Skip to main content


EACEA National Policies Platform


5. Participation

Last update: 27 January 2021

LAST MODIFIED ON: 13/10/2020


Welsh Government policy has favoured the reduction of the voting age to 16 for several years, but it has only been through the passing of the Wales Act 2017, that it has been in a position to implement this. A consultation on democracy, elections and voting closed on 10 October 2017 and included the issue of lowering the voting age. The Senedd and Elections (Wales) Bill includes provisions to lower the voting age for Assembly elections to 16, and (as of October 2020) is going under consideration by the National Assembly.

The rights-based approach to children and young people’s issues which is adopted in Wales is particularly evident in this chapter. Topics covered include the range of national and local participation mechanisms which exist and the educational and informal initiatives which aim to foster participation. 

After the dissolution of the Welsh Youth Assembly ‘Funky Dragons’, in 2014, the subject of reintroducing a Youth Assembly gained momentum in Wales in 2016 to 2017. After consultations, a new Welsh Youth Parliament was established by the National Assembly for Wales in June 2018. It is a platform for young people to use their voice on issues they care about, and ensure they are heard by policy makers on a national level.