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Give youth a voice! How youth participation can be encouraged in the Alpine space

Representatives from the fields of politics and administration in every Alpine country came to Bozen/Bolzano to discuss the topic of youth participation. © EURAC

How can young people become more involved in political processes? What good examples already exist for this? These questions were the central issues at a workshop held in the context of the GaYA project in Bozen/Bolzano.

Young people in some Alpine regions are faced with a number of difficulties: poor job prospects mean that many leave their home regions and try their luck in the larger economic hubs. The political participation of youth in the Alpine regions is also often weak. The GaYA (Governance and Youth in the Alps) project, in which CIPRA International Lab is a - project partner, is taking steps to change matters. The aim is to develop new impulses to ensure that the younger generation is better involved in political structures and decision-making processes. The workshop “Youth participation in political decisions in Alpine regions”, held on 29 June in Bozen/Bolzano, saw participation by the eight project partners as well as numerous representatives from municipalities and the political sphere from all over the Alpine space, with initiatives from the Alpine regions introduced and discussed. A video presents some these initiatives, for instance the youth parliament in Lausanne, Switzerland, or the youth region of Traunstein in Austria.

Tobias Stecher of the Obervinschgau youth service sees positive results: “The workshop has shown that the political will exists on the part of administrations to achieve something in this field”. Senator Francesco Palermo from Bozen/Bolzano also underlines the relevance of the topic and urges that there be the political will to encourage more youth participation, as “without participation, political decisions are not seen as legitimate.” CIPRA is further promoting the topic of youth participation in Alpine areas with projects such as I-LivAlps or youTurn.

Video:

 

Sources and further information:

www.cipra.org/de/cipra/international/projekte/laufend/gaya (de, fr, it, sl) ,  www.cipra.org/en/youth/cipra-activities