Youth participation in Estonia

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Is there a national youth council, representing young people in your country? If yes, please provide the name, number of member organisations and number of young members.

Yes there is, and we call it Estonian Students Society. There are 876 members, and 14 of them are the leaders.


Is there a ministry dealing concretely with the youth affairs in your country? If yes, please provide the name of the ministry.



Does the government in your country has a specific youth policy/youth strategy?

No the goverment dont have it.


From what age are young people allowed to vote in the elections? If different age for different elections (parliamentary, local, regional, etc.), please specify.

From age 18, and there isn’t differences between different elections.


From what age are young people allowed to be elected in the elections to the representative bodies? If different age for different elections (parliamentary, local, regional, etc.), please specify.

From age 21. Again no differences between different elections.


Are there any youth participation initiatives at the local level (in municipalities), e.g. local youth parliaments/youth councils, meetings of young people with decision-makers? Please describe.

No not temporary. But if the government make some decision what young people don’t like, then active youngsters usually put together a group and ask help from Estonian Students Society. Then they help to make meetings with decision –makers.

Example in Estonia even in state universities are tuitions and for one course there is only 4-6 free places. In this year, because of the economical crisis, the government wanted to make this number even smaller. So students from different universities joined with Students Society, and made theyr voice to hear in media. Thanks to that they avoided the new law.


Are there youth participation/decision-making bodies at schools, e.g. school parliaments, student councils, etc.? Please describe.

Yes there are. But its really depends on schools. In some schools this kind of participations are very popular, and they organise great activities and helping teachers to make decisions, and only the best students can join with. But in some schools students take part of to skip some lesson and use the student council just for apology.


Are there are youth parliaments or other youth participation bodies on the national level? Please describe.



Is there any kind of education to youth participation/active citizenship included in the school curricula in your country, e.g. civic education? Please describe.

In universities you can learn youth job, even international youth job. But in high schools no. Only few schools there is civic education lessons, but it can be choose as extra lesson.


Do media inform about youth issues? Are young people involved in media and their production, e.g. as journalists? Please describe.

Yes, you can find quite many young journalists and reporters in Estonia. And media inform quite lot about youth issues.


Are there youth information centres, official youth websites or other sources of youth information available for young people? Please describe.

There are many websites in Estonia. Like you can find the answer of a hint who to ask, from internet. So there is no problems to find information, if somebody wants.


Are young people in your country informed about the European youth policy and its priorities? What do you think can be done to make young people aware about this? Please describe.

No many young people don’t know nothing about European youth policy and its priorities. There is information on the internet and sometimes in media, but young people don’t care about it or are afraiding it, just don’t believe those opportunities European youth policy offers.

To chance youngsters attitude they need real people to talk about it, example in schools. Just that someone will come and talk in front of the people, cause it is easier to them to believe a real person, not some website or newspaper article.


Author: Jaanika Neemoja

The surveys were submitted by the participants of the YouthVoice project from the respective EU Member States. The questionnaires were part of their preparation for the Youth Voice project and each national group had to undertake a small research about youth participation in their country. The organisers cannot guarantee correctness of the answers.