At the Summit for Democracy, Commissioner for International Partnerships Jutta Urpilainen launched two main components of the Women and Youth in Democracy Initiative (WYDE) and welcomed the Youth Participation Handbook produced by the Youth Political and Civic Engagement Cohort.
Commissioner Urpilainen said: “Increasing the voice and leadership of young people in policy and decision-making, especially young women, is the priority of the first-ever Youth Action Plan in EU external action. The EU’s €40 million Women and Youth in Democracy Initiative (WYDE) will increase youth engagement and participation in democratic processes. Today I am pleased to launch two of its key components with the support to youth participation and the parliamentary support to youth and women. The future of democracy lies with youth: youth need a voice wherever key decisions are taken. This is the purpose of these new components launched today.”
Launch of Women and Youth in Democracy Initiative – WYDE
One of the flagships of the Youth Action Plan, the Women and Youth in Democracy Initiative (WYDE) seeks to strengthen the rights, empowerment, and participation in public and political life of youth and women as key actors of development and change. The initiative promotes political pluralism and the inclusiveness of democratic processes.
The two components of WYDE launched at the Summit for Democracy are ‘youth participation’, and ‘youth and women in key democratic institutions - parliamentary support'.
Under the ‘youth participation’ component, the EU will increase youth participation in public affairs in collaboration with the European Partnership for Democracy, for example by building on the alumni network of Democracy Schools. This complements the WYDE programme launched in December to promote youth activism and freedom of assembly under Thematic Framework Partnerships for Human Rights and Democracy.
Under the ‘youth and women in key democratic institutions’ component, the EU will support INTER PARES II, providing peer-to-peer parliament cooperation, offering coaching and training opportunities, and developing young politicians and women caucuses together with the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA).
Remaining WYDE components will be launched later this year: ‘Women’s political participation’ in summer 2023 and ‘youth and women in political parties’ before the end of the year. All components also contribute to the EU Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy 2020–2024.
Youth Political and Civic Engagement Cohort introduces Youth Participation Handbook
By showcasing how governments, civil society organisations and democracy movements have already helped make democracy work better for youth, the Youth Participation Handbook introduced by the Youth Political and Civic Engagement Cohort of the Summit for Democracy provides inspiration for young activists and ideas for national authorities on how to increase youth participation in democratic processes.
The Youth Democracy Cohort of the Summit for Democracy is designed as an inclusive platform to take meaningful action toward implementing Summit for Democracy commitments on youth political and civic engagement through resources, expertise, research, activities and achievements. The cohort was initiated by the European Commission, and co-led with the Government of Ghana, the Government of Nepal, the Government of Costa Rica, the European Partnership for Democracy, the European Democracy Youth Network, Africtivistes and International IDEA, who have been joined by dozens of organisations throughout the world to work together for youth empowerment and inclusion.
- Publication date
- 31 March 2023
- Directorate-General for International Partnerships