47% of respondents to Structured Dialogue consultations in Finland are European Youth Cardholders. Mobile app used to boost participation.

The European Youth Card Finland has been supporting the Structured Dialogue since 2012 by engaging cardholders in the process. In 2016 nearly half of the young people involved in the consultation were European Youth Cardholders. To bring the Structured Dialogue closer to young Finns, the Youth Card team decided to make the consultation available via the Crowst mobile app.

Speaking of the decision to use a mobile app for the Structured Dialogue, Anita Patanen, European Youth Card Coordinator in Finland, stated: “Young people today are digital natives. If we want to reach them, we need to be where they are. This is why we decided to use mobile apps - to make participation easier and more accessible, especially for those young people not involved in youth organisations – the non-organised youth”.

The pilot project was launched in partnership with Crowst Oy. Crowst is a mobile app allowing users to answer surveys on their phone. The pilot built on an existing partnership between Crowst and the Youth Card Finland, a natural next step welcomed by both partners. “We are very excited and feel privileged to have been able to support the EU Structured Dialogue survey in Finland and provide the Crowst app as a response channel for all Finnish youth. We strongly feel that everyone should be able to take part and have their voices heard”, stated Jyrki Kallinen, co-owner of Crowst.

Nearly 10% of all the responses were given via the Crowst app. According to Anita Patanen of the Youth Card team, “without this channel these young people might have not participated in the Structured Dialogue process at all. Bringing more options to the table is vital in constantly changing world”.

The mobile app was just one of several channels used to reach out to young people during the consultation. In addition to traditional channels, the Youth Card Finland also organised interviews over the phone or in groups in order to ensure the participation of young people belonging to minorities or vulnerable groups.

As in previous years, nearly half of the participants in the Structured Dialogue process in Finland were European Youth Cardholders. “I believe our experience has shown that the youth card and its connection to young people can be a very valuable tool for engaging non-organised youth in the political process. We’re very motivated to use the card to involve even more young people in 2017”, concluded Anita Patanen.

EYCA and the EU Structured Dialogue with young people

EYCA is a long-time supporter of the EU Structured Dialogue with youth. 18 EYCA member organisations in EU member states actively promote Structured Dialogue consultations and outcomes and encourage European Youth Cardholders to get involved. To find out more about the Structured Dialogue, please click here.