A youth parliament or a municipal youth council is a group of young people who represent the interests and views of youth at a local level in a municipality or a town.
Various entities or people can establish a youth parliament or a municipal youth council.
In any case, the main factor is the interest of young people and their active participation in the establishment and functioning of the youth parliament.
A statute is a core document of a youth parliament. The structure, mission, objectives, and activities of a youth parliament and the rights and obligations of its members are a part of this document.
Youth parliament consists of its members. Usually, a young person who is a resident or a student in a town or a municipality can become a member of its youth parliament. The statute regulates the establishment of membership.
An election is the most transparent way to establish membership. The youth parliament members whose term of office, as set out in the statutes, is coming to an end can organize the election. In some cases, the local government can be responsible for the preparation and conduction of the election. Those interested in membership in the youth parliament can submit their nominations by a selected date. The next step is to summarise the nominations are then prepare the election sheets. Every young person living in the city or municipality can vote for their chosen representatives on the election day. The last step of an election is to count each candidate’s votes and draw up an election record.
There are, however, other ways of selecting members of a youth parliament as well. In some cases, individual youth entities and groups operating in a town, or a municipality propose a member themselves. In this case, the selection of specific members is left to the individual entities.
In some cases, any young person who expresses an interest and shares the youth parliament’s ideas can become a member of the youth parliament.
The youth parliament members then usually elect a president and a vice-president from among themselves. Members may elect other positions as needed or as custom dictates, such as treasurer, PR manager, etc.
An essential element of a youth parliament is a coordinator. The coordinator can be a person chosen by the municipality (a municipal staff member, a member of parliament, a youth centre staff member). The coordinator can also be a volunteer working with young people, a youth worker, or another type of volunteer. The coordinator should be an advisor or a mentor to the youth parliament. He should not manage the youth parliament or make decisions for its members.