DKolektiv’s efforts of engaging youth in EE ’24

As the year 2024 passes in the sign of several different elections, at least as far as Croatia is concerned, DKolektiv – an organization for social development, had a very active period in terms of various awareness-raising, motivating, and inclusion activities of all age groups, but primarily the young population in the elections, especially those European, for members of the European Parliament #EE2024.

During 2023, through the #Y2EU project, DKolektiv mobilized young people through various awareness campaigns, some of them online and some live. With a political scientist who works in public relations in the European Parliament, a legal adviser of the Green Action, and a young activist, youth worker, and student of social work, a podcast was held on the topic of 10 years of Croatia in the European Union. The discussion also emphasized the importance of increasing the number of people who should vote in the European elections in 2024. Another online campaign called “Youth, vote in the European elections!” was carried out with the significant hashtag “Vote!” Through this online campaign, DKolektiv aimed to raise awareness and encourage young people and citizens of all age groups to get involved in the upcoming elections, stressing the importance of each vote and highlighting the significance of the European elections, which play a crucial role in shaping the future of the European Union for the next five years.

An outdoor event, EU2Youth, was also held. This one-day festival was intended for all young people in the community interested in the opportunities that the EU offers, such as participating in various programs, volunteering in other countries, joining initiatives and associations across Europe, and gaining experiences, knowledge, and skills. Four organizations presented their experiences in various EU youth programs, and young people had the opportunity to get information and register for future activities, as well as connect with others in the community. A special info desk provided details about research conducted among young people as part of the Y2EU project and information about the upcoming European elections in 2024.

DKolektiv fosters a network for the exchange of knowledge and experiences with schools and colleges in the local community. The workshop “EU for youth at risk” was organized for students of social work. Students were introduced to DKolektiv’s work on the Y2EU project, the state of youth policies at various levels, and engaged in a dialogue with Josip Miličević, the general secretary of the Croatian Youth Network.

DKolektiv also organized two activities with high school students, which included a short interactive presentation of key European institutions, with a focus on the European Parliament and European elections. Students were asked general questions about their knowledge of the EP and EU elections. In groups, students formulated questions to ask the Representative office of the EP, and voting determined the top three questions to be sent to the Representative Office of the EP, which will respond via video.

In cooperation with other civil society organizations from different cities in Croatia, DKolektiv hosted and co-organized several forums, world cafes, and educational sessions for young people on the importance of participating in local, national, and European elections. In a “living library” event, graduates had the opportunity to ask prominent representatives from politics, business, public administration, civil society, media, and science about political issues and the European elections in 2024.

Through these various activities, DKolektiv aimed to make young people, young experts, youth workers, and future social workers aware of the importance of public policies, their roles, and to motivate them to take an interest in public policies, future elections, and to influence them through their actions.

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