The Role of Youth in Political Entities in Kosovo

This report presents information on the role of youth in political entities and youth organizations as seen from the perspective of youth in general, representatives of civil society organizations, and youth who are currently members of political entity youth wings. The information presented in this report was collected through a face-to-face survey with youth, meetings and phone interviews. Below are the key findings: • Seventy-three percent of the youth survey respondents had never been a member of a political entity youth wing or youth organization, 17 percent had been but are no longer members, and only 10 percent are currently members of a youth wing or youth organization;

• Forty-one percent of the youth survey respondents were dissatisfied with the role of youth in political entities, whereas 35 percent were satisfied. Respondents who are currently members of political entity youth wings or youth organizations are more likely to be satisfied;
• Self-help reasons were most prominent among youth survey respondents’ views on the benefits of being a political entity member: the most frequently mentioned benefits were that membership of a political entity will help them obtain a job (48%) and help them develop professionally (36%);
• Twenty-eight percent of youth survey respondents stated that no political entity has policies that are closest to their views;
• The civil society key informants were of the view that youth wings do not play a role in political entities’ decision-making processes, and that youth were only given minor administrative tasks particularly during the election campaign. They placed a great emphasis on the relationship between membership in youth wings and job opportunities, which reinforces the finding from the survey;
• According to civil society key informants, the advantages of youth membership in political entities are that youth learn about political developments, gain a better understanding of political parties and institutions, prepare to become politicians, and may get employed. On the other hand, these informants’ also believed that membership may discourage youth from thinking in a non-partisan manner, and may be viewed as unprofessional;
• Members of political entity youth wings stated that among the reasons why they decided to become members are to: have a better future, assist the youth wing in implementing activities, be closer to politics, contribute to Kosovo’s development, and be part of a youth wing that was seen as a hope for change. Members of youth wings did not mention employment as a reason for membership;
 • Members of youth wings interviewed stated that they are satisfied with their involvement in the youth wings and with their involvement in the political entity’s decision-making processes. They noted that youth wing activities include a wide range of recreational, humanitarian and educational activities, and additionally, for opposition political entities, organizing recently-held protests.



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