Concept of the Competition of Ideas for Young Citizens - "Les Jeunes en CoMun"

Youth participation at local level

Definition, objective and added value

The “Competition of Ideas” is a project designed for municipalities that wish to better integrate their young citizens into local public life. The participating municipalities choose a topic and target group for the competition and make a call for small-scale project proposals, inviting all young people in their city to become active. The proposed projects need to both address youth and be implemented by youth. A jury composed of representatives of the municipality and the CoMun programme team selects the best youth projects, which will then be financed and supported for 6-8 months by the municipality.

The goal of the project is to encourage young people to take initiative and to become actively involved in changing their local environment for the better. The central objective of the competition is not the implementation of a specific project, but the empowerment of youth and the overall improvement of the relations between young people and their municipality. The format of the competition is meant to motivate young people to think about their city’s potential and the challenges it faces: For example, a blogging project chose to report on the local NGO landscape of the city and an environmental project redesigned a roundabout, chosen together with the inhabitants, in direct collaboration with employees of the municipality’s urban planning office.

Working methods and Implementation procedures

All inhabitants of the city benefit from the sense of ownership and self-responsibility that is promoted amongst youth through this competition. The youth involved in the projects receive regular training in project implementation and thus acquire transferable skills that will strengthen local civil society in the long run. At the same time, employees of the municipality learn how to integrate young people into local governance. The repeated cooperation of young people with public institutions and NGOs creates a relationship of trust between the different actors and this allows youth to be taken seriously as valuable participants in local affairs.

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Reference documents in English

Reference documents in Arabic, French and German