From 26th to 29th of October 2021, Faro2027 is taking part in the "Democracy Reloading" conference, a network that brings together 17 Erasmus+ national agencies from across Europe to work on youth participation issues at the local level, taking place in the Algarve, in the city of Portimão. This is a great opportunity to network and share practices on youth participation in local governance with around 18 municipalities from all over Europe. We also took Luísa Tinoco, from the education division of Faro Municipality, and our main goal is to support the municipality coaches in the active participation of young people.
The involvement of young people in the development of youth policies and in decision making is fundamental to increase their sense of belonging and active citizenship in their communities. This invites municipalities and public authorities to address the needs and interests of young people, to involve them as actors of the solutions to their problems, to increase the level of ownership and responsibility in their own community and thus improve local participation and develop the quality of local democracy. In this way, we believe that young people, if properly informed, trained, empowered and engaged, will be the best agents of change and promoters of European values: Democracy, the Rule of Law and Equality.
The key objectives of this network are based on:
Highlight of the event was the launch of the Democracy Reloading Toolkit, an online toolkit which aims to support municipalities and local authorities in successfully involving young people in decision-making. This kit is based on a set of 24 competence elements (attitudes, values, knowledge and skills) that will help a local (municipal) or regional government to design, implement and evaluate a successful youth participation framework. The toolkit will also help municipal officials related to youth policies to become empowered, competent and ready to encourage young people to get involved in decision making, thus improving active citizenship and democracy in local communities.