Examining child participation in EU political and democratic life

Overlapping silhouettes of hands in a watercolour , photo by smartboy10/Getty Images

What is the issue?

Allowing children the right to express their views on the matters that affect them is a key objective of the European Union. Child participation not only helps to raise awareness of policy issues and drive political change, it can also improve children’s confidence and increase their civic and social awareness.

Despite its benefits there are however challenges to child participation within the EU, meaning that children’s views are either not heard, or they are prevented from participating at all. This in turn can lead to children feeling disillusioned and out of touch with the politics affecting their lives.

How are we helping?

RAND Europe, in collaboration with Eurochild, are examining how children aged 0-18 participate in decision-making processes across the EU, highlighting both the challenges and opportunities for improvement in this area at an EU, Member State and local level.

The study, commissioned by the European Commission, will involve a mixed methods approach including interviews with children across the EU to ensure the research reflects their views and needs. The final report will help to inform future strategies and possible actions for the EU in this area.

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