#TheFutureIsYours Strengthening European democracy
Youth Conference on the Future of Europe - Problematic Democracy in EU
Youth Conference on the Future of Europe - #TheFutureIsYours
Now is our time to act and to participate in the Youth Conference on the Future of Europe. By participating in this event, you have the opportunity to shape your future EU, to share new ideas and have discussions with young people (15-30 years old) from all across Europe.
We as young people in Europe can create our future. This is why we, two young volunteers with the European Solidarity Corps working for the ‘Maison de l’Europe en Mayenne’ and the ‘Maison de l’Europe Le Mans - Sarthe’ decided to take action and organise our own youth conference. Participate in this event to contribute to make a change!
Our Conference aims to discuss and shape our future in Europe. You can choose from various workshops on different topics. You are free to join one or even multiple workshops. Our working language will be English to include people from all over Europe. Everyone is welcome. All ideas will be submitted and discussed within the EU through the official platform of The Conference on the Future of Europe. How cool is that?
This workshop is about problematic democracy in the EU. We will talk about how to get more young people to vote, lgbtq+ rights and education and lastly gender equality.
We organise other workshops on other topics too, here is a full list of our workshops:
Problematic Democracy in the EU - 26.05 - 17:30h
EU Economy and Our Future - 02.06 - 17:30h
European Union : A Peace Story? - 03.06 - 19h
EU on Waste Management - 09.06 - 19h
Future Europe - Build Your Europe 2040 - 10.06 - 19h
Interested? Subscribe to the google form.
If you have any questions or suggestions, contact us at: email@example.com
You will get an email a day in advance of the meeting with the zoom invitation link and further instructions on how to connect.
Event reportContext: Two european volunteers (dutch, german) in the European Solidarity Corps in France decided to take action and make the future of Europe together with other youngsters all over Europe. Under the supervision of their hosting organisations, the Maison de l’Europe Mayenne and Maison de l’Europe Le Mans - Sarthe, they hosted a total of five workshops. A total number of 75 persons signed up for the several workshops. The participants' ages were between 15 and 30 years.The participants nationalities were: German, Turkish, Greece, Austrian, French, Italien, Chilean-Croatian, Hungarian, Roumanian, Slovak, Spanish, Portuguese , Lithuanian, European, Polish, Croatian, Ukrainian, Scottish, Dutch and Cypriot. The idea was to organise in the concept of the ‘Conference of the Future of Europe’ a ‘Youth Conference of the Future of Europe’ to discuss important topics with young people from all across Europe and the EU Purpose: -that issues and topics, which are concerning the youth being discussed and giving young persons a voice and a possibility to talk about their future and their ideas Aim: discussions, talk about the development of Europe/EU and get to know the visions, concerns and advises from the young and future generation Project Language: english (it was possible to express their ideas/questions in french, dutch, german) Subject and methodology: Future of Europe - EU in a few years, 2040/2050 methodology: publication before the event: E-mail, Website and Social Media advertisement, Project inscription, Use of online application Zoom for the Event Main subjects discussed during the workshops: Topics: -voting - youth absenteeism - why don't young people vote? -poland and democracy -human rights Youth absenteeism: -young people and activism -presented ‘the typical absent voter’ - put it into a character,, representing a general absence non-voter, explain the role of gender in voting (woman, lack of representation), age (18-24 y/o), social class and employment, rurality, education (voting tendencies, closing the gap - democracy for everyone) -based their explanations around this person, to make the abstract facts more easier to understand by putting it into a imaginary person with all the facts Poland and Democracy: -historical political background of poland, and its adhesion to the EU -the conditions to become part of the eu, -the situation with the rule of law in Poland -article 7.1 and the unanimity procedure in the EU Human rights: -the current EU strategies on women's rights and lgbtqs rights -poll (screenshot, attachment) -Why don't young people vote? -thinking their voice will not matter // not well informed // lack of young people to vote for // Policy proposal tend to go towards older generation as they vote more // No proper education during youth to have a critical perspective of society (chat answers) -how do we solve youth absenteeism in voting? - political education in school (not about the institution but up-to-date topics, discussions) // a campaign that shows the direct effects of voting, and how a singular vote can change the game (if young persons would vote the effects would be different) // -Lowering the voting age to 16? - bigger trust in the youth by lowering the voting age, including them and giving them a bigger voice, it matter what they say, // I think for my country, Croatia, solution could be increasing political education because we don't even have it and people don't feel motivated to vote because they don't know what to vote for or why is it important // I like it, in Germany for some district votings you can already vote. It makes you feel empowered in a way, so I definitely like the idea. // (possible solutions from the presentation) -Obligatory voting for first-timers? - (voting/opinion) - Obligatory voting should either happen always or never. Both have an issue of easily causing authoritarianism. // I don't agree. People should vote because they want to. -Online Voting, simplify voting process? - I think there would be a lot of implementation problems, technical problems, would be great because estonia did it, would be cool if more people would do that // I like the idea of online voting (but only if you can also vote in person if that's better for you) // Yes, I like the idea. It would make the system more modern and accessible for some people. // It’s correct, you are more free and it’s easier. // Probably a good idea, but still needs some research. How should that help with voting security?? I also want it to be open-source software. Although it is safe, I believe there is still a lot of work to be done before EU or National elections can be helped. Even in Estonia they only go online for regional elections.// -White voting ? - Aren't invalid votes still counted as "against everything"? / but still even making an invalid vote means you took the time to vote and it helps put it in habit and increase interest - so I support the idea -establishing quotas on youth representations (e.g. 25% should be under 35) - -Integrating political education into the national education system to emphasise its importance - For me personally there should be something // Honestly, it might be enough to just encourage more political debates in class. All that means that teachers have to be open to that with little cost apart from time. // Yes! Like civics (1 or 2 hours per week) Poland and Democracy: -Is unanimity the best procedure?- Unanimity might not be the best, but we cannot really change it, we could change it only with unanimity // I think the unanimity system is problematic in this case. This Way Poland is not punished for clearly breaching the protocol. What's the point of having this protocol if it cannot be properly enforced? // it's a bit sad that the courts can't do anything about it :-( Unanimity is a big disadvantage, but unfortunately it will be impossible to fix. The only solution I can think of, is re-starting the EU from scratch without the unanimity issue and probably a better voting system as well. Just take everything we learned and re-implement it into the 2.0 version of the EU. // -Opinion of the situation - With due respect to anyone who is Polish here, whenever I look at Poland in a political view I always feel like they are a sort of abused child from previous wars (the father being the 3rd Reich and the mother being soviet union), it was always a very disputed terrain throughout history. It's not hard to imagine the population is feeling, once again, "dominated" by the EU with policies to which they don't see as self interest to them (imigration, market regulations...). PiS is the result of polish discontent with euro integration // -Polish history - important point, the stereotype is that poland is against eu and for leaving eu, but polish people are satisfied with the eu, they just vote for the parties and like these parties because of the history but they don't hate the eu, e.g. vote right, nationalise, they often vote for right parties against not against eu but for economics and national values that these parties promote, they vote for these parties not everyone who votes for these parties are rights / racist but they fall for a lot of promotion they do, not all polish people against EU, rasticst, (first time experience by a guy who did an ESC in poland in high school discussion/talk) -It's curious however that the younger ones are those who believe the most in the EU but are also those who abstain the most Human rights / Gender Equality Strategy: -Do strategies work? -I think it's good that it was put in, but there can be more done. That's like putting a post-it note somewhere to not forget something, but there's a difference between seeing the post-it and acting on it. // The EU can't actually do more. Even if it goes to EU court and the country loses, the country can and will probably ignore the request just as before. // a message is not enough. in Poland they did not listen to article 7.1. Action speaks louder than words // How would it be enforced through? Cut their aid? That is only to the disadvantage of the people anyway, and if it's not democratic then that won't make them swap out the leader anyway. // I think it is important to not pressure countries like Poland to anything, but to invest and engage in civic education programmes like Erasmus+, the European Solidarity Corps, youth exchanges etc... Currently the polls show that PiS + Konfederacja would by no means have a majority in the next elections, so it seems like it may work // I agree, the EU can't really force anything // achieving something on your own probably will have a stronger impact than being forced to do so. // They should listen more to the citizens. // I believe though that suggestion would reduce other countries' people's faith in the EU, because they don't see action and think the EU is indifferent. // That's definitely a big issue which we can perceive in many Western European countries, but I'd say that we Need more education here as well // bring in education about important topics, most important thing -Should the EU even do more? - -Should the EU have a say on what's in their programs/curriculums or is it too much power of the EU? Does it change/affect? - I think recommended would be good, obligatory would spark the argument with the right of being autonomous again // would be a bit difficult, I see it now that it would take too long to see through a bureaucratic point // The EU should at least educate on how it works and the elections work. You're also taught how the nation you live in functions and how the voting works. You also live in the EU // I don't think any country would like it, if the EU had a saying in education. // I think that because maintaining a good level of human rights is part of being part of the EU. so i think it would be good to recommend to member states // I think that this should stay within the competences of Member States (in Germany it is even managed on the regional level), so if there was anything coming from Brussels, many would probably reject it as some sort of foreign propaganda (especially in Eastern Europe) // it is difficult but maybe a recommendation from the eu but definitely not obligatory because that would give to much power to the EU // Also to give the right to the EU to control education, all countries must agree, which will never happen Regarding the gender quotas, I am all in favor that women should get the same rights as men, but I have to disagree however with the gender quotas representation. And this applies to both sides, rather if it's 20% men and 80% women or reverse. In my point of view, it's very dangerous to use "equality" when speaking of gender rights, because the meaning of the word itself is controlled in the political system. When I first think of equality of gender I always think of equality of opportunity, not representation. I think it's starting to become a misconception that the representation should be equal to both sides, because that takes off the meritocracy of those who are more competent than others for specific jobs. Doesn't that create an even more unfair system of representation? I guess it would only be fair if we educate our youth to respect individual rights and ethical principles // I would say, that there isn't equality of gender at the moment - problem of education youth // The ambivalence about quotas is, that it obviously goes completely against equality directly, one should ALWAYS hire only in favour of competence, not anything else. I am actually in favour of gender quotas and name anonymous applications like they have in Denmark. The other side to it is though, that it might show (women in this case), that they can easily also have success in the field. General atmosphere and expected follow-up + comments at the end: In general a very positive and open-minded and widespread discussion with different points of views which are all very valid and could be openly expressed. The feedback at the end showed that the participants enjoyed the meeting.
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