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4 lessons about youth e-participation we learned thanks to STEP project

In June 2015 YEE started its journey as a partner in the Horizon 2020 STEP project. The project, which officially ended in December 2017, brought many new experiences and insights to the network.

The overall objective of STEP was to develop and test an online platform for young people to take part in decision-making processes on environmental issues.

Initially YEE’s role focused on disseminating the e-platform among young people. But as the project developed, more and new opportunities for YEE to be involved and contribute to the project came up.

What were the highlights of the STEP project for YEE?

- STEP blog: Over 3500 people visited our STEP blog, which we started in January 2017. Throughout the project, we published several interviews with young activists around Europe and articles on the topic of new forms of participation.

- EU show-case pilot: In July 2017 we launched the first of three dialogues open to all young people in Europe and beyond. Over 400 young people took part in the online dialogues that were published in the EU pilot.

- Sziget festival: In August 2017 YEE team joined the music and cultural festival in Budapest. We talked with young people from all over the world about their environmental concerns, their views on e-participation and the Sustainable Development Goals.

- EUth Open Summit: YEE, together with the rest of STEP partners, took part in the summit about youth e-participation organised by the H2020 project EUth in Berlin. Discussion groups, panel discussions and presentation of e-participation experiences, like STEP, were some of the activities happening in the summit. The main outcome was the list of recommendations for the youth eParticipation development created by the participants of the summit.

What did we find out throughout the project?


Exploring and working on the complex topic of youth participation and new forms of participation was a big learning experience for YEE.

  • We discovered that online engagement works better when choosing topics that are relevant to young people and close to their reality.
  • We recognised the importance of showing results and making the impact of the youth participation visible.
  • We found out that online activities should be combined with 'offline' activities.
  • We learned about the importance of removing existing barriers so that all young people can effectively participate. The translation tool in the STEP platform is a good example, since it allowed people from different countries to interact and be involved in discussions even if they were conducted in a different language.


As a network of youth environmental organisations in Europe, YEE finds the topic of youth participation as a fundamental part of its work. In 2018, we invite you to explore youth participation further and encourage other young people to take part in decision-making processes through our project “Active youth – better environment!”.

Check out the website of STEP project.