Youth Participation in Digital Democracy in the Western Balkans (EYDR)

Youth Participation in Digital Democracy in the Western Balkans (EYDR)

Youth Participation in Digital Democracy in the Western Balkans (EYDR)

In the Western Balkans (WB6) economies, substantial progress has been made in shaping youth policy frameworks by adopting various laws, strategies, and action plans. Despite these advancements, there’s a continuing need to develop a robust youth system that effectively empowers and involves young people in decision-making. A significant aspect of this challenge is society’s digitalization, which presents opportunities and obstacles for youth participation in digital democracy. Recognizing the inexorable shift towards digitalized democratic processes, the European Parliament has highlighted the urgent need to build capacities among youth in digital skills, literacies, and rights. This need underlines the importance of projects that aim to empower young people, particularly in regions like Albania, Montenegro, Serbia, and Spain, focusing on harmonizing the need for protection with the imperative of active participation and engagement in policy-making.

Responding to this need, SCiDEV has been awarded by the European Commission a project on youth digital rights and participation in digital democracy. The project “Youth Participation in Digital Democracy: From Digital Skills to Digital Rights of Youth with Fewer Opportunities in the Western Balkans” (EYDR), funded by the Erasmus+ Capacity Building in the Field of Youth Programme, extends beyond Albania to encompass partners in the Western Balkans (Montenegro and Serbia) and EU (Spain). This project represents a significant step for the profile of SCiDEV in addressing the gap in digital democracy participation among youth, particularly those with fewer opportunities, by equipping them with the necessary digital skills and knowledge to effectively engage in today’s rapidly evolving digital-political landscape.

The EYDR project aims to engage, connect, and empower young people in the digital world by developing their digital skills and raising awareness about their digital rights with an approach that balances protection and participation so they can fully participate in digital democracy. The EYDR project led by SCiDEV brings together a consortium of 7 institutions from 4 countries.

The project’s main aim is to engage, connect, and empower young people in the digital world by developing their digital skills and raising awareness about their digital rights with an approach that balances protection and participation so they can fully participate in the digital democracy.

Specific Objectives of EYDR:

SO1- to promote networking, peer-to-peer support, and exchange of good practices between organizations working with youth in Albania, Montenegro, Serbia, and Spain in the field of youth participation in digital democracy through digital rights.

SO2- to raise awareness among various stakeholders (public authorities, academia, civil society, and the public at large) on youth digital skills, literacies, and rights by developing innovative alliances with media and youth, formal education institutions such as universities, and public authorities.

SO3- to encourage policy dialogue among youth, organizations working with youth and public authorities, and civil society regarding youth participation in digital democracy through digital skills and digital rights.

Main Activities:

  • Youth Participation in digital democracy – Mapping and reporting youth participation in digital democracy in Albania and Montenegro.
  • Youth Digital Democracy Accelerator Programme –  The Accelerator Programme will develop and strengthen youth digital skills and knowledge of digital rights through a capacity-building program. It will empower youth to participate in digital democracy by being more aware of their digital rights and more capable of using digital skills and literacy for democratic processes.
  • From Digital Skills to Digital Rights Policy Dialogue and Awareness Campaign – Development of online and offline awareness-raising campaigns through innovative alliances with youth, media, grassroots organizations, and public stakeholders; Policy dialogue on how to engage, connect, and empower young people in the digital democracy through digital skills, literacies and rights with an approach that balances protection and participation.

Project Coordinator:

  • SCiDEV Center Science and Innovation for Development (Qendra Shkencë dhe Inovacion për Zhvillim)

Project Partners:

  • BCHR Belgrade Center for Human Rights (Beogradski Centar za Ljudska Prava), Serbia
  • UZOR Association for Responsible and Sustainable Development (Udruzenje za Odgovorni i Odrzivi Razvoj), Montenegro
  • ESN AL Erasmus Student Network AL (Qendra ESN AL), Albania
  • CCIS Center for Comparative and International Studies (Qendra për Studime Krahasuese dhe Ndërkombëtare), Albania
  • YOUROPÍA CULTURAL ASSOCIATION YOUROPÍA (Asociacion Cultural Youropía), Spain
  • AKR National Youth Agency (Agjencia Kombetare e Rinise), Albania
  • SHARE Share Foundation (Share Fondacija), Serbia

Project 101131235 — EYDR

Timeframe: 1 November 2023 – 1 November 2025

Budget: 300.000.00 EUR

Donor: European Commission, Erasmus+ Capacity Building in the Field of Youth