There is no major disenchantment of youth with political issues and concerns in Europe. Young
people are, however, increasingly harder to reach. And there is “a clear and growing dissatisfac-tion among youth with the way politics is conducted and with ‘politicians’ in general”. (EACEA, 2010)
Young people in the Alpine region are no exception. They are often very attached to their town, valley
or mountain area, and care about it. They lack, however, spaces of encounter and expression in
order to propose ideas to decision-makers. Rurality and the remoteness of many Alpine areas do
not make the provision of youth services and youth participation easier. The local population is often
ageing and so are the decision-makers. The brain drain of the young exacerbates this phe-nomenon.
Because they lack personal and professional future perspectives in their home areas, young
citizens leave, sometimes very early, for major towns and cities. The Alpine regions, towns and
rural communities cannot afford to waste the talent, energy and engagement of its youth.
In order to facilitate change, the GaYA project partners address you, the political leaders of the Alpine
region, with the following policy recommendations. Their ambition is to assist you in re-es-tablishing
trust among young people and reconnecting young citizens to their home areas.
- You can help young people to appreciate democracy, responsibility and community-belonging, which motivates them to remain, return and engage in their home areas,
- You can convey democratic and social values, which will help young people to contribute to building up stable democratic and peaceful structures,
- You can make a contribution to youth’s active citizenship, providing administrations with young people’s perspectives on policy issues which seem harder to grasp than others,
- You can benefit from their experiences, which helps the whole community achieve political, economic and social progress.
We believe that the following recommendations can support you in making your young people more
enthusiastic and con dent so that they actively and effectively engage in democratic processes, for
our common future.
Your Hiking Route to Youth Participation - The GaYA Practical Recommendations
You have the ambition to involve young citizens in local decision-making? You’re thinking of using a participatory process to involve youth in adopting a specific decision? Engage in a hike through the different stages of youth participation and follow the advice to reach the summit: