Governance for Youth, Trust and Intergenerational Justice

Fit for All Generations?

image of Governance for Youth, Trust and Intergenerational Justice

Global transformations – from population ageing to digitalisation, rising inequalities and climate change – have created profound uncertainties for young people and future generations, despite unprecedented access to information, education and technology. Moreover, the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated pre-existing challenges in youth’s mental well-being and employment, while raising concerns about the sustainability of public finances.

This report provides the first comparative assessment of the policies, laws, institutional capacities and governance tools put in place by 42 national governments and the European Union to promote youth empowerment and intergenerational justice. It sets benchmarks for cross-country comparisons in three main areas: 1) Supporting youth’s transition to an autonomous life, 2) Enhancing youth’s participation and representation in public life as well as trust in government, and 3) Delivering fair policy outcomes for all generations. Finally, it provides practical insights for policy makers, civil society and young people seeking to build a present and future that leaves no generation behind.

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Youth and Public Institutions: Stronger Together

This chapter focuses on the role of governance in fostering the relationship between youth and public institutions. After a general deterioration in the aftermath of the 2007-2008 financial crisis, trust in public institutions, representation in decision-making and political efficacy remain low among young people. At the same time, youth are vocal in the public debate through non-institutionalised channels of participation. Re-building their trust and enhancing their participation in decision-making remain crucial in order to ensure the resilience, effectiveness and long-term legitimacy of public institutions and to achieve more sustainable policies in response to global transformations and shocks.

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