Here you can read articles, news, interviews etc. connected to topics of Horizon 2020 project "STEP - Societal and political engagement of young people in environmental issues".
EU28 poll shows that only 46% of youth are voting on the local level and even less on national (43%) and regional (37%). For example, only 34% of young people in the UK voted in the EU referendum. Most common reasons for “not voting” are: youth people think they can’t make a change with their votes; they are not sufficiently informed to vote or the purpose of voting doesn’t address their daily problem; sometimes they just don’t bother themselves with it. Recent evidences show that young people from 18 to 24 are not active in voting but still remain highly engaged in politics, though. How is that possible? Although voting is a direct form of participation and remains one of the most essential one, there are several alternative ways to participate and to be heard. You probably already know some of them:
- Signing the petitions;
- Protests and demonstrations;
- Participation 2.0 (online petitions, awareness-raising campaigns and so on).
Even symbolic non-participation can be recognised as participation (for example, calls to leave ballots blank, which were quite popular in several countries).
Members of Let's do it Macedonia (Ajde Makedonija).
Igor and Blazhe are organising activities for waste management in the country and do other voluntary work.
How do you, as an individual, participate in the life of your community?
The STEP project is supported by the work of many – and the technical partners play an important role in it. They are creating the e-participation platform that young people will be soon using to share ideas and discuss possible solutions for environmental issues.
So if you want to learn more about some of the online features of STEP, this article might be a good place to start.
The STEP Platform in a nutshell
Humans are social beings living in complex societies. Different parts of societies - different groups of people, from governments, companies and scientists, to workers, youths and senior citizens work, or at least should work, hand in hand for the greater benefit of all.
Some groups, however, take more part in this than others, either because of disinterest or lack of opportunities to do so. This is especially present in non-governmental groups or communities, the common people, us. Their (our) involvement in deciding the future of a society goes by the name of participation.
Youth and Environment Europe (YEE) Member Organisations Officer
How do you, as an individual, get involved in the life of your community?
For me activism begins from 1997 when I started learning in Borjomi Public school. In my small hometown we have our own magazine and TV channel, I began volunteering in newspaper ,,Rainbow” for schoolchildren. With such a colourful name, the newsletter was all black and white and only two pages. It was published once per month and was presented in all the city’s schools for each pupil and teacher. There was no internet and mobile phones at all in my city. I liked to write and I decided to send them letters and then it began. From 2002 – 2005 I was promoting student councils, school community partnership and volunteering through IFES Georgia civil education project (founded by USAID). For this project I was elected as a young leader from my region and after finishing the project I was awarded as a young leader in Georgia. From 2005 I began interested in Environmental studies; I become an active member of the eco-club in my school.