Beat Rohner, Youth Ambassador from St.Gallen (CH). Beat has been studying political science and business admnistration. He is one of the founding members of the AER Youth Regional Network and has been actively involved in the organisation ever since. Since 2008 he is representing the youth parliament of St. Gallen in YRN and in AER Committee 3. In 2011 he was elected as Head of Youth Committee on Education and Culture and Vice President of the YRN. During the 2012 Fall Plenary Meeting in Strasbourg he was elected YRN President.
The participation of young people is important in all political life precisely because young people are affected by the decisions made by governments, whether at a regional or national level. Policy areas such as housing, the environment, transport and education, to name but a few, have a direct impact on the lives of young people just as much as those of adults.
The world of today is just as much the concern of young people as the world of tomorrow. To deny the young people of today an opportunity to participate in the governance of society is to deny them the right to effect that which happens around them.
While the voice of young people has been ignored in the past, perhaps due to the fact that they can not directly effect the outcome of elections, there is a growing recognition of the role that young people have to play in the functioning of democracy. The AER's moves towards the inclusion of young people in its work comes at a time when governments, both national and supranational, are attempting to include young people in their policy-making process. It seems that governments have realised that young people do have a not insignificant role to play. Not only do they have first hand experience of the way policy works on the ground but they also often have many innovative solutions to the problems that society faces, if only they were listened to.
The AER is a unique platform for young people to confront and exchange their views and to widen their horizons. They are thus contributing to breaking down barriers and struggling against intolerance, ignorance and mistrust even before they develop and become ingrained in adulthood.
Would you like to join a pan-European project? Click HERE
Are you looking for partners for your own project? Download the project fiche (available below), fill it out & send it to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Your call for project partners will be published online and disseminated among YRN members across Europe.
Find out more about AER YRN projects and activities here.
Photos copyright: Orangelog.eu