Revised European Charter on the Participation of Young People in Local and Regional Life

Paroles de Jeunes

Youth participation is not an end in itself, but a means of achieving positive changes in young people's lives and of building a better society, in recent years a growing number of initiatives promoting and strengthening youth involvement at different levels — international, regional, national and local — have emerged. New tools have been created for different actors working in this area.

One such tool is the revised European Charter on the Participation of Young People in Local and Regional Life, adopted in May 2003 by the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, it is a tool to support young people, youth workers, youth organisations and local authorities in promoting and enhancing meaningful youth participation at local and regional level across Europe.

The Charter consists of three sections:

Paroles de Jeunes

Section I

Details a range of policies in which local authorities should incorporate a youth participation approach. These include a policy to promote youth employment, a policy for sport and leisure, an educational policy, etc.

Section II

Presents concrete tools to support the participation of young people such as training courses, counselling centres, youth projects, local media by and for young people.

Section III

Gives advice on the possible ways of supporting the institutional participation of young people in their local environment. It elaborates further on youth councils and parliaments and provides suggestions on how young people can get involved in the decisionmaking process at all levels.

Paroles de Jeunes

The active participation of young people in decisions and actions at local and regional level is essential if we are to build more democratic, inclusive and prosperous societies. Participation in the democratic life of any community is about more than voting or standing for election, although these are important elements. Participation and active citizenship is about having the right, the means, the space and the opportunity and where necessary the support to participate in and influence decisions and engage in actions and activities so as to contribute to building a better society.

The Charter highlights

  • Types of support, which should be provided to young people by local authorities
  • Initiatives of / by / for young people
  • Involvement of young people in decisions that influence their lives
  • Implementation of youth participation within different structures and institutions

The Council of Europe and youth participation

Participation in the democratic life of any community is about more than voting or standing for election (...), it is about having the right, the means, the space and the opportunity and where necessary the support to participate in and influence decisions and engage in actions and activities so as to contribute to building a better society. The preamble of the Revised European Charter on the Participation of Young People in Local and Regional Life (21 May 2003)

The Council of Europe works actively to encourage young people to play an active role in strengthening civil society in Europe. It has developed the following tools to promote the participation of young people:

  • The system of co-management, through which the representatives of youth organisations and governments work together on the formulation and implementation of the Council of Europe youth policy
  • The European Youth Campaign “All Different – All Equal”, where youth participation is one of the main themes (these themes are: diversity, human rights, participation)
  • The Revised Charter on the Participation of Young People in Local and Regional Life


If you want to download the Revised European Charter, please have a look on the Salto wesite. There is also a guidebook to the Charter named „Have your say“. You can read more about it at this site.

(Source: Council of Europe)