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For a Better Democracy - Youth's Role in Politics
Start date: Feb 1, 2016, End date: May 31, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

This project will involve the participation of 35 young persons from 5 European countries, namely Malta, Poland, Hungary, Latvia and the United Kingdom. All the involved organisations form part of the Douzelage association which is a town twinning association that involves one town from each of the member states of the EU. The main theme of this project is the involvement of young people in politics and their impact on the decisions taken at local and European level. During this project participants will engage in various discussions about this topic and meet different experts in the field of politics that will give them a clearer idea of what it means to be directly involved in politics and how young people can make a difference. The seminar that will take place in Malta will last for 3 days during which the young people will implement a number of activities. Before this seminar, each group of young people will carry out a research study in their country through which they will gather information about the general perception of people about the involvement of young people in politics and how they can impact the decisions taken by local and European authorities. The research will involve a survey consisting of a number of questions that will be asked to people of all ages and that have different social backgrounds. The questions will be the same for each participating organisation. Following the survey, each group will anaylse the answers in depth and write a detailed summary about the obtained results. Consequently, during the seminar each group will present the results to the rest of the group and a discussion is then held about why such results were obtained and most importantly why the citizens of certain countries may have answered questions differently from those coming from another region in the EU. This will provide the participants with a comparative approach since they will be presented with the views of people living in different countries of Europe. The topics that will be discussed during the 3 day seminar will include 1) To stimulate debate about the involvement of young people in politics and their impact on society, the value of democracy and how young people can be a driving force to assist European leaders in reinforcing this principle; 2) the perception of the general European public about the participation of young people in politics and their impact on society at large; 3) the results obtained from the results from the research study; 4) gender balance in politics and 5) the networking amongst different organisations from differnt Member States and how this may be improved and consolidated. The participants will also have talks with two local politicians; a Member of the Maltese Parliament and a Member of the European Parliament; a representative from the National Youth Council; and the Commission representative in Malta. The objectives of this project can be classified as follows:1) People coming from different parts of Europe will have different views on the same topic. Therefore by means of the dialogue that will be established throughout the activities of this project, the participants will be exposed to diverse opinions on how young people can be involved in politics and how they can contribute towards the well being of their society. By organising this project the involved organisations intend to encourage the participants to be directly involved in politics and be active citizens. 2) To establish a better relationship between the involved organisations within this project. By working together to implement the activities of this project, the 6 involved organisations will get to know each other better and they will feel more confident to work together on other EU funded projects in the future. By means of this project the participants will have the opportunity to express themselves during the various discussions within the seminar and learn from their peers and the experts with whom they will be having a number of talks. Ultimately the long term effect of this project is to encourage young people to involve themselves more in politics and be active citizens that contribute to the well being of their community. By encountering people who are directly involved in politics, they will get a better understanding of what it means to get involved in this field and how they should handle the challenges that they will come across in their future. Moreover, by involving these young people in the implementation of this project, they will have the necessary experience and knowledge to go about other EU funded projects.

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