Mariya Gabriel, unveiling the Youth Voices platform during the Democracy Forum, Source: European Commission

EU digital platform wants to make youth voices heard, literally

EU digital platform wants to make youth voices heard, literally

The ‘Youth Voices’ platform lets young people from across Europe share their views on the state and future of the EU

Last week, European Commissioner for Innovation, Mariya Gabriel, visited Cyprus and its capital of Nicosia to open the ‘Democracy forum’ where she unveiled a new European platform where young people can express their views on the future of the European Union.

The platform is called ‘Youth Voices’ and it quite literally offers citizens a chance to record a voice message on a variety of topics, from EU values to health or inclusion. The platform also aims to address the issue that a majority of young people in the bloc want policy-makers to listen to their opinions and implement concrete actions.  

Your vision for Europe

The ‘Youth Voices' initiative was a result of the European Year of Youth and is directed towards a somewhat troubling piece of data – according to a Eurobarometer survey from 2022, 72% of youth believe that decision-makers need to listen more to their demands and act on them.

At the same time, the Eurobarometer survey showed that young people are increasingly taking part in European youth organisations, with 58% doing so in the last 12 months. This is an increase of 17% compared to the last similar survey in 2019.

Furthermore, some of the topics that are most important to them include peace, international cooperation, education, healthcare and the environment. This is why they feature so prominently on the platform.

Nevertheless, as some have pointed out, the platform seems to lack an important feature – making young people’s opinions reach EU lawmakers directly, as well as ensuring a commitment from the latter to act upon them.

At the same time, Commissioner Gabriel said in a press release that empowerment, inclusion and support were some of the most important keywords of the European Year of Youth and all the initiatives it encompasses.    



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