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Change your City! The City of Geneva and the Youth Parliament have launched a project encouraging youth participation

Young people aged 12 to 25 can participate in the “Change your City!” campaign, under way until 14 March. Project ideas can be posted by means of an online form on the engage.ch website. A youth survey, available on the same website, takes a more in-depth look at the issue of participation. The results of the survey and the different ideas will be discussed on 25 March 2021 with the young people involved and the local politicians.

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Campagne engage.ch

During the six weeks of the “Change your City!” campaign, teenagers and young adults will take centre stage in the City of Geneva. All ideas are welcome and can be posted on the engage.ch, website, where the participants can also like or comment on other proposals. A survey is also available on this website to gather the opinions of young people concerning the means of participating in their municipality. It examines the reasons why young people might feel the desire to participate in political life, the means of doing this and the obstacles in their way.

The engage.ch project organised by the Swiss Federation of Youth Parliaments (FSPJ) is implemented by a monitoring group under the direction of the City of Geneva’s Youth Service and the Geneva Youth Parliament, or PJG. The monitoring group is made up of nine young people, seven representatives of the administration and a municipal councillor.

Christina Kitsos, Administrative Councillor responsible for the Department of Social Cohesion and Solidarity, stresses that “the commitment of a majority of young people from different backgrounds is important so that they can be the driving force behind this campaign. Each department of the administration is represented along with the Municipal Council: the City of Geneva as a whole is involved and is making every effort to encourage the participation of young people.”

In order to promote engage.ch, the particular emphasis is placed on social media and an Instagram account, @changetaville has been created. Postcards are distributed on the back of which people can write their ideas directly before returning them by post.

The young people involved will then have the opportunity to talk to politicians during an engage.ch event to be held at 6 p.m. on Thursday 25 March 2021. The aim of this evening will be to select certain ideas and transform them into tangible projects. In the longer term, this process must lead to the introduction of a lasting framework which will continue to encourage young people to become involved in politics and society at the municipal level.

The engage.ch project

Through the engage.ch, the FSPJ encourages young people to become involved at the municipal level. This project reaches out to young people in their day-to-day lives and through the means of communication they use. The online platform at the very heart of this project offers young people an easy means of submitting and presenting their wishes with regard to local issues. The municipalities and the youth parliaments can involve young people in municipal structures through different offers proposed both online and offline by engage.ch. At the same time, the nationwide “Change Switzerland” campaign is conducted every year and, thanks to a new secondary school offer in the field of civic education, the political skills of young people are honed at municipal level.

The FSPJ in a nutshell

The Swiss Federation of Youth Parliaments (FSPJ) is an association formed by 51 youth parliaments, youth councils and other similar organisations. It is a politically neutral competence centre for the political training of youths and young adults and their participation in political life. Through the  youpa offers, the FSPJ supports and encourages the creation of youth parliaments in Switzerland and the Principality of Liechtenstein. Furthermore, thanks to the  easyvote programme and the engage.ch project, it specifically strengthens the political participation and training of young people.

Through its work, the FSPJ plays a key role in encouraging the long-term succession within the Swiss political system, and in particular militancy, direct democracy and the culture of democratic discussion. The most precious asset of the FSPJ is its non-affiliation with any political party. All youth parliaments in Switzerland and the Principality of Liechtenstein can become members of the FSPJ. The association is directed by a committee of volunteers and has offices in Bern.

 

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Article modifié le 19.02.2021 à 09:18