Periodic Reporting for period 2 - EURYKA (Reinventing Democracy in Europe: Youth Doing Politics in Times of Increasing Inequalities)
Reporting period: 2018-02-01 to 2020-01-31
These impacts were achieved through a variety of the project’s research findings. First, young people are least often considered a group that deserves specific policy measures. As a result, they lack institutional opportunities for political participation. Second, young people are most often passive objects rather than active subjects of interventions in the public domain. As a result, they also lack discursive and institutional opportunities for political participation. Third, young people are often sceptical of traditional politics, but many participate in less institutionalized forms. Therefore, there is complementarity rather than substitution between institutional and grassroots politics. Fourth, politically active young people often share their family’s political standpoint, which underscores socialization’s key role in their political engagement. Fifth, active young people often take something positive from political participation. Thus, such participation has a deep, personal impact.
The project’s findings led to policy recommendations, especially those targeting young people with fewer opportunities. First, the participants between 18 and 35 years old have suffered the most of all age groups, from the economic and political crises of the past decade to a need for holistic and generation-specific policy measures to address new inequalities. Second, the younger generations are at a structural disadvantage when participating in politics and in public debate; a diversity of young people should be encouraged to take leading and decisive roles in debates about the future of Europe and the future of politics and society in each country to address this structural disadvantage. Third, even after the worst of the economic crisis has past, young working people will be significantly disadvantaged due to short-term contracts, weaker protection of rights, and weaker unionization. Therefore, policymakers must empower young working people to defend and advance decent working conditions and job security at regional and national levels by prioritising young workers in the European Labour Authority and creating youth ombudsmen. Fourth, young people have successfully placed combatting climate change and protecting the environment at the top of the political agenda, and European democracy has an interest in young people being politically empowered to play a leading and decisive role in how it meets these challenges. Fifth, young people are asking for more and better political and civic education to prepare them to participate equally in politics. European countries and institutions have a strong interest in helping young people practice democracy at school and in civil society organisations while learning about the history of political change.