Constructing AcTive CitizensHip with European Youth
A major challenge for the EU is “bridging the gap” between young Europeans and EU Institutions, and improving dialogue, in order to enhance young people’s trust in EU Institutions and their active engagement in EU issues. Including young people’s perspectives is essential to ensuring the continuation of participatory and representative democracy. Through the joint contribution of different disciplines (Psychology, Political Science, Sociology, Media and Communications, Education) CATCH-EyoU aimed to identify the factors, located at different levels (psychological, developmental, macro social and contextual) influencing the different forms of youth active engagement in Europe. Through different studies, qualitative, quantitative, and an active citizenship intervention in schools, the project provided a multifaceted understanding of the different factors influencing the perspectives of young people on Europe and of the ways in which young people engage in society, offering policy makers new instruments and “conceptual lenses” to better understand this generation, how they approach public authorities and how they engage materially and symbolically in order to participate in the construction of the societies they inhabit and shape the governmental regimes under which they live. This new understanding will help to bring the European Union closer to all its citizens, not only the young.