skip to main content
European Commission logo
en English

News

Study on child participation in EU political and democratic life

The Commission has today published a study, which shows limited opportunities for children to participate in EU political and democratic life. The opportunities that do exist are not always inclusive of all children, in particular those with disabilities, migrant backgrounds or from families at risk of poverty.

Related topics

Fundamental rights

date:  22/02/2021

The Commission has today published a study on child participation in EU political and democratic life, which shows limited opportunities for children to participate in EU political and democratic life. The opportunities that do exist are not always inclusive of all children, in particular those with disabilities, migrant backgrounds or from families at risk of poverty. The study advocates for more child-led initiatives and better training for adults to support children’s participation in political and democratic life. The study’s findings will feed into the Commission’s EU strategy on the rights of the child, which will be presented in coming weeks. Vice-President for Democracy and Demography, Dubravka Šuica said: A society is not complete without its children; the same applies if we conceive of a democratic society. The Strategy on the Rights of the Child is a priority for this Commission and a key opportunity to embed child participation in decision‑making at European, national and local levels. This study provides us with timely input into that Strategy, and insights into where progress is needed to both protect and uphold the rights of children.” The study looks at the situation in the EU and UK at national level, and in 10 countries at national and local level - with 12 case studies. In the course of this research, over 200 children and young people have shared their opinions and experiences in interviews and focus groups; while, with thanks to leading child rights agencies and organisations, the Commission has received over 10,000 online submissions from children on the forthcoming Strategy on the Rights of the Child. A full report on this consultation will be published on 23 February. To ensure that the study reaches all appropriate audiences, the Commission is also publishing a child-friendly version of the report and will publish a child friendly version of the Strategy.

For more information on Children’s participation structures and mechanisms, see here, and for more information on the right to be heard and child participation, here.