International Democracy Day: EUROPEAN Commission launches Youth Participation Cohort to promote democracy worldwide

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The European Commission is one of the co-leaders of the Cohort along with the governments of Nepal and Ghana, the European Partnership for Democracy, AfricTivistes, and the European Democracy Youth Network. The launch took place at an event gathering together representatives of governments, EU institutions, USAID, civil society organisations, academia, and think tanks.

Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen, said: “The broad engagement and participation of young people at all levels of policymaking is the engine that drives strong and stable democracies forward. The European Commission is committed to advancing youth democratic participation worldwide, as shown equally by the imminent adoption of our first ever Youth Action Plan for EU external actionI am proud that we are joined by so many partners in launching together the Youth Participation Cohort.”

A global inter-generational alliance to reimagine democracy

The Youth Political and Civic Engagement Cohort is one of several multi-stakeholder platforms that are being launched as part of the Year of Action of the Summit for Democracy initiated by President of the United States, Joe Biden, in December 2021 and where President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, also participated. The Cohorts bring together governments, civil society, and private sector – and their resources, activities and expertise – to advance good governance and democratic renewal around the world. 

The Youth Political and Civic Engagement Cohort has the following objectives:

  • Promote youth political and civic engagement locally and globally, including through the identification of barriers to participation and concrete commitments by governments
  • Promote young people's understanding of democratic principles and of the connection between democracy and long-term stability and prosperity
  • Promote diversity and inclusion within youth groups and in the advocacy of youth issues
  • Support young people and youth organisations in assessing democratic institutions and processes and in advising on possible reforms
  • Facilitate young people, youth organisations and youth movements in reimagining a more robust, inclusive, effective, transparent, accountable and equitable form of democracy


The EU advances human rights and democracy around the world including through its €1.5 billion Global Europe Human Rights and Democracy programme 2021–2027. This thematic programme complements other programmes at local, country and regional level. Its Multi-Annual Action Programme 2022–2024, adopted in July 2022, supports actions that are in line with the objectives of the Summit for Democracy, and contribute to the Youth Participation Cohort.

In early October, the Commission will adopt its first-ever Youth Action Plan for external actions to foster youth leadership, global citizenship education, and strategic partnerships with youth in promoting democracy and human rights.

For More Information

Youth – International Partnerships

Democracy – International Partnerships  

Strengthening human rights and democracy in the world: EU launches a €1.5 billion plan to promote universal values

International Day of Democracy: Joint Statement by the High Representative/Vice-President Borrell and Vice-President Šuica

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