In English

The Stockholm Youth Parliament was arranged annually 2006-2019. Upper secondary school classes, pupils aged 16-19, could join the work as part of their curriculum in Social Science and Swedish - acting as politicians for a few weeks: writing policy proposals and debating during plenar session in the City Hall.

Stockholm Youth Parliament

The Stockholm Youth Parliament had two main goals: Practical training in how democracy works, and inspiration for politicians.

The goal for pupils was to know how the political process runs, to become familiar with the formalities, such as vocabulary, working order and the negotiating necessary to get support for a proposal.

The curriculum for social science/civic science points out that the political system is compulsory to study. The Youth Parliament met the objectives teachers are set to test their pupils for. Thus, the Youth Parliament should not mean extra work for the teacher, having to do a lot of extra activities apart from the regular education, but on the contrary that this program saves planning and preparing a part of the education and examining. For the teachers, this is meant to be a win-win situation: the pupils find the education funnier and more relevant, and the teacher gets free help to fulfil the objectives in the curriculum.

The Youth Parliament was one way of letting thoughts and ideas of young people reach the politicians in charge.

1000 pupils aged 16-19 took part

Each year, all secondary schools were invited to join the Youth Parliament. All activities took place during the fall semester, from the end of August until the middle of December. Teachers could admit whole classes to take part. The teacher supervised the activities in the school and combine it with his och her own education. Each year, about 10-15 schools have taken part and approximately 1000 pupils aged 16-19.

Democratic training in practice

It is compulsory in Swedish schools to study the democratic and political system. It is of course abstract and rather complex. The Stockholm Youth Parliament was a way of “Learning by doing”, and apply the theoretical knowledge into practice, by working as politicians within the democratic, political process.

Political proposals

In each class all pupils choose one of the five questions to work with. The same thing happens in all classes. All over Stockholm, approximately 200 students work on each question. Their task is to

analyse the current situation, to look for facts and figures that describe the problem,
point out reasons why the situation has come up,
point out what consequences it will get,
suggest how to solve problems and encourage better development.

This analysis is the same time an exam which matches the objectives in the curriculum for Civic/Social science, a great examination task in Swedish, and roughly follows the form of a political proposal like the ones debated in the City Council or National Parliament.

The work is divided into three phases: Individual, Local and Central 

The Individual phase

takes place in the classroom. All pupils work individually in class, with the one question they have chosen. 

One key factor in working with the Youth Parliament is that everything extends from the pupils. They suggest what political topics to work with, select and elect the final five questions (i.e. “How can the city of Stockholm make it easier for young people with no previous work experience to get their first job?” och “How can the City of Stockholm work in welcoming and including refugees into society?”).

The pupils themselves lead the work. Five pupils in each class get a full day’s training course in leadership, and later acts as chairmen in committees in the Youth Parliament.

The Local phase

Classes from different schools meet in co-operation. All classes work with the same questions, and now the pupils form joined committees, one for each question. During one day, the committee meets and the pupils negotiate in order to write a joined political proposal together.

Later, both classes form a plenum during one day. Each committee present their proposals, and each one is debated. The debate is presided by chairmen pupils.

The Central phase

Each school chooses representatives, in total 100 pupils, who meet delegates from all schools that take part.The pupils meet during one day for work in committees. The final proposals produced in the committees are debated in the City Hall.

Forum for dialogue

The day after the final debates, pupils are invited along with politicians from the City Council and people working in the City Administration. The pupils present their political proposals and discuss them with the politicians, rather informally. Politicians can answer to what the city already does on the topic, what parts of the proposals could be taken into consideration et cetera.