Young people in Greece are about to gain a lot of democratic influence in municipalities , Source: Semina Psichogiopoulou / Unsplash

Greece’s National Youth Capital title aims to build a more engaged society

Greece’s National Youth Capital title aims to build a more engaged society

To have a chance at the title, municipalities need to work with people between 14 and 29 to create a joint and coherent policy programme

On 29 March, the Greek Central Union of Municipalities (KEDE) announced a new initiative to modernise local and urban regions in the country - the National Youth Capital. According to an official statement, the title will be granted annually, similar to its EU counterpart.

However, the initiative aims to strengthen the ties between municipalities and young people, thus promoting the idea of an involved democracy, where different social groups collaborate with authorities to produce convergent solutions.

This is because every municipality which applies for the title will have to do so with a year-long programme developed between local officials and young people between the ages of 14 and 29.

The initiative was developed by the Greek Ministry of Education working in tandem with the country’s Central Union of Municipalities. Furthermore, it was sparked by the European Year of Youth 2022.

Mayor of Trikala and President of the Central Union of Municipalities of Greece, Dimitris Papastergiou, was quoted in an official statement explaining that local authorities have to aim to make young people happy to help them engage with democracy.

This, in many cases, does not mean telling them infrastructure must be postponed due to budgetary issues or political disputes in the local council. Instead, he claimed that young people want to hear solutions to their problems, that can be implemented.

The aims of the project

The first Greek National Youth Capital will be awarded in 2024, however, according to officials, this would not be a token title, instead, it has clear goals focusing on youth empowerment and improving the quality of life in municipalities.

The goals include strengthening youth trust in institutions and promoting active participation in society; promoting equality, transparency and inclusion; bridging the gap between traditionally apolitical youth and the local government.

The criteria

To have a chance to win the title, a municipality has to have a programme developed with local youth that aims to fulfil these goals while meeting certain criteria:

  • Participation: Young people must be the focus of the municipality's candidacy. Their positions and proposals must have been taken into account in the decisions of the municipality. This applies both to the development and design of the proposed program and to its implementation structures.
  • European Dimension: The proposed programme aims to strengthen cooperation at the local, national and European levels. The aim should be to create opportunities for young people at the local level to discuss European issues and inspire other cities in the country to develop a better environment for youth.
  • Thematic Fields of the Proposed Program: Education & Lifelong Learning, Culture, Environment/Climate Change, Social Inclusion and Youth Entrepreneurship.
  • Local Specificity: The proposed program must be flexible, and its actions must be adapted to local specificities, to solve local youth problems.
  • Coherence: The nomination must be characterised by an integrated approach and coherence. The actions of the proposed programme must document their feasibility and contribution to the achievement of the municipality's vision.



Growing City


Smart City


Green City


Social City


New European Bauhaus




ECP 2021 Winner TheMayorEU