Online Platforms for e-participation (September 2021)
Internet and social media constitute a great resource for political and social engagement. Indeed many young Europeans make use of these instruments to get informed about social and political issues, express their opinions and interact with decision-makers. EU Member States have acknowledged the potential of new technologies to break down the distance between young citizens and policy-makers, and to allow young people to express their opinions. This is why Member States have committed to foster e-participation possibilities especially for young people.
In about one third of the participating countries, national e-platforms dedicated to facilitating youth participation have been established, either by public authorities or as joint projects between them and civil society organisations. These are websites that offer the possibility to discuss ideas, participate in online consultations, and sometimes interact directly with policy-makers.
These national online platforms also play an important role in supporting users’ ability to discern the quality of information available online and exercise their critical judgement. For example, they can propose live chats with experts on various subjects so as to provide young people with reliable information.
While the map illustrates the situation at national level, local online platforms also exist in some countries – including in some where national e-platforms have not been developed.