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Mina otsustan
Start date: Mar 1, 2015, End date: Jul 31, 2015 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The role of young people in politics has recently become a more and more relevant topic in Estonia. The dominant views are the politics is mostly for older and already established politicians, that most politicians are corrupt and that there is no place for a recently graduated youngster. The project "Mina otsustan" will investigate the relevance and reasons for such prejudices by starting a dialogue with thirty Estonian youngsters interested in politics. The main objective of the project is to find solutions for involving more young people in voicing their opinions about the changes happening in the society and to find out what is the participants' opinion about the role of youth in politics. The project is designed around a five day seminar that brings together thirty youngsters between 18-30 who are motivated to discuss what is happening in Estonian politics. Through group discussions, groups assignments and simulation exercises, we discuss what are the option an young person has to make a name for themselves in Estonian politics and how realistic and necessary is it to get more young people involved. We aim to find out what kind of personal qualities does a politician need to have, how does his real self differ from the image created by media and is it possible to participate in politics without being corrupt. Such issues are important because a lot of political studies students have decided not to actively participate in local politics and we want to find out the main reasons for that. The project does not aim to encourage the participants to become active in politics but rather to discuss about the problematic issues in Estonian politics and propose solutions together. The project will co-operate with a young Estonian politician and with a public relations manager so that together with the participating youth find solutions to the proposed questions. As such, the program creates a dialogue between young people and decision-makers to bring the two groups together and make them learn about each others opinions. Such an arrangement is mutually beneficial and will contribute to coming up with the most thorough solutions. The seminar aims the participants to come closer to understanding what are their possibilities for becoming a more active citizen. It also aims to point out the problematic points in Estonian politics and to encourage the participants to come up with solutions for themselves. Expressing the opinion of young people is thus voicing the opinions of a large electoral group. Encouraging young people to think critically about political issues is contributing to them becoming more active in their local communities and on a national level. Such influences will carry on long after the project has ended.
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