As an instrument of citizenship and autonomy, the participation of young people contributes to the consideration of their places and their roles in society. Encouraging the contribution of young people, in particular to the development of public policies, is an old concern of the French public authorities and a recurrent demand from the citizens' associations and movements of youth.
Through the support to the creation of youth-led associations, as well as the development of participation mechanisms, the public authorities intend to encourage the participation of young people in the “life of the city”.
However, the participation of young people is more effective and active at the local level (municipalities) rather than at the national level where it is done in a more punctual and fragmented way. Moreover, political and associative participation more generally are marked by a strong social reproduction resulting in the accentuation of inequalities between young people.
Encouraging the participation of all young people regardless of their social conditions and levels of training, reducing barriers to participation and recognizing new forms of youth involvement appear to be some of the challenges of public action for participation of young people