Skip to main content

WYDE is getting bigger

WYDE Celebrates the Launch of “WYDE | Freedoms” to Strengthen Youth and Women’s enjoyment of the Freedoms of Assembly and Association

In a significant stride towards fostering democratic participation and empowering youth and women, the WYDE community is delighted to announce the official launch of its latest component, “WYDE | Freedoms.” This initiative is a pivotal addition to the broader WYDE programme, dedicated to enhancing the rights and participation of youth and women as influential agents of development and change. 

WYDE actively promotes political pluralism and inclusiveness within democratic institutions. Early December, in the form of a steering committee meeting chaired by the European Commission, the WYDE Community convened to discuss progress and collaboration. 

The “Youth and Women in Key Democratic Institutions” component, powered by the European Union, emphasizes peer-to-peer parliament cooperation, coaching and training opportunities, and the development of young politicians and women caucuses in political parties.

This collaborative effort includes partnerships with the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA), who has been implementing WYDE | Inter Pares for already 5 years, and also the European Network of Political Foundation (ENoP) who will soon start the WYDE | Political Parties.

The newly launched WYDE | Freedoms component marks a significant milestone in WYDE’s development. WYDE | Freedoms aims to create an environment that empowers individuals and movements to exercise their democratic rights. The initiative focuses on fostering freedom of peaceful assembly and association, offering opportunities for the active involvement of youth and women to engage safely and legally in political life outside of formal politics and institutions. The European Commission signed a Framework Partnership agreement with six organisations or consortia, totalling 20 NGOs, led respectively by: Building our Movements, EuroMed Rights, Forum-Asia, ForumCiv, People in Need, and Save the Children-Sweden.

This addition complements the already active components, including WYDE | Civic Engagement started in the summer of 2022, and WYDE | Inter Pares. Each of these components aligns with the European Union Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy for the period 2020–2024 and the Youth Action Plan.

WYDE | Women Leadership is also expected to start in early 2024, in partnership with UNWomen, international IDEA, IPU and UCLG.

Speaking about the launch, Jeremy Apert, Programme Manager at WYDE Civic Engagement, expressed enthusiasm about the project’s evolution. 

With the introduction of WYDE | Freedoms, we are advancing our commitment to creating a more inclusive and participatory democratic space. WYDE | Civic Engagement looks forward to nurturing this community spirit, fostering meaningful dialogue, and collectively shaping the trajectory of democratic engagement.

Speaking after the strategic steering committee, Jonathan Murphy, the head of programme for WYDE | Inter Pares added: 

“International IDEA is delighted to host together with the European Commission the second strategic steering committee of WYDE, and to welcome the new partners of WYDE | Freedoms into the WYDE community. With its focus on parliamentary work, WYDE | Inter Pares looks forward to collaborating with all the various WYDE components to strengthen the participation of youth and women in all aspects of public life.”

This launch underscores the collective strength of the WYDE community, where individuals, organisations, and partners collaborate to advance the shared vision of a democratic, inclusive, and equitable future.

WYDE Freedoms

WYDE | Freedoms captures six new thematic Financial Framework Partnerships between the European Commission and key actors at global or regional levels under the umbrella of its Women and Youth in Democracy initiative (WYDE), which seeks to empower and strengthen the rights, and participation in public and political life, of youth and women as key actors of development and change. The partnerships specifically aim to promote the safe and legal exercise of the freedoms of peaceful assembly and association, as fundamental rights, foundations of civic space and vital elements of democracy.

WYDE Civic Engagement

The WYDE | Civic Engagement project aims to improve the inclusion of youth in all levels of democratic participation at the national, regional and global scales. WYDE Civic Engagement is part of a wider programme (WYDE) that seeks to empower and strengthen the rights, and participation in public and political life of youth and women as key actors of development and change. The initiative promotes political pluralism and the inclusiveness of democratic processes. More info about WYDE Civic Engagement here

WYDE Inter Pars

WYDE | Inter Pares is the EU’s flagship global project to strengthen the capacity of parliaments, aiming to contribute to making democracies stronger. Implemented by International IDEA, the project leverages the knowledge and expertise of EU Member State Parliaments through peer-to-peer partnerships with parliaments in emerging democracies, by enhancing their legislative, oversight, representative, budgetary and administrative functions. The project aims to strengthen inter-parliamentary cooperation and dialogue at global and regional levels, with a particular focus on gender-sensitive parliaments and youth engagement with parliaments among its cross-cutting themes. More info about WYDE Inter Pares here