Exchange session on the “Role of political youth movements in Europe & Egypt”

Following an invitation by the Office for Promotion of Parliamentary Democracy (OPPD) of the European Parliament, the EFAy Secretary General participated in the exchange session on the “Role of political youth movements in Europe & Egypt” that took place in the European Parliament in Brussels on the 12th of July. The session was part of a study visit for representatives of Egyptian political parties, campaigns to the European Parliament and activists who had an important role in preparing this year’s revolution in Egypt. The main objective of this study visit was to introduce the participants to the European practice regarding political parties and parliamentary party groups, good governance, management of public finance and parliamentary democracy at European level. The representatives of the European Youth Forum, EFAy, LYMEC and the FYEG had the opportunity to present their organizations and the activities they are undertaking, reflect on the relationship between European political parties and their youth branches and the level of independence in the decision making process. They also shared their views on different topics including the rights of religious minorities in Europe, the rise of Islamophobia in our societies as well as the impact of youth on European politics. The participants from Egypt talked about the youth revolution and the non-violent tactics and strategies they used for getting popular support, sensitizing people about torture committed by the authorities, the presence of youth in political structures as well as empowering women. During the meeting several groups that were active in the youth revolution in Egypt were presented: the Independent Activist Group, the 6th April Movement and the Coalition Movement. It is expected that the exchanged information and best practices will serve as an inspiration amidst the transition process that is ongoing in the Egyptian society and will contribute to the establishment of new political parties and democratic institutions. On the other hand the Egyptian experience can serve as a good example of how youth activism can end oppression and injustices, inspiring young people in different corners of Europe who are fighting against discrimination, prejudices, lack of media freedom and human rights’ violation.

 

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