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Project Description: EUYOUPART

Political Participation of Young People in Europe - Development of Indicators for Comparative Research in the European Union


The main objective of this project is to arrive at indicators and dimensions of political participation of young people in Europe to improve the quality of future comparative empirical studies. Based on an analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of previous empirical research - including a special focus on comparability - a "model questionnaire" has been developed. This questionnaire was put to a test in surveys conducted in eight European countries with young people aged 15 to 25. A thorough analysis of the outcomes resulted in an evaluation and an improvement of the questionnaire's first draft.

The wide spectrum of participating countries (Austria, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Slovakia, United Kingdom) should contribute to the identification of relevant and valid indicators for young people's involvement in politics. The indicators are expected to be applicable to measure political participation of youth in many European political systems.

A comparison of the political systems of current member and non-member states of the European Union through secondary data analysis and the collection of institutional data highlights some of the aspects contributing to differing levels of political participation of young people in Europe.

Brief description of the project

The project covers a period of 30 months and consists of 11 work packages. These include the following:

1. Secondary data analysis and literature review in the field of political participation resulting in a "state of the art" report. This meta-analysis of existing research approaches and results will include a focus on gender aspects and (implicit) cultural concepts on which existing studies are based.

2. Comparison of the political systems of European countries so as to outline opportunities, limitations and conditions for political participation of youth in Europe ("structure of opportunity" for political participation).

3. Qualitative research will provide an insight into the youth's understanding of key concepts related to political participation. Cultural differences in the understanding of these concepts will be explored and analysed.

4. The results of the secondary data analysis and the qualitative research will serve as the basis for the development of comparable indicators for political participation of youth, their political beliefs and their understanding of democracy. These indicators will be evaluated through pre-testing and through surveys carried out in all participating countries.

5. Statistical analysis of the surveys will provide detailed information on reliability, validity and comparability of the identified indicators. Conclusions will be presented on the conditions that impact the differing levels of political participation of young people in Europe.


Key results are expected to contribute to an improvement of the socio-economic knowledge base regarding two pivotal aspects: First, the project will provide data to extensively describe, analyze and compare the extent and levels of political participation of young people in Europe.

Second, on a methodological level, EUYOUPART intends to identify valid indicators for political participation in Europe so as to contribute to improving the instruments of comparative research in the field.