Visegrad Youth Participates
Strengthening democracy through school participatory budgeting
All around the world, current models of political participation and education do not provide sufficient opportunities for youth engagement and leave young people ill-prepared to active citizenship. As current political institutions in Central and Eastern Europe grapple with the decline of democracy and consequences of the COVID-19 pandemics, we see an ever greater need to engage young people in continuous dialogue about the future of local democracies in order to preserve national, regional, and global stability and well-being.
In order to address these issues, some actors, including in Visegrad countries, are starting to experiment with School Participatory Budgeting (PB). Such PB engages students in deciding how to spend a part of their institution’s budget. These processes help develop leadership skills in youth, improve civic learning, and inspire the lifelong active citizenship that is vital to the health of democracy. For young people, this is often their first chance to propose and vote on real projects to improve their community.
Through the cooperation of organisations and the implementation of the project, partners will be able to engage a wide number of potential implementers of other School PB projects, and advocates of school PB. It will also aim to produce regional guidelines and advocacy materials based on local best practices and lessons learned from Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic that will be shared with other local actors to help them ensure higher levels of preparedness and engagement of young people in social and political life not only in their respective communities but also on the regional and European level.