Protesting, voting and engaged, or despondent, disinterested and dangerous? Political stereotypes about young people abound in every society, and in Europe today the young generation is particularly at risk of being talked about by elders and the powerful, rather than attentively listened to and treated as equals.
The policy report ‘Rejuvenating Europe’s democracy’ comes at the end of a significant three year transnational study of the way young people do politics in Europe today, in a context of rising inequalities, entitled EURYKA.
The report outlines how the younger generations of Europeans have been particularly marked by a decade of economic and wider political crisis, which has combined with demographic change and the ageing of Europe’s society to create a situation of generational structural injustice. It will propose in multiple policy domains – including the economy, environment, migration, urban policy, regional policy, education, leisure and sports, media and culture, and electoral rules – that specific action needs urgently to be taken to empower youth to bring positive renewal to Europe’s political, social and economic settlement.
History is back in Europe, whether we like it or not, and everything from past experience in such moments shows that paying attention to the experience of the youth is essential to responsible long term government. Luckily Europe has extensive cultural resources from its past it can deploy to help reflect on good government: in this report we reimagine the famous Allegories of Good and Bad Government painted by Ambrogio Lorenzetti in Siena’s Palazzo Pubblico in 1338, to help illustrate the positive and negative scenarios for Europe’s future.
‘Political Youth’: a web-documentary to reinvent democracy in Europe
As part of the research, we have produce a web-documentary to tell the stories of young people who are at the forefront of political change, despite living in contexts of social inequalities.