5.8 Raising political awareness among young people
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The Ministry of Education and Vocational Training (Ministerio de Educación y Formación Profesional) is the responsible public authority in matters of awareness and participation of Spanish youth in politics. It performs its function through the Organic Law 8/2013 (LOMCE).
This Organic Law contains the Recommendation (2002) 12 of the Committee of Ministers of the Europe Council to Member States on Education for Democratic Citizenship, of October 16, 2002, which calls on the governments of the Member States to make education for democratic citizenship a priority objective of education policy and its reforms, favouring and supporting all those initiatives that promote education for democratic citizenship between Member States.
In this sense, the preparation of students for the exercise of citizenship and for active participation in economic, social and cultural life, with a critical and responsible attitude and adaptability to the changing situations of the information society is considered one of the objectives of the Spanish Educational System.
In its mission, The Ministry of Education and Vocational Training (Ministerio de Educación y Formación Profesional) through the Organic Law 8/1985, of July 3, regulating the Right to Education (Ley Orgánica 8/1985, de 3 de julio, reguladora del Derecho a la Educación) has developed mechanisms guaranteeing the participation of parents, teachers and students in the control and management of educational centres through the school councils.
The School Council is the collegiate governing body of schools. It represents all sectors of the educational community: faculty, students, families and administration personnel and services. All of them participate in making relevant decisions, such as the school’s educational remit, the criteria for admission of students or the annual general programme.
There are also various organizations dedicated to youth such as the Youth Institute (Instituto de la Juventud), attached to the Ministry of Social Rights and 2030 Agenda (Ministerio de Derechos Sociales y Agenda 2030), and the Spanish Youth Council (Consejo de la Juventud de España, CJE).
The Spanish Youth Council (Consejo de la Juventud de España, CJE) launched in 2011, on the occasion of the holding of the regional and municipal elections of May 22, the campaign “I know why” (“Yoséporque (Yoséxq)”) in social networks, in order to promote the civic participation of young people and to foment reflection on the attitude that they take before the electoral event. Aimed at young people between 18 and 30 years old, it aimed to reduce the degree of political apathy among Spanish youth.
In February 2014, the Spanish Youth Council (Consejo de la Juventud de España, CJE), taking as a reference point the proposals approved by the European Youth Forum at its November 2013 assembly, gathered in a report the new proposals that the youth organization members of the Council ratified in their executive assembly to present to the different political parties participating in the European elections of 2014.
These proposals call for a new European pact in which youth participation is improved. It defends the increase in the number of young candidates in national and European political parties, including representatives elected by the European Youth Forum in the delegations of the European Union. Participation is encouraged by promoting youth associations and lowering the voting age in the European Parliament elections to 16, among other demands.
The Structured Dialogue initiative has also addressed the issue of the political participation of young Europeans in their V cycle of work, advocating in their conclusions for greater involvement of all institutional actors to make this happen.
With regard to promoting dialogue between young people, both the Youth Institute (INJUVE) and the Youth Council (CJE) have launched various initiatives to promote the political participation of young people. To achieve this, they have focused on the associative field, a cornerstone of social participation among Spanish youth. The efforts of both agencies are found in this area, putting the focus on young migrants and their problems before associationism.
In Spain there is a law on transparency, the Law 19/2013, of December 9, relating to access to public information and good governance (Ley 19/2013), which specifies what information must be published by Public Administrations for the knowledge of citizens, how citizens can ask for information from Administrations and what the rules of Good Governance are that must be respected by public officials.
In order to increase the transparency of the Government’s actions, the Spanish Government Transparency Portal (Portal de la Transparencia del Gobierno de España) was created. It is a platform dependent on the Ministry of the Presidency, Parliamentary Relations and Democratic Memory (Ministerio de Presidencia, Relaciones con las Cortes y Memoria Democrática), through which there is access to all information whose knowledge is relevant to ensuring transparency in institutional activity related to the operation and control of public action.
Both the Law and the Portal are of a general nature. There is no additional provision exclusively affecting the field of youth.