EUelectionPlay. Gamifying youth public participation

Timeline: October 2022 – March 2024

Civic and political involvement of young people

Only 1 out of 4 young people in Romania participated in the 2020 parliamentary elections. 1 out of 10 young people is involved in volunteer activities. 8 out of 10 young people declare they weren’t part of civic actions organised by NGOs or public administration debates and consultations. This apathy deepens in rural areas, disadvantaged communities with limited opportunities, and significant socio-economic risks. The functioning of a democratic society remains a rather abstract concept for many young people, being little understood and (very) little practised.

The school remains the main place for learning and promoting civic engagement skills among young people. The teacher plays an essential role in educating students on how to exercise their rights and in increasing their understanding of a democratic society. In most cases, however, students are not taught these concepts through practice and collaborative and creative stimuli. Simulation of processes such as how a town hall, a central authority, or the European Union works is missing in many Romanian schools.

The project “EulectionPlay: Gamification of public participation of young people: from local government to EU Elections” aims to promote an inclusive democracy among young people in Romania, Slovakia, Portugal, and Hungary through experimental education of the type Experiment – Reflection – Explanation – Involvement – an approach designed to make young people understand the essential role they play in society and the tools available to them to make their voices heard.

What are the stages of the project?

Stage 1: Classroom implementation of the game Electionville, created under the umbrella of the Swedish Agency and tested by schools in several European countries. Preceding the implementation of the game in schools in Romania, 40 teachers will participate in online training, after which all the resources and pedagogical tools necessary to run the game in classes with students will be presented and made available to them.

Stage 2: After the implementation of Electionville, students will be encouraged to participate in online learning modules on the European Union.

Stage 3: Organizing a competition among the students involved in the first stages of the project, in order to select 5 young ambassadors from Romania. The latter, with the support of the project team, will organise offline workshops dedicated to young people in their communities, to debate and identify potential solutions to ensure a higher involvement of young people in the 2024 European Parliament elections.

Stage 4: organizing sessions to facilitate communication between the 5 young ambassadors and the Liaison Office of the European Parliament in Romania, to support the solutions, recommendations, and good practices identified throughout the project regarding a better connection of young people from disadvantaged communities in the European decision-making process.

What results do we aim to achieve at the consortium level?

Outcome 1: 100 teachers from underprivileged communities in Romania, Bulgaria, Slovakia, and Portugal trained on innovative ways of teaching concepts of how the democratic system works at the national and European levels.

Outcome 2: 1250 high school students from Romania, Bulgaria, Slovakia, and Portugal will learn how to get more, better and more impactful in their community by participating in interactive teaching and teamwork modules.

Outcome 3: 20 students selected as young EU ambassadors to identify and propose the best ways to encourage young people’s participation in the democratic process. The organization by student ambassadors of 20 offline events to increase participation of young people at the level of local communities.

Outcome 4: A guide to democratic participation of young people that will summarize the experience of the project and become an educational tool for teachers interested in addressing the topic in the classroom, as well as a useful advocacy tool that can contribute to the sustainability of the intervention;

Outcome 5: Organization of 5 transnational events to support civic involvement.

And, most importantly, increasing the involvement of young people in community life, their presence in the 2024 elections, and the development of small civic nuclei in the communities where we intervene.

Partners: Aspire Teachers (Romania), Developing Youth Participation at Local Level (Portugal), Active Bulgarian Society (Bulgaria), and Association for Development Education and Labor (Slovakia)

Co-funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA). Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.