Baltic Sea Parliamentary Youth Forum 2023: Making Our Democracies More Resilient

At the upcoming Baltic Sea Parliamentary Youth Forum 2023 in Berlin, young individuals from the Baltic Sea Region will be collaborating with parliamentarians to address the resilience of democracies and critical issues threatening democratic stability.

The Baltic Sea Parliamentary Youth Forum 2023, or BSPYF, that will be held at the “Bundestag”, the German parliament, in Berlin, Germany on 25-27 August 2023 is expected to provide a dynamic platform for young individuals to engage with seasoned political figures and parliamentarians from the entire Baltic Sea Region, paving the way for more inclusive and resilient democratic systems. 

“By addressing critical issues like digital resilience, youth participation, extremism, and social inequality, the forum will mark a significant step towards strengthening democracies across the Baltic Sea Region,” said Aline Mayr, the Youth Policy Coordinator at the Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS), a co-organiser of the event.

She also emphasised the importance of involving young people in policy-making. “Young people need to be given a seat at the policy-making table, especially when it comes to the future of our democracies.”

About 50 young participants from the Baltic Sea Region (BSR), most of them already active in national and regional politics and policy-making, are expected to attend the BSPYF 2023, titled “Democracy under siege – How do we make democracies more resilient?”. They will notably develop concrete recommendations on achieving resilient societies during working sessions with parliamentarians from various BSR countries. 

The recommendations will be presented at the upcoming annual gathering of the Baltic Sea Parliamentary Conference, or BSPC, due to be held 27-29 August 2023 in the “Bundestag”, the German parliament, in Berlin.

The recommendations from the young people are anticipated to guide future policies and actions in the BSR, contributing to a more resilient and inclusive democratic landscape:

  • Improving digital resilience: In a world increasingly reliant on the internet, concerns that threaten democratic stability such as fake news, conspiracy theories, and hate speech will notably feature on the agenda of the forum. 
  • Engaging the youth: Acknowledging the need for more youth representation and engagement in politics, the conference will explore strategies to incentivise young people’s participation in both formal and informal political processes.
  • Social division and polarisation: The rise of right-wing extremism, social division and polarisation, and the blurring lines between extremist groups and mainstream politics will be a topic of discussion, with participants expected to focus on promoting a respectful and peaceful coexistence based on shared democratic values restoring common consensus, while combating extremism, and preventing its emergence.
  • Reducing social inequality: Tackling the growing socioeconomic inequality that threatens democratic legitimacy will also be a priority, emphasising the need for policies that address the unequal distribution of political power and wealth, and ensuring that democracy serves everyone, regardless of social status.

The young participants of the BSPYF 2023 will also be hosted by the German President, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, at the official residence in Schloss Bellevue.

The forum is co-organised by the German Bundestag, which currently holds the Presidency of the BSPC, and the Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS). 

The BSPYF 2023 is part of the wider effort led by the CBSS and supported by the BSPC to promote meaningful youth participation in policy-making in the Baltic Sea Region. To that end, the CBSS has recently launched the Baltic Sea Region Youth Forum, where the outcomes of the BSPYF 2023 will also be considered.

Media contacts

CBSS: Dominik Littfass, [email protected], tel. +46 76 116 67 53