The aim of the EU Youth Strategy 2021-2017 is to encourage "the participation of young people in democratic life", coupled with the desire to support their "social and civic commitment" and to "ensure that all young people have the necessary resources to take part in society.
Starting from this general objective, the EU Youth Strategy 2021-2017 identifies participation as one of the guiding principles that "should be applied in all policies and activities concerning young people". The following is emphasized: “Recognizing that all young people are an asset to society, all policies and activities concerning young people should defend their right to participate in the design, implementation and follow-up of policies that affect them through a meaningful participation of young people and youth organizations. In this context, policies should be developed taking into account the changes caused by digital communication, which affect democratic and civic participation”.
It is therefore important to remember that the current German - Portuguese – Slovenian trio of Presidencies (1 July 2020-31 December 2021) has placed Youth Goal No. 9 "Space and Participation for all" at the centre of its action. to strengthen democratic participation, autonomy and to provide spaces dedicated to young people in all sectors of society.
In this chapter, the term "participation" refers to a broadly defined concept: in addition to the political participation of young people in the formal structures of representative democracy (i.e. as an elector and/or candidate for public office), the term also refers to the civic commitment and participation in civil society in general.