Open spaces for ideas, exchange and demands
Foto: Michael Scholl/DBJR (CC0)
The BarCamp was not only about how young people can better participate in Europe. The focus was on issues that move people and where youth participation is called for: The fight against climate change, a youth-friendly mobility in Europe, a better support of non-formal and political education. But the focus was also on structures and instruments for effective influence in politics and society. The central demands: Youth quotas and a voting age of 16 and older in all European countries and in the elections to the European Parliament.
The third day was deliberately designed to be open in order to make room for the interests of young people. In the sessions the participants looked at how youth and minorities within youth were and are involved in decision-making processes during the COVID-19 pandemic. They discussed spaces for young people and the necessary support of society to maintain or better still to expand these spaces. The aim was to restructure the educational systems in order to increase participation, for example in schools.
There was lively debate on how to encourage young people to become more involved in European politics, on how to better understand the work of the Parliament and to influence debates with MEPs and the Commission - and on obstacles for young people in accessing politics.
There was a lot of talk about the future, about innovation and also about the limits of digital participation. The day's conclusion: the Internet is not equally distributed across Europe!