Webinar: Youth in election observation for a vibrant democracy
On 28 June 2023, the European Platform for Democratic Elections (EPDE) hosted a webinar on Youth in election observation for a vibrant democracy. The webinar is part of the European voters - together for electoral integrity project. The overall aim of the project is to increase citizen participation in electoral processes in Europe and to empower European citizens to improve democratic electoral processes on a local, national, and European level.
The webinar presented findings from the new publication Active Citizens for a Vibrant Democracy, which argues the importance of enshrining a clear status for citizen election observation across the EU as a way to contribute to the integrity of democratic systems as well as encourage citizen engagement in electoral and political processes.
We focused in particular on the linkage of strengthened citizen monitoring as a means to increase youth participation in elections and political life. The webinar offered an opportunity of discussion between relevant policy makers, actors, and youth representatives.
The 2020 EU Citizenship Report, which focuses on bringing citizens closer to the EU, identifies citizen election observation as “a good way to engage citizens with the electoral processes, and to improve public trust”. Citizen election observation is one of the key instruments in building, supporting, and defending democracy, as well as educating citizens about electoral procedures.
The Council Resolution of 26 November 2018 on the European Union Youth Strategy 2019-2027, on the other hand, states the agreement of the Member States that “providing pathways of engagement for young people in [...] democratic life is vital for a functioning democracy and for society at large”. Connecting the EU with youth is among the European Youth Goals.
This webinar discussed youth engagement in democracy through the lens of citizen election observation. It will offer an input about the need of engaging young people in election observation and will facilitate a discussion on the role of relevant policymakers and stakeholders in further enhancing youth participation, particularly in the context of the European Elections 2024.
As a follow-up to the webinar, EPDE hosts a workshop on 19 July 2023 aimed specifically at European youth organizations. For more infos on programme and registration follow this link.
16.00 - Welcome words and input presentation
▸ Kira Mössinger, Program Manager, European Platform for Democratic Elections (EPDE)
16.10 - Moderated discussion among the speakers
▸ Victor Negrescu, Member of the European Parliament, Vice-Chair of the Committee on Culture and Education
▸ Andreas Martin Speiser, Vice President, AGORA Election Observation
▸ Sylwester Oracz, Political Finance and Campaigns Expert, Youth Engagement Coordinator, Political Accountability Foundation (Poland)
Moderated by Alexander Shlyk, International election expert, former Head of the Election Department OSCE/ODIHR, Co-author of the EPDE study Active Citizens for a Vibrant Democracy
16.50 - Q&A Session
17.15 - The webinar ends
This webinar is part of the project “European voters - together for electoral integrity” and funded by the European Union as part of the Europe for Citizens (EfC) programme.