National study of youth participation in politics in Albania

National study of youth participation in politics in Albania

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PRESS RELEASE

Only 7% of MPs and 8% of mayors are young people!

September 23, 2015- CRCA Albania presented today the findings of the national study "Youth Participation in Politics and Decision-making in Albania 2011-2015". This study, the first of its kind in the country, provides a comprehensive overview of the real representation and  participation of youth in politics and decision-making in Albania at all levels, as well as some of the best models implemented so far.

According to the study’s findings and the data: from 140 members of the Albanian Parliament only 10 of them are young people under the age of 35, of this number 4 members are from SP, 4 from DP and 2 from SMI. The study also noted that from 21 ministers of the current Government, only 3 are from this age group, and from 30 Deputy Ministers the number is 6, with an equal gender balance.

From the data for mayors of the municipalities, considering the local elections of 2011, we see that from 76 Mayors only 4 of them have been under the age of 35 when they have been elected to this post. None of the Mayors under the age of 35 is female, while 3 of them are representatives of SP and 1 is representative of the DP.

While in the 2015 local elections, we seen a minor increase of 3% of Municipalities led by young people under the age of 35, while 92% of municipalities across the country continue to be headed by people over this age. Results of the local elections of 2015 also show that men under the age of 35 make up the majority of the 5 new mayors with only one female leading the Municipality of Prrenjas. Data shows that the left wing parties have 4 young Mayors, while the right only 1 in Devoll municipality.

On the Municipal Councils the results of the elections of 2015, bring an almost entirely different picture where we note almost a tripling of youth representation across Municipal Councils. From 10% youth representation in 2011 at the end of elections of June 2015, young people make up 26.4% of all the members of City Councils, reducing quite substantially the representation of over 35s in municipal councils.

This study takes an important value especiallyafter the establishment of 61 new municipalities and the approval of the National Youth Plan 2015-2020. In this regard, the study serves as a reminder to politicians, decision makers and public officials about the obligations they have towards increasing the participation of young people in politics and their involvement in the discussions and changes to be made during 2016 in the Electoral Code of Albania.

The findings and recommendations of this study, which was made possible through the support of the Olof Palme International Centre with funds of the Swedish Government, will help first, political parties in Albania in the process of revising their statutes in order that the representation of young people to be a broad, participatory process; Second, youth political forums of all political parties, but also youth civil society organizations, to build advocacy actions, which can bring serious improvements to the role, rights and position that young people should have within political parties and their inter-action with civil society, to turn the participation and representation of young people in decision-making & politics a local process as well as at a national level.

The young people, leaders of youth political forums, members of political parties, civil society activists, who attended the presentation, expressed their gratitude for this study as a good basis to guide them in their following actions & initiatives.

To be familiarised more specifically with the findings, conclusions and findings of the study, please refer to the fact sheet attached to this notice.

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