Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR)
European section of United Cities and Local Governments


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Governance and citizenship

Council of Europe - 16.10.2014

CEMR president, Annemarie Jorritsma, reveals two ways to empower our young citizens
Empowering youth: a shared responsibility for cities and regions”: was the theme of the Council of Europe Congress meeting from 14 to 16 October in Strasbourg.

At this occasion, CEMR president, Annemarie Jorritsma, was invited to address the issue of young people and their role in our societies. She underlined two main ideas: firstly, the importance of embracing new technologies and innovation to involve young citizens in the public debates and, secondly, the need to further empower both girls and boys equally in the decision-making process.

Social media, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube…

In today’s world, local and regional governments should embrace new technologies in order to engage young people in their public and political life as well. Local and regional governments should seek to communicate with young people in their own language, with tools which are natural for them to use. This will create a virtual proximity to our young citizens, helping us receive their feedback and helping them to participate in the democratic processes. (…) Internet, WiFi, social media, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube…. These are technologies which empower young people in their personal and social life.

Local policies and services must be drawn up with a strong gender perspective

As to gender equality, CEMR president urged improved empowerment of girls and boys, young men and young women equally, taking into account their specific needs when designing policies and services. It is vital for our democratic future to take the gender aspect into consideration. She also commended the work accomplished by the Observatory on the European charter for equality of women and men in local life, a tool that offers concrete and practical support to the signatory governments.

She concluded by inviting all of the participants to contribute their experience and take an active part in CEMR’s conference titled "Citizen in my city - Citizen in Europe". The event, to take place in Rome on 15 and 16 December, will address the question of how to promote and facilitate people’s active involvement in their local community.

Contact


Pierre Vander Auwera
Adviser – Communication

Email :
Tel. : + 32 2 500 05 41
Skype : pierre_vda
The Congress in brief:

The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe endeavours to promote local and regional democracy, improve local and regional governance and strengthen authorities' self-government.

It pays particular attention to application of the principles laid down in the European Charter of Local Self-Government. It encourages the devolution and regionalisation processes, as well as co-operation between cities and regions.
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