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ABCDemocracy is on!

A new project focused on developing the political literacy of young Europeans, within the framework of the European Commission's Erasmus+ program.

Civic education is one of the main pillars of a free, open and peacefully society. This is because only those who know their rights can exercise them and actively shape the society. Knowing the democratic vocabulary also means recognizing tolerance and plurality as basic pillars of a democracy, in an era of growing radicalism. This also means the acceptance of other opinions, so young people should learn that conflicts of interest are normal and important for every society, since young people are the future of the European Union and in their hands also lie the transmission of the democratic values.

Democratic Literacy refers to the capacity of an individual to understand the concept of a democracy. Thus, a person who posses democratic literacy has the social competences to participate in public life and in the society and incorporates the democratic and civic values.

The project focuses on young vulnerable Europeans, because on the one hand they are exposed to the risk of being politically and socially marginalised . This means they do not participate because of the lack of democratic knowledge, so their voices are not heard. And on the other hand, these vulnerable groups are more susceptible to extremists ideas because of their position (low level of education or because they have lost their jobs), even more due to  the high circulation of misinformation and fake news.

So finally, the project will also help to counteract the rise of radical groups or parties. This is especially important in the current situation and for the addressed target groups. Moreover, because extremists ideas spread throughout society, especially in times of crisis like the financial crisis or the ongoing pandemic.

ABCDemocracy focus lies on providing knowledge and raising awareness of the European democratic values and the different political organisation of the European countries. The aim is to explain to them how the different systems work and how their own actions also contribute to a functioning democracy and society. The younger generation is often said to be “apolitical” and “politically uncommitted”. Yet data from the European Parliament Youth Survey from 2021 shows that these young people are interested in politics. Around 85% said that they talk on a regularly basis about political issues. However, just 58% said they understand “a fair amount” of their national government (EU Youth Survey 2021).

We intend to contribute to fill the gap between interest and understanding, and empower youth europeans to be policitally informed and competent so they can play an active role in the political and social arena.