference emphasizing the importance of perserving democracy, human rights and the rule of law as pilars of European societies, followed by the speech of Bruno António, Coordinator of DYPALL Network, who stressed the engaging young people in decision-making at all levels as a prerequisite for democracy.
The program of the morning was dedicated to youth leaders from 10 EU countries that presented the “Guidelines on how to build effective GOTV (Get-Out-The-Vote) campaigns with young people for young people” they created as an outcome of “EU is YOU” campaign targeting first-time voters in European elections.
“People move people” pointed out Mr Stephen Clark, Director for the European Parliament Liaison Offices at European Parliament, who addressed the audience in the afternoon sharing the impact of “This time I’m voting” campaign and its development into “Together EU“.
His speech was followed by Ms Sofia Colares Alves, Head of the European Commission Representation in Portugal who talked about the “European Green Deal” and other priorities of the new Commission.
The program was enriched by the keynote input of Ms Carina Autengruber, President of the European Youth Forum, and the presention of “ID Europa” by Mr Francisco Ramos, Board member of Portuguese Youth Council.
The final part of the Conference was dedicated to debate and discussions on the topics of the right to vote and be elected as a human right; the link between youth participation at the local and European level; the voice of young people over fake news and populism and Europe and moving towards European Elections 2024 by analyzing opportunities and challenges of GOTV campaigns.
This Conference was the second part of the final event of the long-term “Youth Democracy Academy” project. The first part of the event took place on 9th December in Lisbon Youth Centre and it was dedicated to sharing the results and impact of EU is YOU campaign among youth leaders and project coordinators from 10 EU countries that participated in the project.
Youth Democracy Academy Conference was organized by DYPALL Network in partnership with the European Commission Representation in Portugal, European Parliament Office in Portugal, Portuguese Youth Council, Portuguese Institute for Youth and Sports and 10 international partners of Youth Democracy Academy project, with the support of the Erasmus + program.