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Around one third of the population of the European Union is below 29 years old. Hence, involving young people in shaping development in the Danube Region is essential for a sustainable future. Likewise, the Danube Strategy can provide a platform for meaningful dialogue with young people to take their views into account.


This is why the EU Danube Strategy commits to the involvement of civil society and youth in its strategic objectives. Priority Area 10 “Institutional Capacity and Cooperation” addresses this commitment in the Guidance Paper for Youth Participation.


Against this background, we discussed benefits, necessary conditions and good practice examples of youth involvement with young people, youth organisations, and representatives from public authorities, research, and further civil society organisations active in the Danube Region. Consequently, we presented the results in the Guidance Paper.

Guidance Paper for Youth Participation – Why, How & What


The Guidance Paper for Youth Participation aims at:

  • Providing guidance to youth initiatives and young people to pro-actively shape development in the Danube Region
  • Starting a discussion in the EU Danube Strategy Governance and beyond on a long-term, sustainable perspective for the EU Danube Strategy

Priority Area 10 “Institutional Capacity and Cooperation” drafted the paper with an editors’ group representing the Danube Civil Society Forum, the Danube Youth Network, Agapedia Foundation, and the States Ministry of Baden-Württemberg. In doing so, we processed the results of consultations from the members of the Danube Youth Network, representatives from the Danube Strategy Governance, the Danube Local Actors Platform, and the participants of the 6th and 7th Danube Participation Day.

Why do young people and youth organisations benefit from engaging in the Danube Strategy?
Why does the EU Danube Strategy benefit from involving young people?
How can we strengthen Youth Participation in the Danube Region?

Capacity Building

Capacity Building

As young people and youth organisations need skills to express their views and engage in a meaningful way, we need to boost capacities in the following areas: networking; leadership & empowerment; (transnational) project development; digital & media literacy; message framing & advocacy.



Young people expect a more inlusive strategy communication. Therefore, we need to aim at lowering the threshold to gain information; involving young people in the communication; using communication channels that appeal to young people; and promoting a better understanding of the benefits of engaging in the EU Danube Strategy.



Access and suitable conditions for cooperation are prerequisites to engage in the Danube Strategy. Hence, we need to revise the entry points for cooperation in the areas of participation in networks & platforms; strategic decision-making processes, and project development and adjust them to young people’s needs.

What do we do to connect young people with the Danube Strategy?


(Please note that this a selection of activities addressing young people in the Danube Region.)

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Danube Participation Day
The Participation Days is a unique opportunity to learn and discuss how to co-design policies. While the Danube Participation Day put a strong focus on youth participation in past events, it is also a chance to mainstream young people's views in various policy areas.
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Young Bled Strategic Forum
The Young Bled Strategic Forum (Young BSF) is an annual conference bringing together young leaders between 18 and 35 years of age to engage in lively discussions and develop out-of-the-box solutions to some of the most pressing world issues.
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Danube Youth Council
The Danube Youth Council (DYC) is an advisory platform for all bodies of the Danube Strategy consisting of young people from the Danube Region to include the viewpoints of young people on how to shape our future at political level.
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Shoot by Youth
Shoot by Youth is a short video competition for young people from the Danube Region to address local issue in their town or region. The competing teams present challenges and possible solutions. Check out the winning videos on the Shoot by Youth website.
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Danube Youth Network
The Danube Youth Network (DYN) supports youth participation, sustainability, empowerment and social inclusion. The DYN members are young professionals from NGOs with different thematic backgrounds addressing development in the Danube Region.
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Strategic Youth Projects Webinar
The webinar on Strategic Youth Projects provided practical insights on how to do a youth project, how to apply for EU Funding, what to keep in mind when developing a project, and where you can find useful information and competent partners.
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SECCo2 Platform
SECCo2 is a platform for cross-border cooperation that addresses young professionals. In this spirit the platform developed by CESCI provides information and tools to support cross-border networking and project development.
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Danubius Young Scientist Award
The Danubius Young Scientist Awards honours excellence in research in all academic disciplines in the Danube Region. Each year, 14 young scientists receive the Danubius Award for extraordinary research in the context of the Danube Region.
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International Danube Youth Camp
The biennial international Danube Youth Camp invites young people from the Danube Region to Ulm and Neu-Ulm. In doing so, the camp aims at strengthening the intercultural exchange between youngsters to foster European cooperation.
IMAGES: (C) DANUBE YOUTH NETWORK * PA10/Young BSF * Shoot by Youth * City of Vienna/CESCI-SECCo2 * DRC * DZM Museum * EC Audiovisual Service | Alain Schröder * freepik | drobotdean