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Democratic Inclusion from a Euro-Arab Perspective
Start date: Jan 2, 2015, End date: Dec 1, 2015 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Democratic inclusion is a core interest for both the European Union in order to increase its legitimacy, and for post­revolutionary countries in the MENA region where democracies are sometimes built from scratch. Politically active youth are the change agents who can lead their respective countries and regions to inclusive democracies. Therefore, public policy on youth should be supporting their participation in democratic processes. The objective of this seminar: "Democratic Inclusion from a Euro­Arab Perspective" was to facilitate the exchange of inspiration and ideas between youth and policymakers and influence policy targeted at youth. The three-day seminar took place from august 30th untill september 3rd in The Hague, the Netherlands. Twelve delegations from different countries in the EU and the MENA region were present, consisting of 1 to 3 persons each. The participants were selected with a maximum level of diversity, from existing networks of cooperating liberal youth organizations such as AYUFD, LYMEC and IFLRY. These networks are characterised by strong curiosity to each other’s practices in inclusive democratic processes. We built upon this and materialized the potential transnational value of enthusiastic political youth through more interaction and coordination. The policymakers were from a range of public and non­governmental institutions, from the local to the international level. The seminar’s objectives were the provision of an open platform to inspire and share insights, stories, hopes, dreams and obstacles from each participant’s perspective; to exchange best practices in democratic inclusion from a youth perspective; to develop tools and strategies to promote democratic inclusion; to optimize joint future work plans including newly identified tools; and to strategize on a common Euro­Arab approach to democratic inclusion. The seminar offered a program based on the principles of non­formal education, focusing on exchange and debate of ideas and best practices, the reworking and integration of these in existing strategies. Working groups identified tools, worked on strategies, and presented these in plenary sessions. Input was given mainly by the policymakers who function as experts and by the participants themselves. A media team ensured dissemination of results through the publication of seminar outcomes through social media networks. Also feedback­ and follow­up events will be organized locally by the participating organizations after the seminar to share the gained insights among youth in their countries of origin. Finally, an evaluation report was compiled by the hosting organization (the Young Democrats), which also included an elaborate assessment of the implementation of projects, agreed upon during the seminar.

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