The EESC issues between 160 and 190 opinions and information reports a year.
It also organises several annual initiatives and events with a focus on civil society and citizens’ participation such as the Civil Society Prize, the Civil Society Days, the Your Europe, Your Say youth plenary and the ECI Day.
The EESC brings together representatives from all areas of organised civil society, who give their independent advice on EU policies and legislation. The EESC's326 Members are organised into three groups: Employers, Workers and Various Interests.
The EESC has six sections, specialising in concrete topics of relevance to the citizens of the European Union, ranging from social to economic affairs, energy, environment, external relations or the internal market.
Organised by: The European Digital Rights Association (EDRi) and the European Association for Local Democracy (ALDA), in cooperation with the EESC Section for Single Market, Production and Consumption (INT)
14:05 - 14:15 Dafne Sgarra – European Association for Local Democracy : Active engagement and participation of young people
14:15 - 14:25 Andreea Belu – European Digital Rights: Digital platforms regulation and secure messaging for youth democratic participation
14:25 - 14:55 Discussion: Acting against threats and making the most out of the opportunities posed by new technologies for young people
Andreea Belu – European Digital Rights
Dafne Sgarra – European Association for Local Democracy
Lauren Mason – European Youth Forum
Judit Lantai – Young European Federalists
Philip von Brockdorff - EESC INT section
15:00 - 15:25 Facilitated participatory exercise – Articulating a vision (4 working groups)
Safety and security
Youth participation in democratic processes
15:25 - 15:30 Report of working groups and next steps for a common and shared vision
This session brings together perspectives on citizens' digital participation, with a specific focus on young people and digital rights in the European public deliberation forum.
ALDA will discuss the active engagement and participation of young people, especially at local level and through digital tools, talking about ALDA's work in this area and referring to ongoing projects.
The guiding questions for the discussion could be:
Can active digital citizenship boost educational and employment prospects and also help combat social exclusion for young people?
How can young people being left behind benefit from the digital transformation?
How can CSOs ensure participatory and inclusive digital transformation?
In particular, ALDA will present:
A focus on the topic through the PACIFY-D project experience, aiming at strengthening young people's sense of initiative, and at educating them on issues of diversity, cultural differences, and political representation;
An outlineof the H.E.Y! project, aiming at fostering the inclusion of young people with fewer opportunities, returnees, NEETs and others to become active citizens;
A short demonstration on how and why the workshop topic is crucial for P-CUBE, aiming at raising awareness on public policymaking.
EDRi will focus on the "digital" side of democratic participation, and how two specific pieces of EU legislation can (dis)empower citizens' civic and human rights. Specifically, we will focus on the impact of digital platforms regulation and secure messaging for young people, as this segment of citizens plays an increasingly acknowledged key role in the democratic processes. We will try to answer the following questions:
What roles do new media have in organising democratic actions, especially for youth?
Which obstacles do people counter, especially in relation to active participation in democratic discussions?
What are the current and upcoming threats for activists when defending human rights in interconnected environments?
Overall, our session aims to articulate a shared vision, to guide our direction as we act against threats and make the most of the opportunities posed by new technologies for young people and citizens' participation in general. In particular, we will focus on four pillars: youth digital accessibility, youth digital safety & security, youth democratic participation, and youth employability.