Despite strained efforts of EU to create close links with youth and increase their participation in European affairs, the latter presents low participation rates and distrust for the EU. The low participation of young generation deprives the EU a remarkable and important source of ideas and opinions, creates mismatches between decisions taken and the real needs of young people, exacerbates the dissatisfaction of young people and alienate even more the youngsters from the idea of a united Europe.
The proposed project aims to increase youth participation in the democratic life of the Union, and specifically:
1) To bring young people closer to the EU and the decision-making.
2) To increase the confidence of young people in EU and decision-making processes.
3) To promote the concept of active European citizenship.
4) To promote democratic principles.
5) To promote cooperation and mutual understanding among young people from different countries and cultures.
The project involves the realization of a youth exchange that will gather 55 young people from 11 different countries for 8 days in Thessaloniki, where they will participate in a series of activities concerning the EU, its institutions, decision-making, direct and indirect forms of citizens' participation, an active European citizen, the rights and obligations of the European citizen, democracy, contemporary social issues and other related issues.
The proposed project aims to increase youth participation in the democratic life of the European Union. Main results of the project will be young people informed on the EU and decision-making processes, enhanced European identity and closer links between young people and the EU, and enhanced mutual understanding between young people from different countries and cultures and participants’ personal development. The above mentioned will strengthen the trust of young people in the EU and decision-making processes, the readiness of young people for more participation and its role as active citizens. In long-term it is expected that young people will be more actively involved in social and European issues and they will actively participate in decision making in a direct or indirect way.