CUBE Policy Brief: Our milestone towards better youth participation

After two years of organising workshops, talking to young people, supporting them in creating political utopias and giving them the chance to defend their ideas against politicians, CUBE is proud to publish its first policy brief. Hereby we want to thank all participants, facilitators, teachers, officials and politicans, who conributed with their motivation and good will to make this project successful and a basis for change. The multitude of creative ideas, demands and outcomes of fruitful discussions that we collected are combined, refined and presented in this this policy brief. 

The main pillars of demands are representation, consideration, education and digitalisation. The first two can be summarized with a popular sentiment of young people: „we are young, we want to be heard and we want to have a say“. Representation and consideration of youth, however, necessitate reforms in the education and digital sectors. Just how interconnected these pillars are is shown by a rather lethargic attitude many participants expressed. Young people don’t play a role in the political decision-making process and are unable to make a change. 

However, instead of remaining in a state of lethargy, the participants were able to tackle this feeling by articulating concrete reforms. They wish for more direct institutional access by youth parliaments and councils. The parliaments should become younger by quotas and a lowered voting age (16 years). In addition, NGOs and civic organisations should be woven into the political process, because for young people this is the more common way to take part in politics, rather than political parties. 

Young people must have a say in their future!

Young people are also aware of potential dangers of gaining power and therefore want a better political education, which is less oriented towards traditional teaching methods but rather focusing on role plays, simulations or discussion groups. This goes along with a digital transformation: the adolescents want trustworthy, fact-checked and easily comprehensible information to be able to review political information critically. 

While we believe youth’s central demands representation, consideration, education and digitalisation could be targeted in an integral effort to lower the voting age to 16 years and reap the benefits of an inclusive democracy, we see this report as a contribution to an ongoing debate. Therefore, we invite everyone to join the debate and think about ways to engage young people in politics and give them the say in the future they deserve!

The full report in PDF is available for download here: