“Exploring different models of democratic participation: fostering youth participation through the European Youth Card”

European Youth Centre Strasbourg, France

17 – 18 October 2019





The seminar “Exploring different models of democratic participation: fostering youth participation through the European Youth Card” is organised to support the recognition of various forms of participation in community and democratic societies and to explore the different ways in which the EYC can be a tool for engagement of all young people.

About the organisers

The Partial Agreement on Youth Mobility through the Youth Card exists since 1991 and is a programme of the Council of Europe aimed at developing the youth card scheme, particularly at European level, in the best interests of young people with a view to facilitating their mobility as well as access to the various goods and services necessary for their personal and cultural development.

The European Youth Card Association (EYCA) groups around 36 youth card organisations all over Europe and is the Partial Agreement’s statutory partner. EYCA’s vision is a Europe where all young people are mobile and active (socially, culturally, educationally and economically). EYCA’s mission to reach this objective consists in delivering quality youth card services and in contributing to a better policy on youth mobility and active citizenship. Today, over six million youth card-holders benefit from youth card opportunities.

About the seminar

The Council of Europe is the leading Pan-European international organisation promoting inclusive, human-rights based youth policies.  The Council of Europe highly values the active participation of young people in decision-making particularly through one of the most advanced models of youth participation world-wide – the co-management system (see https://www.coe.int/en/web/youth/co-management ).

Over the past years, youth participation witnessed various ways of expression, from actively running for elected positions, to protests and using the social media to draw attention to different political issues, with young people finding new, alternative ways of engaging.

The participation of young people in decision-making processes – be they political, civic, civil society or other – fosters their active citizenship, enhances their inclusion, and strengthens their contribution to the advancement of democracy. It is essential, therefore, to foster this participation and one of the Council of Europe youth sector’s strategic objectives is to support young people’s (positive) attitude to influence decisions in democratic processes – be that at national, regional or local levels – and to increase their involvement in the development of inclusive and peaceful societies.

In this context, social media clearly create new opportunities for voice, for action and possibly influence. But they create risks too as engagement with participatory politics might not always develop in positive ways. That’s where schools come into the picture, playing their traditional role of preparing students to be citizens. It will be a challenge for researchers, teachers and education policy makers to keep pace with the rapid use of digital media by youth. But it seems clear that the virtual world can be good for the real world.


The seminar aims to:

  1. a) Offer the space for debate on and recognition of the variety of forms in which young people make their voices heard, including through digital means;
  2. b) Explore the ways in which European Youth Card can be a tool to reach out to disengaged young people and encourage them to actively participate at all levels.

The seminar will bring together policy makers in the youth field, youth workers, youth activists and young people, both organised and non-organised, as well as from various structures of representation (ex: young people involved in the ‘Rejuvenating politics’ initiative of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the CoE ).


Profile of the participants


This one-day-and-a-half seminar is open to up to 40 participants with expertise in youth affairs/youth mobility, youth work and youth participation:


  • Governmental representatives of the member states of the Council of Europe;
  • Researchers in youth participation;
  • EYCA member organisations, partners and networks;
  • International organisations;
  • European youth organisations and civil society organisations;
  • Young activists and non-organised young people from the States party to the European Cultural Convention (EES).


Practical information



The selected participants are responsible for arranging their own travel possibly in a most economical way. EYCA will reimburse international travel costs upon receiving the justificative documents, up to 350 euros and the tickets need to be booked at least 30 days in advance before travelling.

  • Request for reimbursement (to be sent to all attendees)
  • E-ticket/ invoice / train/bus tickets clearly showing the paid amount
  • Traveling by car: 0.25 Euros/km, upon receiving the gas receipt

The participants’ travel to and from the event as well as their stay during the seminar will be covered by the Council of Europe insurance.



Venue meeting, board and lodging

Lodging is ensured for all guests at the European Youth Centre in Strasbourg, France, the same space where the seminar will take place: https://www.coe.int/en/web/youth/eyc-strasbourg. The site also provides information on how to find one’s way to the European Youth Centre whatever your travel arrangements. Meals will be ensured for the whole duration of the event.



Those participants who need visa to travel to France are requested to fill in Appendix III and send a scanned copy of their passport. Please note that the Council of Europe will assist with obtaining a visa for the selected participants.




To apply, please send your form completed (Appendix II) to youthmobility@coe.org by Sunday,
18th August 2019 at midnight CET and fill in the registration form available at this link.

Please expect a reply by early September.



Regarding visa issues: youthmobility@coe.org

Regarding participation: Corina Pirvulescu, EYCA: corina.pirvulescu@eyca.org