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PARTICIPATION MATTERS

GOOD PRACTICES ON YOUTH PARTICIPATION


Participation for Democracy - 2015/BIL-01/16
Authors: Irina Lonean, PhD
Adina Clfteanu, PhD
Fettulah Oran

(c) Center for Sustainable Community Development, 2016.

"Proiect realizat cu sprijinul financiar al Fondului ONG n Romnia, program finanat de Granturile SEE i
administrat de Fundaia pentru Dezvoltarea Societii Civile".

P
entr

Introduction context of the project

The aim of the project Participation for Democracy was to create the framework for
sharing good practices on working with young people and to stimulate their public participation.
The project is a continuation of the project: Public participation against discrimination of youth
from the rural areas, project implemented by Center for Sustainable Community Development CSCD in 2014-2015. The project methodologies aimed at using youth community organizing
methodologies and non-formal education techniques on encouraging youth to participate and to
boost up then their participation in 3 rural communities. At the end of the project, 40 young
people (13-17 years old), are now active in their communities and are still running campaigns
based on solving the identified problems in the community, a process structured on partnership
basis with the local authorities (the schools in the villages, the local councils, the police and the
medical units).
At the end of the project, CSCD team, during the evaluation meeting, concluded that there
is permanent need of young people to be equipped with skills and competencies and for this
purpose, the youth workers need to get exposed to new training opportunities and to get new
working skills and methodologies. More than this, to get the social impact that we are aiming for,
we need to mobilize more young people and to offer permanent support for their campaigns and
actions.
Consequently, the opportunity to get involved with an initiative of sharing good practices
and methods of working with young people is valorizing the outcomes of our previous initiatives
and the new tools and methods offer the Romanian youth workers the expertise on supporting the
local youth action groups, integrating the experience and good practices of our Norwegian
partners.
The project aimed at investing in the capacity of the two partners Romanian and
Norwegian (specially of the Romanian one) to encourage the development of the democratic
values to the youth groups, groups that will then be active in their communities. Sharing the good
practices of our previous projects, the lessons learnt and the working methodologies essentially
contributed to improving the methods and tools that the youth workers are using in their working
communities in Romania and in Norway. The study visit organized in Oslo offered the

Romanian team the opportunity to identify new partners and new granting opportunities for our
projects.

The

working

partnership

between the two partners started in


May 2016, Mangfoldhuset (Casa
Diversitii) MH having both the
experience of working with groups of
young people but also the experience
of bridging the dialogue between
generations. More than this, MH is
excellently organizing activities for intercultural groups and has a great network of partners from
different sectors the business field, the educational sector, local and national public authorities,
informal groups of young people. The experience of working in inter-sectorial cooperation
frameworks was a great source of inspiration for CSCD and is to be valorized in the local projects
that are being implemented in the rural areas.

The project team:


1. Viorel Buctur, Youth Worker, CSCD
2. Andreea Roca, Youth Worker, CSCD
3. Irina Lonean, Expert
4. Adina Clfteanu, Expert
5. Constantin Glvan, teacher Giubega School
6. Fethullah Oran, Project Manager MH.

Chapter 1 Mobilizing Youth


1.1 Methods used in Romania by CSCD to mobilize and attract youth
A. The profile of working community
Giubega is a commune situated at 49.7 km from the main city of the South Western
Region (Oltenia) Craiova, the closest town being Bailesti 12 km far, being firstly registered in
1831. The first registered data of 1885 was showing a population of 1551 inhabitants, of which
123 were literate. Nowadays, Giubega has a population of 2453 inhabitants and 1150 households.
(Primaria Giubega, 2014)
The Romanian Youth Law of 2006 was stating that youth would be clustered to the age
range 14 35 years old. Consequently, for Giubega, having a total population of 2036
inhabitants, the youth population would be of a total of 530 inhabitants (10-14 years old 109,
15-19 years old 111, 20-24 years old 110, 25-29 years old 88, 30-34 years old 112).
(Census of 2002).

As it regards the economy, the main occupations of the inhabitants are mainly related to
agriculture, the local authorities investing special attention and resources to this field (plans to
support the development of the ecological farms and associative structures). Except for the
activities that are organized by CSCD, no other cultural or social events are organized for young
people. In order to document the study visit, on partnership basis with the teachers in Giubega
School, it had been piloted a research based on semi-structured interviews with a group of 6

youngsters from Giubega and aiming at identifying the main youth needs in the community. The
research process showed that the main youth needs are the following:
the social and economic situations of the youngsters the lack of job opportunities and
long term unemployment
lack of housing opportunities most of them still living with their families even after
having their own families
even if some opportunities offered by the Romanian state to continue their studies,
especially for the youngsters from Giubega (the closest highschool being at 12 km
far), is still hard, financially speaking, to continue their studies after they are
completing the compulsory education 10 years.
Mistrust in future and future opportunities: We are quite disappointed with the
current system, being convinced that no future is possible for them in the villages. The
only solution would be to leave the country and to go and work abroad. (S, 15 years
old)
Except for the Saturday meetings with CSCD team, there are no other activities that
are taking place in the village. Consequently, there is a general feeling of the subjects
that the authorities are not interested into developing any activities for them and that
no optimism could be put in place for future.

Center for Sustainable Community Development started working as an informal group of


young people running local activities in 2008 and since 2010, is registered as an NGO nongovernmental organization - Association. The aim of the association is to develop and
implement cultural, artistic and educational activities aiming at community development and also
contributing to the social and personal development of its main target group the youngsters

from the rural and urban areas, youngsters with fewer opportunities and the isolated communities
providing capacity building support.

B. CSCD Objectives are the following:


General Objectives:
1. Providing humanitarian help for the children and youngsters with special needs.
2. Creating and providing better conditions for the youngsters and children with special
social needs or challenged youngsters.
3. Social and school reinsertion for the youngsters and children coming from difficult
socio economic background.
4. Information and support guaranteeing human rights and social protection for the
groups in need.
5. Promoting and supporting the equal opportunities concept and active communitarian
participation.
6. Developing and implementing programmes for youngsters with special needs.
7. Supporting adults in their professional reinsertion process.
8. Implementing local, national and international projects aiming at providing better
opportunities for its target group.
9. Support for the cultural, artistic and creative activities in the working communities.
Specific Objectives:
1. Identifying and supporting the cases youngsters and children with special needs
from orphanages, hospitals, mono- parental families and families facing socioeconomic problems.
2. Developing and implementing educational and support programmes for the youngsters
from the rural and urban areas.
3. Educational counseling for the target group.
4. Supporting gifted children with fewer opportunities independent to their talents.
5. Establishing partnerships with associations, networks and organizations with the same
profile national and international actors.
6. Implementing activities and services aiming at improving the financial sustainability
of the association.
7. Developing and implementing national, local and European programmes and projects.

D. Publicity
All the projects and initiatives that CSCD is running and aims at boosting up youth
participation are mainly promoted by:
One on one interaction youth promoting these activities to their peers
Public meetings organized with the partners in the community
Public events organized as activities in the Campaigns that the youth groups
are running.
Posting the information on the organizations website (www.cdcd.ro), on the
facebook page of CSCD and in the local media in Dolj County.

C. Youth Community organizing and Community Development Methodologies


CSCD is working closely with its partners:
The schools in villages
The Local Councils
The Culture House
Other NGOs in Dolj County
Private entities
aiming to develop projects and initiatives for youth in the rural areas. The activities
initially started with community development methodologies based on creating partnerships in
order to develop and implement youth projects for young people and starting with 2013, the
approach had been changed to using youth community organizing methodologies.

1.2. Methods used in Norway by MH to mobilize and attract youth


A. Using the members network
MH is a membership organization, with members from 8 to 80 years old, organized in 9
platforms:
the students platform,
the teacher's platform,
the intercultural dialogue platform,
the inter-religious dialogue platform,
the media-log platform,
the techlog platform,
the political dialogue platform,
the sport and leisure platform.
The organization is opened to paying and non-paying members and it has branches in four
cities of Norway: Oslo, Trondheim, Drammen and Stavanger. The promotion of the
organizations activities and the mobilization of the target group is mainly done through:
Newsletters - all members receive newsletters by e-mail and text and invitations to
participate to the organizations projects and events
paying members have free access to events organized by MH (festivals, concerts, etc.)
non-paying members can receive facilities to events organized by MH
B. Using printed materials
Printed materials can be efficient in MH experience if used smart. In order to promote the
organizations activities and mobilize the target group printed materials: flyers and posters are:
Distributed in faculties
Distributed in schools
Posted on schools and faculties advertisement boards

All this printed materials distribution is made in partnership with schools and universities,
working as a bridge between the NGO and its target groups: young people, students and teachers.
C. Partnerships
Partnerships are one of the best promotion strategies for MH:
Schools and universities, working as a bridge between the NGO and its target groups:
young people, students and teachers.
MH has also initiated a partnership with the church, to promote intercultural and interreligious dialogue.
Reciprocal promotion by partners NGO is used: other organizations, partners of MH, are
promoting the projects, activities and events of MH, while it is promoting their projects.
D. Participation of public figures and well known institutions
MH uses well-known people for the community and partnerships with prestigious
institutions as the Embassies invited to participate to the intercultural festival in April as a
hook to attract people.
E. Using social media
Facebook is one of the most used ways to promote activities and mobilize participants.
Other social media tools are also used, adapted to what is used by the target groups:
Snapshot
Tweeter
YouTube

1.3. Methods used in other projects funded by EEA Grants to mobilize and attract
youth
A. Caravans
Caravans are really popular and successful
ways to promote activities and mobilize participants
at events of NGOs and extremely successful in
attracting youth in initiatives initiated by nonprofit
groups.
As a proof of the effectiveness of the caravans,
the Romanian project Information networks for farmers
in Transylvania, targeting young farmers, funded by Norway Grants, received a European prize
for communication on Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) issues in 2012. ADEPT Foundation
Transylvania got the first prize in the category Communication to stakeholders for its work to
improve small farmers access to information on EU funding for Rural Development projects,
encouraging thus their participation in European projects.
The jury described the ADEPT Foundations project as "an inspirational campaign, based
on a deep analysis and understanding of the needs of young small-scale farmers in Transylvania.
A best-practice example at its best!"
B. Youth journalism
The On the spot! project of a Hungarian NGO recruited young people to visit Iceland,
Liechtenstein and Norway and report on good practices in addressing social problems which
could benefit Hungarian society. The call under the Hungarian NGO programme provided
funding for young people to visit to Iceland, Norway or Liechtenstein for a minimum of two
weeks. During their travels, participants had to dive into local civil society, examine good
examples of civic approaches to social problems and their potential transferability to Hungary.
The participants received assistance in creating travel and communication plans. A list of
partaking NGOs and institutions in the three donor countries will likewise be provided. The
participants reflected and reported on their travels and the practices discovered through online
communication tools such as blogs, videos, Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms.

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C. NGO journalism
The first edition of Civic Arena, a new magazine focusing on the civil sector in Central
and Eastern Europe, was launched in Romania. The aim of the magazine is to share information
and knowledge among civil society, being also very effective in attracting new participants in
projects.
In 2015 the magazine was
dedicated to the European Councils
No Hate Speech campaign. In a
climate of rising extremism, racism
and xenophobia across Europe the
movement

helps

NGOs

develop

projects to tackle hate speech. The


magazine outlines the problem and
looks at the most efficient ways of
dealing with it and is a powerful tool
in engaging young people, including
disadvantaged

young

people,

in

youth activities.

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1.4. Methods used in Europe to mobilize and attract youth


Other methods used to mobilize and attract youth in youth activities, including public
participation in Europe, include:
Organizing sport events promoted through media and mainly through social media
Organizing art workshops promoted through media and mainly through social media
Using partnerships and the mediation of schools and high schools in order to establish
communication with young people
Organizing certificated trainings beside the
participation activities
Using animation (juggling) in order to attract
young people on the streets
Designing leisure activities in combination with
public participation activities

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Chapter 2 Youth Participation The European Framework on Youth


Participation1

"Europe's future depends on its youth. Yet, life chances of many young people are
blighted" (European Commission - Communication on the 'Renewed Social Agenda, 2008)
Why are youngsters inactive nowadays, when the European Union offers them so many
possibilities, in terms of programmes and projects? This would be a pertinent question that one
can ask, analyzing the European frame for youth participation. At the European Unions level, it
is high time that youngsters should be considered as a positive force, in the European
construction process, instead of a problematic target group. Thus, youngsters must be given the
opportunity to express their ideas and to be provided with the special framework where they can
start the debates, on the same level with the other civil society participants. (Commission of The
European Communities, The White Paper A new impetus for European Youth, 2001). But even
if the coordinated efforts, to a convergence with European Youth Policy, coupled with an
intersectorial approach, the visible results of the national youth policy would leave room for
debates and discussions. If for the old Member States of the European Union this issue is not an
acute problem, for new ones, the youth policy domain requires a high attention. Thus, as in the
social domain the competences of the European Union are limited, as the youth policy and the
active youth participation issues are more linked to the European Social Model and in some
states, the youth participation policies are still under development.
Citizenship and participation are dimensions that cannot be discussed separately.)
Youngsters participation in the decision-making process has been an issue (quite) developed in
the 1990s. Hence, in 1992 the Council of Europe produced the European Chart of Youth
Participation to the Regional and Local Life and suggested the local authorities to be sure that
they involve youth in all decision- making procedures and if they do not manage to involve them

The Chapter is an extract of the publication CLFTEANU, Adina-Marina., European Youth Policy regarding
Active Youth Participation Study analysis: Gorj County, Romania, Lambert Academic Publishing, Saarbrucken,
2012 and had been integrated to the current publication by the author in order to serve as the basis of the
development of the European Youth Participation framework.

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directly, to be sure that their leaders are permanently consulted. Then, the White Paper (2001)
and United Nations and in 2007, claimed the same goal: Be heard, be seen: Youth participation
for Development! (United Nations, 2007). The European Commissions White Paper on
Governance (25.07.2001) aiming at making the decision-making process accessible to all
European citizens, has had a direct effect on producing the European White Paper on Youth A
new impetus for European participation. After a long and effective process of consultation
between the European representatives, youth leaders and youngsters, it has been stated that the
new societal environment does not offer enough efficiency space for the traditional models of
participation, for young people. As a result of this statement, by making youngsters stakeholders
in their field, they must be given the opportunity to work on their requests.
Adapting the classical economic theory of Albert Hirschman, it is obvious in 2001, as the
changes in society did not correspond, anymore, to the youngsters needs and the authorities did
not put into practice new action plans, this group passed 23 the voice stage and quit the
loyalty level and chose to orient themselves towards the exit alternative. (Hirschman, 1970).
Aimed at promoting young peoples active citizenship, the four main key issues highlighted by
the White Paper are: information, participation, voluntary activities and a better knowledge of
youth. To reach a common frame on youth participation, the White Paper states two main
aspects: applying the open method of coordination, in the specific field of youth, and making
better account of the youth dimension in other policy initiatives.
The Open Method of Coordination (OMC) has been created as part of the employment
policy, in the Luxembourg process. Afterwards, the Lisbon Strategy (2000) defined the OMC as
its main the instrument to tackle the aim of transforming the European Union into the most
competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world, capable of sustainable
economic growth with more and better jobs and greater social cohesion. (Hermaans,2008) The
OMC provided a new framework for cooperation, between the Member States, which should
come to a convergence of their policies, in order to achieve the common objectives adopted by
the Council. For a better application of the OMC, in 2002 was released the Resolution of 27 June
2002 regarding the framework of European cooperation in the youth field. This document set as
main strands for the cooperation in the youth field: the application of the Open Method of
Coordination and taking more into account the youth dimension in other policies. For the first
listed strand, the OMC should be applied as a flexible instrument, based on the subsidiarity
principle, so that the decisions should be taken at the closest level to the youngsters. Moreover,

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the youth associations and youth organizations should be associated with the cooperation
framework, at the European, national and local levels. This resolution also endorsed the four
priority areas of the White Paper (information, participation, voluntary activities among young
people, and greater understanding and knowledge of youth) and stressed the participation
dimension. Consequently, for this purpose participation the youngsters should be involved in
decision making, and for this involvement, the authorities should cooperate with the associations
and also with the other organizations that ensure the youths participation in civil society.
The priorities for the OMC application have to be set by the Member States, which have
the responsibility to consult the youth associations, in order to adopt short and long term
objectives for the youth policy. As the results were not that visible, in 2003, the Council released
a new resolution: Council Resolution of 25 November 2003 on Common Objectives for
participation by and information for young people (2003/C 295/04). This resolution restated as
priorities the participation and information. As the Member States, using the voluntary
performance, did not manage to transfer the priorities in clear response policies, this document
also sets the objectives for youngsters participation:
increase the participation of young people in the civic life of the community,
increase the participation by young people in the system of representative democracy,
greater support for various forms of youth learning. In this process, the Member States
should set their own national priorities and then, after the negotiations with the other
states, to come to common objectives.
Also, on their full responsibility there are the national action plans and consultations with
young people and their associations. The most efficient consultation procedure has been
portrayed as the consultations with the national and regional youth councils, in those states where
these bodies exist. (European Youth Forum, 2006) The White Paper A new impetus for
European Youth and the European Parliaments Decision No. 1719/2006/EC of 15 November
2006 establishing the "Youth in Action" programme for the period 2007 to 2013 highlighted that
young Europeans should be offered the opportunity to participate.
A mechanism imagined by the European Commission to empower youth participation is
the structured dialogue. This type of dialogue presumes the creation of an effective and efficient
mechanism of consultation with young people. As partners in this dialogue, all the structures and
individuals who deal directly or indirectly with young people should be involved. All these

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mechanisms should ensure the active involvement of the youngsters into decision-making
process, at all levels European, national, and local. (European Commission, 2006) For an
ensured access of youth and their peers and leaders, The European Youth Portal has been
developed as a direct result of the White Paper and it was launched in 2004, in order to facilitate
young peoples access to information on Europe. This portal contains information from
European, national, regional and local levels, offering support information on mobility, work,
living and youth participation in public life. For a better achievement of its purpose: youth
information, the portal is also developed by Eurodesk, ERYCA (The European Youth
Information and Counselling Agency (ERYICA) and EYCA (The European Youth Card
Association (EYCA). Eurodesk is the support center, organized as European network,
coordinating the research and managing the information at the European level, through its
national and local branches. (European Youth Information Charter, 2004) Thus, using the spaces
for the structured dialogue, youngsters participation should have increased. For the common
objectives, in the formulation process, the Commission has to consult also the main European
representative of the youth organisations The European Youth Forum (EYF). EYF is an
independent youth forum, cooperating, permanently both with the Council of Europe and
European Union, is made up of almost 100 National Youth Councils and International Youth
Organisations. Presenting itself as the voice of the youngsters and an important lobby group,
EYF also evaluated the application of the OMC in the youth field.
The evaluation of the EU youth policy launched in 2001 together with the challenges
determined by the financial crisis started in 2008, visible especially in the high unemployment
rates, resolve in a new approach in the youth policy. After a long consultation process that started
in 2008 and was structured as an online consultation with the youngsters, stakeholders, youth
workers, researchers and experts (5.426 respondents) , from the Member States, with the
European Free Trade Association States (partner states in the European youth programmes) and
the candidate countries, the key subjects that came out of the consultations were: the reform of
the education system, youth unemployment and active youth participation. (European Research
on Youth Supporting young people to participate fully in society, 2009) In order to tackle the
above-mentioned key issues in April 2009 the European Commission launched the new youth
strategy: An EU strategy for youth Investing and Empowering. Considering the results of the
consultation process and with a great focus on the aging population phenomenon, the new youth
strategy is based on a dual approach: investing in youths, in order to improve their well-being and

16

empowering youth by permanently promoting their potential, in order to have them as equal
partners in promoting the EUs values and goals. (European Commission, 2009)
Following the line set through the Lisbon Strategy, the new youth strategy brings a new
methodological set for the open method of coordination: the joined-up policy based on the
cooperation between different fields in order to ensure the youths well-being and the feeding in
- based on encouraging the youngsters to be active participants in the decision-making process, at
the European, national, regional and local level. (Ibid) Consequently, all these measures aim to
reinforce the multiple level of citizenship and to empower the youngsters 31 active participation
(European Research on Youth Supporting young people to participate fully in society, 2009)
Based on producing the youth policy with the young people, not for the young people, the new
approach should be based on youth sector as an active sector in all the initiatives, from the
European, to the local level. In order to reinforce all these multiple levels of citizenship, needs to
fulfil the demand of the over 73% of the youngsters, who are asking to be equal partners, in the
decisions that have a direct impact on their lives and on their well being.

With and for young people Structured dialogue processes2


Structured
Dialogue

with

young

people serves as a forum


for

continuous

joint

reflection on the priorities,


implementation,
follow-up

of

and
European

cooperation in the youth


field. It involves regular
consultations
people

and

of

young
youth

organizations at all levels


in EU countries, as well as dialogue between youth representatives and policy makers at EU

European Commission - Link: http://ec.europa.eu/youth/policy/implementation/dialogue_en.htm

17

Youth Conferences organized by the Member States holding the EU presidency, and during the
European Youth Week.
The Structured Dialogue focuses on a different overall thematic priority for each of its 18month work cycles (set by the Council of Youth Ministers). The thematic priority of the Trio
Presidency (Italy, Latvia, and Luxembourg) for July 2014 - December 2015 is youth
empowerment. The empowerment theme will address access to rights and the importance of
political participation by young people. Structured Dialogue is conducted at the EU Youth
Conferences organized by each of the three Member States holding the Presidency of the EU
Council during each work cycle, and as part of the European Youth Week organized by the
European Commission with regular intervals.
Structured Dialogue with young people is conducted around the current thematic priority
at both national and EU level. A national consultation of young people and youth organizations is
conducted in all Member States during the 18-month cycle of Structured Dialogue. During the
current cycle July 2014 to December 2015 it is planned that the national consultations should, for
the first time, be carried out in part through the European Youth Portal. In the Member States, the
participatory process is organized and ensured by National Working Groups comprising, amongst
others:
representatives of youth ministries,
national youth councils,
local and regional youth councils,
youth organizations,
young people from diverse backgrounds, and
youth researchers.
The consultation of the National Working Groups is based on a Guiding Framework,
endorsed by youth representatives and policy makers at the first Youth Conference of the 18month cycle, organized by Italy. The outcomes of the consultation are debated at the second
Youth Conference, organized by Latvia, where youth representatives and policy makers endorse
Joint Recommendations on youth empowerment for political participation. The recommendations
are then discussed by Youth Ministers from the 28 Member States during the third Youth

18

Conference, organized by Luxembourg, before being endorsed. The final recommendations will
be reflected in a Council Resolution addressed to European institutions and national authorities,
to be endorsed by youth ministers at the end of the 18-month cycle. The Structured Dialogue is
implemented at EU level through a European Steering Committee (renewed for every 18-month
working cycle) comprising:
Youth Ministry representatives of the three EU presidency Member States,
Representatives of national youth councils of the three EU presidency Member States,
Representatives of the National Agencies of Erasmus+ of the three EU Presidency
Member States,
Representatives of the European Commission, and
Representatives of the European Youth Forum.
The latter chairs the Committee during the 18-month working cycle.

Advisory Council on Youth Council of Europe

The Advisory Council on Youth is a Council of Europe body made up of 30


representatives from youth NGOs and networks in Europe and provides opinions and input on all
youth sector activities. It also ensures that young people are involved in other activities of the
Council of Europe. In practice, the Advisory Council:
contributes to the mainstreaming of youth policies across the Council of Europe
programme of activities

19

formulates opinions and proposals on general or specific questions concerning youth in


the Council of Europe as well as the priorities and budget allocations for the youth sector
promotes activities focused on youth in the field of international cooperation
sends representatives to statutory meetings and events with the aim of making the work of
the Council of Europe in this field more visible.

Co-management
The Advisory Council on Youth is the non-governmental partner in the co-managed
bodies of the Council of Europes Youth Department. The Council of Europes youth sector
works on the basis of a partnership between non-governmental youth organizations and
governments, in what is known as the co-management system. This means that representatives
from non-governmental youth organizations and youth networks cooperate closely with
government officials from the European Steering Committee for Youth to establish the standards
and work priorities of the Council of Europes youth sector and make recommendations for future
priorities, programs and budgets. The Advisory Council on Youth promotes at all levels, the comanagement system in the decision-making process as a good practice for youth participation,
democracy and inclusion; whilst preparing and encouraging young generations to take
responsibility to build their desired society.
The new trends in youth participation - Digital participation
But understanding
youth

and

participation

youth
is

to

be

coupled with the dynamic


character of the target
group young people whose interests and needs are constantly changing. Consequently, in the
era of online participation, young people have the tendency to participate virtually, to prefer
online voting and to be the supporters of e-participation. The usage of the social media
completely changed the trends of participation and starting with the Arab Spring, the digital
participation of young people is to be treated as a separate trend in youth participation.
Acknowledging the new context, the European Institutions namely the Council of Europe and

20

the European Commission through their partnership in the youth field Youth Partnership, are
investing special attention to analyzing digital participation as a concept and also to looking at the
barriers that young people could face in e-participation. The Symposium on youth participation in
a digitalized world (14-16 September 2015, Budapest, Hungary) was an excellent opportunity for
youth workers, policy makers and researchers to reflect upon the new trends in participation,
challenging the existing democratic systems and deepening the reflections on youth participation
and the future of democracies in the digital era. (Youth Partnership, 2015 Link: http://pjpeu.coe.int/en/web/youth-partnership/digitalised-world )

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2.1 Methods and Tools used in Romania by CSCD to organize public participation
of youth
A. Public participation against discrimination of young people from the rural communities

Having in mind that no other activities are being organized for young people except for
the projects that CSCD is running, starting with 2012, the youth workers realized that the most
efficient methodologies to boost up youth participation are the ones that are offering youth the
opportunity to be the main partner in developing processes and services. Starting with May 2014
to July 2015, CSCD on partnership basis with FPDL Partners Foundation for Local
Development and CERT Educational Center for Resources and Training, implemented the
project Public participation against discrimination of young people from the rural communities,
project granted through NGO Fund in Romania, EEA Grants. The identified problem the high
risk of rural youth to be exposed to discrimination and social exclusion coupled with their weak
public participation determined the project that had as aim to invest in the personal development
of youth from the 3 rural communities Giubega, Galiciuica and Campeni. The objectives of the
project were related to using community development methodologies and personal development
techniques in order to invest in the youth potential to combat discrimination and to invest in their
leadership potential. The process started with identifying the problems in the community and to
run campaigns in order to come up with a youth led solution for these problems.

22

40 young people from the 3 villages identified as the problems in their communities:
The lack of youth friendly spaces in the villages
The lack of dialogue structures with the authorities mainly with the
village councils
The lack of personal development activities for their peers
The lack of knowledge and awareness of the pupils on human rights and
the access to human rights.
The problems were identified in meetings that were prepared with the support of the
community organizers (3 youth workers), who had been moderating the meetings and offered the
groups the methodological support in preparing the campaigns. The problems were identified
using consultation processes with their peers (collecting the problems on post-its and then
selecting the problem that had been mentioned frequently).
The following steps of the process include selecting the relevant problems, the and in
creating the map of allies and opponents in solving the problem, the community organizer
helping the group to formulate the position papers and to prepare the negotiation meetings with
the stakeholders (school boards, pupils councils). Having a clear working plan and strategy, the
process aimed at making the school boards to hold the proposals of the group accountable for the
actions and projects to be implemented and to meet the needs of the community the pupils
community.
The first problem that was tackled was the lack of access to information about the lack of
information to access to rights. For this
purpose, for the International Day of Human
Rights, on December 10 2015, the 3 initiative
groups prepared activities for their peers.
Having

both

presentations

and

also

interactive sessions, the groups managed to


get their peers familiar with the basic
fundamental rights to get the support of the
school boards on running their campaigns.

23

The second problem that the group in Giubega


identified was related to the lack of having a space in
the village where youth would come and socialize. The
problem had been validated in public meetings (having
over 100 supporters). Negotiation meetings had been
organized with the principal of the schools and with the
mayor of the village in order to get clean the park next
to the Culture House in the village. In June 2015, with the support of other colleagues, the group
of 15 young people, together with the principal of the school and with other adults in the
community, worked in organizing the Youth Park, a space that is still being used as the main
meeting place of the young people in the community.
Having youth as the main actor for chance not
the beneficiary of services, offered youth full
ownership on the initiatives developed. Being a
successful initiative, the youth community organizing
model implemented in the three local communities
had as well been presented within the good practices
panel at the A youth policy seminar on social
inclusion of young people in vulnerable situations in
South East Europe, Youth Partnership Mostar, October 28-29 2015.

24

At a larger scale, with the support of international donors (Council of Europe - European
Youth Foundation, European Union - Youth in Action, Erasmus +, EEA Grants), CSCD managed
to involve over 2000 young people in its activities and to run local youth projects in 6 rural
communities in South Western part of Romania - mainly Dolj County. For this purpose, CSCD
is closely working both with the public and with the nongovernmental actors, having
implemented over 20 projects granted by the European Commission, European Social Fund,
European Youth Foundation (Council of Europe) and EEA Grants aiming at developing
structured dialogue mechanisms and social business models that would offer youth specifically
youth with fewer opportunities personal and professional development. CSCD is training youth
workers (both from Romania and from the Member States of the Council of Europe) on
nonformal education, social entrepreneurship, inclusive education, education for citizenship,
social business models, participatory action research, detached and open youth work and directly
workers community organizing, community development and advocacy tools.
The work is being done
by trained youth workers and
youth leaders (4), 2 researchers
and a team of 13 volunteers. In
2012/2014, CSCD had been one
of the key players in setting up
the European priorities in the
youth field, having one member
part of the Advisory Council on
Youth at the Council of Europe and being as well represented in the Pool of European Youth
Researchers (PEYR). CSCD is also partnering up with local authorities in the field of youth in
Dolj County and with different nongovernmental organizations both providing social services and
developing social entrepreneurship models for young people (Junior Chamber International
Craiova).
The main educational approaches that CSCD is integrated to its activities are the
following:

25

Youth
Community
Organizing &
Community
Development

Youth
participation

Citizenship
education

Human Rights
Education &
Intercultural
Education

Except for the social impact of the campaigns, youth is also benefiting of a personal
development process, as during the activities, they get the support of the youth workers and of
other guests part of the activities (in November 2015, working for 3 days with the representatives
of YMCA George Williams College UK youth workers and researchers, during the evaluation
meeting organized as an Activity of Developing Detached Youth Work Practice (2014-1-MT01KA205-000348) project granted by the European Union Erasmus + - Key Action 2 Strategic
Partnerships in the Field of Youth).
The youth community organizing methodologies are boosting up youth participation by:
Offering youth the opportunity to be active on the public scene and to make their
voice heard through the campaigns they are organizing
Young people are constantly mentored by youth workers who are guiding their steps
towards impacting social change.

26

The youth group is creating dialogue structures with the public authorities and are
working towards partnering up with the authorities for their campaigns.
The members of the group have the potential of mobilizing other peers (for the youth
group in Giubega, 9 out of the 15 young people involved with the activities are youth
with fewer opportunities).
The whole process starting with identifying the problem, to the consultations with
the other actors in the community, the negotiation meetings and the activities
organized within the Campaigns are youth led and developed by youth, for their peers.

D. Citizenship Education & Human Rights Education


Citizenship Education can be defined as educating children, from early childhood, to become
clear-thinking and enlightened citizens who participate in decisions concerning society.
Society is here understood in the special sense of a nation with a circumscribed territory which
is recognized as a state.
UNESCO

Starting with 2011, with the support of the international donors and of the local
partners, CSCD developed projects and initiatives aiming at offering youth the opportunity to
make their voice heard and to set up participatory mechanisms for young people with fewer
opportunities.
The citizenship education activities that CSCD is running have the main scope:
To educate young people in citizenship and human rights, making sure that young
people get the full access to their rights and that they are able to multiply the
information.
That young people understand what is the role of the institutions and they know
which institution to address depending upon their request
That they act responsibly and are active on the public scene.
For this purpose, the main initiatives implemented had been the following:
The

Rights

Caravan

http://www.cdcd.ro/2011/05/the-rights-caravan-in-

comunele-din-dolj/ , project granted by EYF European Youth Foundation, Council of


Europe, 2011.

27

Hajde, Baxtalo! - http://www.cdcd.ro/2012/12/hajde-baxtalo-eveniment/ , project


granted by the European Union, Youth in Action, 2012.
LEAD

(Leadership,

Empowerment,

Access,

Development)

http://www.cdcd.ro/?s=LEAD, project granted by EYF European Youth Foundation,


Council of Europe, 2013.

The outcomes of these projects are fully valorized into the initiatives and projects that CSCD
currently implementing:
Developing Detached Youth Work Practice (2014-1-MT01-KA205-000348)- granted by the
European Union, Key Action 2 Strategic Partnerships in the Field of Youth. Within the project, using
detached youth work methodologies, two youth workers are working 15 young people in non-organized
spaces, planning local youth initiatives and campaigns.

Detached youth work is a model of youth work practice, targeted at vulnerable. young
people, which takes place on young people's own territory such as streets, cafes, parks and
pubs at times that are appropriate to them and on their terms.

Youth Creates Partnerships for the Development of Education for Social Entrepreneurship
(2015-3-SI02-KA205-013260) - granted by the European Union, Key Action 2 Strategic Partnerships in
the Field of Youth using its experience in developing youth led processes and participatory mechanisms,
CSCD is mapping out a study on the entrepreneurship competencies of young people in Europe. For this
purpose, CSCD is running participatory action research activities with its working target young people
from the rural areas, identifying the existent competencies and skills and the need for development of
these skills for the future employment of young people with fewer opportunities.

28

2.2. Methods and tools used in Norway by MH to organize public participation of


youth
A. Intercultural events
MH uses intercultural events in order to promote dialogue between communities in
Norway and their commune participation to the society, after identifying commune interests and
needs and after agreeing on the way to participate.
Three traditional intercultural events are organized:
The Festival of Intercultural Dialogue, in April, in partnership with several Embassies at
the monumental Oslo Opera House.
Presenting the Ashura, as an intercultural and inter-religious event, in partnership with
Norwegian churches and the Muslim community in Norway. The event used also social
theatre as a method to establish intercultural dialogue.
Peace painting activities for children.

B. Film projections and debates


MH uses film projections and
debates to promote participation and
dialogue. Inviting wel- known persons,
representatives of Embassies and the
Government, at the projection of the
movie Love Is a Verb, encouraged
participation and increased the impact of
the debates after the film projection.
Love Is A Verb is an examination of a social movement of Sufi-inspired Sunni Muslims that
began in Turkey in the l960s and now spans across the globe. The group is called Hizmet,
the Turkish word for "service" or The Glen Movement after its inspiration and teacher,

29

Fethullah Glen, a man TIME magazine named as one of the most influential leaders in the
world in 2013 for "...preaching a message of tolerance."

C. Intercultural meetings of young people


MH implements Cofee Beam a project bringing together young people with very
different backgrounds to debates on several subjects, at the young people choice.
The meetings take place in a friendly environment, with the possibility of young people to
prepare coffee, tea and snack for themselves, which is a very good way to make these debates
more enjoyable and attractive.
As a result of these debates young people are encouraged to initiate and implement events
using the organization infrastructure.

D. Volunteers involvement
Based on a partnership with business, local authorities and other NGOs (like the Red
Cross), young people can be volunteers in coffees or to do other voluntary work in order to
support young people in need.
MH Theory of Change on youth work and volunteering can be presented as
follows
The hook for young people is the fact that they are accumulating working experience that
is useful late for their employment.
On the other hand, volunteering is also developing the young people commitment to the
society and young volunteers are much more likely to participate in community life.

E. Use of media
NorSensus Mediaforum is a partner
of MH using media to promote youth
engagement.

They

are

implementing

FAKTUELL:
A training programme for socially
disadvantaged young people to express

30

themselves (visualisation, communication, social media)


A platform of expression online platform of publication (youth magazine) and a
newsroom of 7 young people (14-19 years old).
The platform is constructed around the NO HATE idea and all training provided aimed
at teaching young people to build, tell and promote counter-narratives to the heat speech.

31

2.3. Other methods and tools used in project funded by EEA Grants to organize
public participation of youth

A. Education for environment3


Public participation for environmental issues is promoted in Poland. We teach children
and young people how to take care of nature so that they will take responsibility for the
environment when they grow up, says project manager Joanna Handziak-Buczko from Wrocaw
in Poland.
In a classroom in the school complex number 4 in the Polish city of Wrocaw the students
are in deep concentration. They are carefully studying and operating small models that are
producing solar and wind power.
One day we will run out of resources. Renewable energy will be the solution to generate
heat and electricity for our daily lives, says Sebastian Bogacz (18). Together with his classmate
Piotr agocki (18) he is checking the solar panel model. Outside the window on the roof of the
school real size solar collector is producing energy to heat up the water in the school.
I want to work with renewable energy because we need to change to this type of energy
to save the planet, says Piotr agocki.
At school, the children learn about biology, but they often do not get enough practical
knowledge about how to take care of the nature and to protect the environment. That is where we
come in, explains Joanna Hadziak-Buczko from the life-long learning centre in Wrocaw, who is
managing the project on behalf the municipality of Wrocaw. With support from Iceland,
Liechtenstein and Norway, Handziak-Buczko and her colleagues are contributing to increase the
quality and effects of education in biodiversity and protection of ecosystems in Poland.
Through the project My green home more than 1000 children and young people aged 318 from three schools and one kindergarten in Wrocaw get the chance to learn more about the

Source: http://eeagrants.org/News/2015/Developing-young-environmentalists

32

importance of biodiversity, the economic value of ecosystems and the use of renewable energy
sources.
We show them for example how to sort garbage and what new products can be produced
from recycled waste. We visit parks, forests, the botanical garden and the zoo. For young people
it is easier to understand how their behaviour influences the environment if they go out and see it
for themselves, says Handziak-Buczko.

B. School based activities4


The Lithuanian NGO School of Success works to increase civic participation in the
country by engaging with pupils.
According to the Civil Society Institute in the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius, around 40
percent of Lithuanians do not participate in any kind of civic activities. To help improve this
situation, School of Success is receiving more than 44 000 in support from Iceland,
Liechtenstein and Norway through the Lithuanian NGO programme to promote so-called
democratic education in five schools in Lithuania. Democratic education means actively
engaging with the pupils and letting them have a real say in what is going on in their school. The
purpose of this is two-fold. It aims to create a better learning environment for the pupils involved
in the project and making them more motivated for school while at the same time spurring civic
engagement that will carry on outside the classroom.
One of the schools that participates in the project is the Kauno Kazio Griniaus
progymnasium in the city of Kaunas in the southern part of Lithuania. An important part of the
project has been to start an open conversation between pupils, teachers and administrators about
various issues relevant to the school and its pupils. This was a positive experience for everyone
involved, particularly for the pupils who for the first time felt they were given an opportunity to
engage with their teachers and the school management as equals.

Source: http://eeagrants.org/News/2014/Encouraging-civic-participation-in-Lithuania

33

The dialogue was partly facilitated through a series of school-wide meetings where each
class was represented by two pupils and a class teacher. In total, around 150 people participated
in the meetings, including parents.
Project manager Donata Norkiene at School of Success says that the project has
exceeded expectations: To be honest, we are quite surprised by the results of the project. To be
able to watch a traditional Lithuanian school break with tradition and engage with the students
in this way is something we have never seen before in our work.
Norkiene adds that School of Success hopes to be able to share the results of the project
with other schools in Lithuania: We hope that through this project we can inspire other schools
in Lithuania, and that this can have positive effects both on our pupils and our civil society.

C. Simulations simulated elections5


Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway supported a civic education project to stimulate
political participation among young people in Romania. The Romanian Association for
Democracy (Asociatia Pro Democratia) has received 71 860 from the Romanian NGO Fund of
the EEA Grants to carry out the "Exercise for democracies" project; an educational project aimed
at raising civic participation and political engagement among high school and university students.
The Association for Democracy is based on political non-partisanship and volunteerism, and has
20 years of experience in promoting political and civic participation in Romanian society.
The project takes a participatory approach, and aims to teach students about the political
system and the political decision-making process. Through simulated elections and model
parliaments; simulated parliament sessions, students learn how political decisions made at
national and European level affect their lives, and how they can influence political processes.
One of the project's overarching aims is to counter electoral absenteeism, and in particular
to encourage young people to vote in the last elections for the European Parliament on 7 June
2009. All over Europe, the boundaries between domestic and foreign policy becomes increasingly
blurred as the process of European integration proceeds. Yet, the challenge remains of getting the

Source: http://eeagrants.org/News/2012/Education-for-democracy

34

average voter more interested in European issues and policies. In Romania, there is a general lack
of knowledge about the European Parliament and its Romanian members among young people,
according to the Pro Democratia association.
To stimulate interest and engagement in European politics among young people, the
"Exercise for Democracies" project organized a special Candidates Forum for young people, at
which students met and discussed with Romanian MEP candidates. 30 students subsequently
went on a study trip to Brussels and met with the candidates there. Through the project, simulated
European elections were held at schools and higher education institutions in Craiova, Onesti,
Targu Neamt, Timisoara, Galati, Constanta and Brasov. The results were announced two days
after the real election so as not to interfere with the outcome of the actual vote.

D. Youth Centres Open youth work6


I hope the youth centre will be a place where we can make new friends and learn new
skills, says Kostadin Chilikov. He is one of many young people that will benefit from four youth
centres that have received grants in Bulgaria.
The centres are being set-up as a part of the Bulgarian children and youth at risk
programme. They will be open to young people between the ages of 15 and 29, and Roma youth
are a key target group. In total, four centres are being established. Each centre aims to receive the
Council of Europes Quality Label, and they hope to open their doors by the beginning of 2015.
Svetoslav Aleksiev, Rashko Aleksiev
and Kostadin live in the southern Bulgarian
city of Plovdiv and are looking forward to the
centre being opened. The three young men
are from the Roma community and they are
hoping that the youth centre will be a place
where they can meet other young people from
outside their own community.

Source: http://eeagrants.org/News/2014/Empowering-Roma-youth

35

For us as Roma it can be difficult to meet people from outside our own community. So I
hope that the youth centre can be a place where young people from Plovdiv can meet regardless
of ethnic background, says Svetoslav.
The centre is not only about fostering friendships across cultural boundaries, it is also
about teaching vocational skills and helping the youngsters enter the labour market. Both
Svetoslav, Aleksiev and Rashko are unemployed and they are hoping that once it opens, the
youth centre in Plovdiv will help them develop useful skills and find a job.

36

2.4 Other methods and tools used in Europe to organize public participation on
youth

The study visit hosted by MH was also an excellent opportunity for the Romanian and for
the Norwegian partner to identify methods and tools used by different European organizations in
order to boost up youth participation. For this purpose, the mapping exercise of the existent
practices started with the expressed interests of the participants to the study visit into the methods
and tools that could be then transferred and replicated into the local working realities.
At the European level, the Multilateral Cooperation Project Participation of young
people in the democratic Europe and the Refection Group on Youth Participation of the
Partnership between the European Commission and the Council of Europe provided the policy
makers, the practitioners and the researchers with excellent resources on empowering youth to
participate to the public life. Available in the Manual Amplify Participation of Young People in
Europe

Recommendations

for

policy

and

practice

(link:

https://www.salto-

youth.net/downloads/4-17-3048/Amplify%20Participation%20-%20Recommendations.pdf ), the
set of recommendations are the result of an 18 months peer learning process of 5 countries
(Germany, Israel, Lithuania, Poland and The United Kingdom) involving ministries responsible
for youth, youth representatives, and other experts. The recommendations are also based on the
findings from the research field and also on the outcomes of the event Hear my voice!
European Conference (Brussels, 6-8 October 2014) by 55 experts on youth participation from 15
different countries. The recommendations had been drafted to support the policy makers to
develop public policies in order to raise the motivation of responsible key people working for and
with young people in order for them to encourage participation amongst young people, as well as
share their experiences and lessons learnt with those responsible for youth policy. (Clfteanu,
2013)
Youth participation and the new participation trends were also tackled during the EU
Youth Conference Young Peoples access to rights, held in Rome in October 2014, participants
asked the European Commission and Member States to provide enhanced citizenship education at
all stages of formal education and support non-formal learning providers as well as during the

37

Council of Europes World Forum for Democracy, November 2014 in Strasbourg, event where
young people asked for new means of democratic expression and democratic participation. Also,
the first Global Forum on Youth Policies that took place in Azerbaijan in October 2014
emphasized as well the need for support of youth civic engagement and participation in decisionmaking and political processes and institutions. (Ibid).
One of the practices identified by the experts group and could be an excellent source of
inspiration for the other organizations in Europe an example taken from the UK: The National
Take Over Day, launched in 2007, is supported by the Children's Commissioner for England to
promote and encourage youth involvement and participation. (Salto Youth Participation
Amplify Participation of Young People in Europe Recommendations for Policy and Practice https://www.salto-youth.net/downloads/4-17-3048/Amplify%20Participation%20%20Recommendations.pdf )
Every Take Over Day', businesses and organizations from across the country, ranging
from Local Authorities, schools and police departments to radio stations and supermarkets;
coordinate a wide range of activities to enable children and young people to work alongside
adults, try out different jobs, take on challenges, and be involved in decision making. The day
gives children and young people the chance to work with adults for the day and be involved in
decision-making. Children benefit from the opportunity to experience the world of work and
make their voices heard, while adults and organizations gain a fresh perspective on what they do.
We hope this will help break down barriers between generations and encourage children's
active involvement in their communities.
From its composition, the Take Over Day is an event with various levels to which young
people can be involved:
Job shadowing: Young people follow someone in their post for the day, seeing what their
job involves.
Work experience: Young people are given tasks to complete which are part of the work of
the organization, ideally doing work towards a current project.
Sharing a challenge: The organization shares a challenge it's facing, and asks the young
people to come up with a solution.
In 2014, the National Take Over Day takes place on 21 November in various places in
England. Organizations and Local Authorities which take part in the Take Over Day can show

38

their participation by using posters We have been taken over and benefit from info packs
available for them, for schools and for young people.
Of course, the scheme of a Take Over Day can be criticized on various levels:
if taken as a sole measure to increase participation of young people it would lack real
possibilities to influence political decisions sustainably
it could be perceived as a top-down measure as the decision makers allow young people
to have an insight in their positions and tasks; the bottom-up quality of receiving young
peoples feedback during this day on how they perceived shadowing a decision maker
plays a decisive role in this context
it might be even perceived to perpetuate the project-based, one-off approaches which do
not contribute to a systematic increase of participation of young people; here it is vital that
the introduction of the Take Over Day is accompanied by training and educational
possibilities to learn how decision making functions, to experience deliberation processes,
and to embed the experience of shadowing a decision maker in a longer term participation
learning experience.
Once more, there is no one-size--fits-all: The Take Over Day can be a strong signal to
open up political structures to young people it does not replace giving real decision power,
budgetary competence etc. to them. Embedded in a holistic concept of opening up adult
structures and offering systemic participation possibilities with learning opportunities on various
levels, the European Youth Take Over Day can be a solid sign of decision makers and
stakeholders that they are willing to shape the future together with young people.

39

Chapter 3 Funding youth projects for participation and democracy


3.1 Funding of projects for participation and democracy promoted by CDCD in
Romania
For the last 6 years, CSCD had been implementing its projects with the support of the
international donors:
Council of Europe - European Youth Foundation
European Union - Erasmus +, Youth in Action
European Social Fund
EEA Grants.
No fees had been collected from the members and in the working communities, the local
authorities had not been put in place yet any granting opportunities for the youth activities.

3.2 Funding of projects for participation and democracy promoted by MH in


Norway
MH uses three main funding methods:
fees collected from members;
sponsorships form the business sector for public events with a large number of
participants;
small grants from the local authorities based on a project competition held every
year.

3.3 Other funding sources used in Europe7


European Youth Foundation (Council of Europe) :www.coe.int/youth/. The EYF funds
international youth projects (minimum 4 European partner countries).
European Mobility Fund (Council of Europe): www.coe.int/youth/. The Mobility Fund
pays rail travel for disadvantaged groups participating in international youth projects.
7

Salto Youth - Source:https://www.saltoyouth.net/rc/inclusion/inclusionresources/inclusiongroups/inclusionrural/inclusion-ruralfunding/

40

Leader +:http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/rur/leaderplus/index_en.htm. Leader+ is designed


to help rural actors improve the long-term potential of their local region. Projects need to
fall within specific priorities granted to specific countries. Sometimes there is a youth
focus in these projects.
Interreg: www.interact-eu.int. Interreg is financed by the European development fund for
social cohesion and supports cross border trans-national and interregional cooperation.
Maybe your region is part of an Interreg project.
European Cultural Foundation: www.eurocult.org. ECF is an independent non-profit
organisation that promotes cultural cooperation in Europe and gives funding for projects
with a strong cultural component e.g. concerts, theatre,...
National Endowment Fund for Democracy: http://www.ned.org/apply-for-grant/en/ grants
projects aiming at boosting up youth participation and promoting youth participation in
peacebuilding processes.
Rotary & Lyons Clubs: www.rotary.org & www.lionsclubs.org. These are associations of
professionals that sometimes give money to projects which answer the needs that
challenge communities around the world.
Embassies & Cultural Institutes: Some Embassies and cultural institutes (e.g. Goethe
Institut, British Council, Alliance Franaise) are actively involved in supporting local
projects in different countries.
Visegrad Fund: www.visegradfund.org. Provides funding for cooperation projects
between the Visegrad countries: Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia and Hungary.
Nordic Council: www.norden.org. The Nordic Council funds projects with a Nordic
dimension
Different foundations: Find an overview of foundations at Funders Online
www.fundersonline.org. Funders Online is an initiative of theEuropean Foundation Centre
www.efc.be/projects/orpheus/. The EFC promotes and supports the work of foundations
and corporate funders in Europe.
Banks sometimes have foundations that fund projects e.g. la Caixa in Spain
Corporate social responsibility: www.csreurope.org. Companies supporting social projects
or civic society. CSR Europe regroups over 60 multinational corporations as members.
Velux Foundation: http://veluxfoundations.dk/en supports projects aiming at investing in
youth potential, namely on youth inclusion and providing social services.

41

Additional funding resources are available in the T-Kit on Funding & Financial
Management at www.youth-partnership.net or www.SALTO-YOUTH.net/Toolbox/ and also
available via Eurodesk - www.eurodesk.org.

42

Conclusions and recommendations the best practices

The project Youth activities for democracy, project that had as main activity an
exchange of experiences and good practices in order to come up with efficient methodologies to
work with youngsters in order to boost up their public participation in the public sphere was an
excellent opportunity both for the Romanian and for the Norwegian organizations to identify new
practices that could be replicated in their working communities. For CSCD, the visit and the
documentation study were essential to planning the new activities and to continue investing in the
development of the youth community organizing activities. For MH, the project was also an
opportunity to scale up the models used in Norway to other communities with a different social
and cultural profile.
The European policies and measures on empowering youth participation had been
integrated to the current study in order to draw the European framework in the field, the authors
trying as well to find the transfer mechanisms of the European processes to the local level. If in
Norway the authorities are investing in the local projects and initiatives and are better structuring
the dialogue mechanisms with young people, in Romania, the activities of the youth
organizations are basically providing the services that the authorities are failing in providing.
Analyzing the main documents on youth participation offered the partners the opportunity
to reflect upon the existent documents and programmes that could support the development of
local projects and initiatives. Consequently, the partners identified a range of granting
opportunities and also the methodologies that could be transferred at the local level. At the end of
the study visit, it was concluded that the path dependency strongly influences the current state of
the local youth participation framework in the two communities. Keeping in mind that the two
organizations came from totally different communities a rural and an urban one, with different
cultural and social aspects, different cultural frameworks, common challenges are faced when it
comes to including youth people with fewer opportunities. Both for the Norwegian and for the
Romanian partners, developing projects and initiatives for young people with difficult economic
and social background is a priority. If the Norwegian partner has the opportunity to get the
initiatives granted by the local authorities, the Romanian partner is also challenged by the lack of
access to funding from the local authorities, trying nowadays to access the resources of the
private donors.

43

The good practices identified at the European level and in other projects granted by EEA
are extremely useful for the two partners. Both for CSCD and for MH, running Caravans with a
youth-led dimension and initiating youth journalism projects are to be piloted in 2016/2017.
With the support of Norsensus (Oslo, Norway), the two partners are currently reflecting upon
better integrating the social media tools into the current youth activities.

During the study visit, the following recommendations had been drawn up by the youth
workers:
The local authorities should increase the role of the youths structures in the
decision- making process,
Public consultations and periodic public debates with the youngsters should be held,
Special programmes in the departments of the local authorities where the youngsters
could have special traineeship sessions,
Special pro-active measures to empower the youth participation in the rural areas,
Developing other mechanisms for young people to initiate their own programmes
for the community development.
At the end of the project, the following initiatives had been planned by the two partners:
Developing an application for a Seminar Erasmus +, Key Action 1 where
youth workers would come and share their experiences on working with young
people from the ethnic communities
Organizing a youth exchange for rural youth from Giubega village Romania and
the young people with fewer opportunities part of MH programmes
Identifying an opportunity to continue working on developing new tools and
methodologies to boost up youth participation in transnational partnerships
including the international partners of CSCD and MH.

44

References
Agenia Naional pentru Programe Comunitare n Domeniul Educaiei i Formrii
Profesionale, Minsiunea Agentiei Nationale pentru Programe Comunitare n Domeniul
Educatiei

si

Formrii

Profesionale

ANPCDEFP,

Available

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