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What is the EU Children’s Participation Platform?

European Youth Event (EYE 2021) - Opening Plenary session (courtesy of European Parliament)

The European Union (EU)  Children’s Participation Platform will ‘amplify children’s voices and enable understanding and access to decision-making processes’ across the EU.

Through this medium, children can, says the EU, ‘connect with each other, talk to policymakers and decision-makers, discuss topics and themes that affect their lives, and learn about their rights’.

So why was it created? As part of its work on the EU Rights of the Child, the European Union reached out to some 10,000 young people, asking them what was important to them.

And the feedback was clear – a strong desire to have their voices heard in matters concerning their lives. Crucially, they also said they ‘would like decision-makers to listen to their opinions’.

‘Open doors to include children in discussions’

“As a result, a plan, called the EU Strategy on the Rights of the Child, emphasises that children should have the opportunity to have their voices heard,” says the EU. “An important part of the strategy is children’s right to participate in policymaking.”

This platform, it adds, ‘will open doors’ to include children in discussions and decision-making across the EU, while also connecting existing child participation mechanisms ‘at local, national and EU level’.

In terms of how the platform is structured, the European Commission has appointed a Secretariat team to launch the first phase, while the key decisions will ultimately be made at a General Assembly, with advice from a Children’s Panel and the advisory board.

Various documents and resources relating to the platform, and other child-related EU activities, are available to view online here.

Author: Simon Weedy

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