Project Summary

Last year was disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic which affected many areas of people’s lives and moved many professional and civic activities to the online sphere using different large online platforms, ultimately giving more power and importance in our societies to the so-called “gatekeeper”. This project aims to bring the different youth actors, whether or not they are involved in Internet governance processes, to discuss and raise awareness about the role of young people in governance in the ‘Internet Governance’.

This decade is defined by many as the ‘Digital Decade’, which is why European civil society and Intergovernmental organisations are launching initiatives and adopting strategies to shape the future of digital governance and standards related to data protection, technology, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and so forth. Therefore JEF Europe with the Work Plan 2021, through blended activities, national debates, international educational activities and advocacy actions, seeks to develop the skills and understanding of young people from diverse backgrounds  to enable them to reflect on how they can work to overcome the challenges of youth participation in internet governance processes at European level. 

In order to create a space for inclusive interaction and to develop a coherent set of policy recommendations for country-specific solutions at the European level, JEF Europe will ensure adequate (digital) inclusion in all activities of the work plan.

Aims and goals

The main aims are thus: 

  • Research the current processes of internet Governance and their direct effects on the democratic life of European citizens.
  • Understand the potential role of young people in the Internet Governance processes and develop the knowledge of young people and youth leaders to recommend future developments in that regard with the support of JEF Task Force on Internet Governance.
  • Encourage discussions on Internet Governance and safeguarding Fundamental Human Rights and value within very diverse stakeholders from European to local/national level.
  • Advocate on the importance of discussions among youth representation bodies and youth organisations on Internet Governance outlined through a developed set of policy recommendations output from the project.

Main Activities 

Activity 1: Expert Meeting – Understanding the European context on Internet Governance (Online, dates tbc)

It will aim at setting up the bases for the whole implementation of the Work Plan and will establish the links between organisations whether they are involved or not in the IG processes. It will provide a clear analysis of the state of play of IG and the involvement of young people in it.

JEF Europe will organise a preparatory meeting online with experts and young people interested in IG to discuss the Work Plan 2021.

Activity 2: International Seminar – ‘Internet Governance, why should we talk about it?’ (Helsinki, May 2021)

The seminar will address ‘Internet Governance’ a relevant topic and help the participants develop knowledge on the meaning of this term. It will tackle the national, regional and international levels and the different actors in the field as well as practical examples. It will gather 20 young people with the aim to develop their own policy recommendations towards a democratic governance and JEF Europe will organise a preparatory webinar to present the output from the previous activity.

Activity 3: International Seminar – ‘Internet Governance and young people’ (Alicante, July 2021)

The seminar will look at the role that young people can play in developing internet governance strategies and will empower participants to organise national round tables to explore digital governance in different countries. It will bring together 20 young people, half of whom will have already been involved in the first seminar. JEF Europe will also organise a preparatory webinar to present the results and draft recommendations from the previous activity.

Activity 4: IG JEFers – National discussions in understanding the view towards IG from National level (Europe, July to December 2021)

With their newly acquired skills, seminar participants and Task Force members will organise round tables in at least six different countries. During the event, they will present the results of the project activities and debate with national experts and policy makers on the challenges of internet governance and the next steps towards a more inclusive youth governance.

Activity 5: Final Conference – Young people’s view on IG processes in Europe and in the World (Leuven, December)

This conference will put an end to the Work Plan 2021. On the one hand, it will conclude and evaluate the Work Plan, including its activities and outputs and reflect on the next steps and how to make the best use of its outcomes beyond the timeframe of the project. On the other hand, it will promote and disseminate those outcomes offline and online.

In addition, the final conference outcome will be the policy recommendations that will be voted in the next JEF Europe Federal Committee in 2022.


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