For several years we have been working with high schools and college students through a range of educational activities. We traveled through the Czech Republic to find out why young people are not interested in politics. We found out that the reasons were gaps in the education system as well as the fact that young people cannot identify themselves with politicians. Politicians and young people simply don’t understand each other.
Therefore, we have decided to ask successful and inspiring young people from a wide range of disciplines what would they change if they became politicians for a moment.
This resulted in 21 interesting ideas that were signed by youth organizations and young politicians from seven parliamentary parties. The aim of Youth, speak up! is to reach these goals in a shared effort and prove that politics can be done differently – in cooperation with young people. Engagement of young people is crucial because they should be the ones to influence the form of the world in which they will live.
– The project is operated by the Young Political Scientists Club
Proposal would place warnings labels on small plastic bags across Czech Republic
Czech Republic has one of the highest uses of microtene bags in the European Union. The smaller plastic bags are normally used to bag produce and other small items like meat or baked goods. If the proposal is approved by the MEPs, supermarkets and stores would have to...
How we operate?
Firstly, we asked 20 young and successful Czechs what they would change if they were in charge of our country. How could the Czech Republic look like if the politicians understood our generation.
Then we transformed the ideas into a manifesto and asked young political organizations for their support.
Finally, we picked some of the topics and created working groups on each of them. In every group there are experts on the given topic, representatives of the young political organizations, deputies and others. All these people are working together to push through some changes in the legislation.
And this is the way how it all works. Do you want to try this in your country as well? Do not hesitate to contact us!
21 points for the future Czech Republic
See beyond one election period!
The short-term approach to politics is very destructive. We therefore call for the long-term direction of the Czech Republic, which will withstand sudden political fluctuations. We propose to set three long-term priorities for our country – development of education, technology and infrastructure – to ensure continuity and stability.
Many young people think that very little of the time they spend in school really gives them the knowledge and skills to understand current social and scientific currents. They also feel that they are not getting enough training needed to succeed on the labor market.
We therefore call for a school reform that suits us – our young generation and those who will come after us. We want a reform that would prepare us for the challenges of a modern and global world. A reform that would also include high-quality pro-democratic civic education within and outside the school, which is essential to preserving democratic culture and living standards in the Czech Republic. On the contrary, we do not want a reform that only complements a rigid and outdated system. We also ask that every young person who has innovative ideas and potential be supported so he can contribute to society.
Let's follow our scientific dream!
Progress and breakthrough discoveries are found beyond the comfort zone. To be able to develop and keep pace with the world, Czech science should not be afraid to take risks.
However, it is necessary to create the conditions for young people to stay in the science field and at the same time it is crucial to have a financial pillow to fund innovative and risky research projects.
Respect for journalism!
Everybody speaks about the need for free and high-quality journalism in this country, but confidence and trust in domestic journalists is declining. There are several factors behind the current state of the media scene, including the mistakes of Czech editorial offices. Professional journalism should be fair, fact-based and impartial. Journalists should present facts, not interpret them. There is also a great influence on the declining support of the verbal attacks we have heard in recent years on the journalists’ address.
At the same time, schools lack a clear and comprehensible concept of media education, so that today, pupils and students often do not know the difference between public and private media or commentary and news.
There has also been a debate over critical thinking for several years as part of everyday education, but this task is still only a matter of individual teachers or civic initiatives, in most cases without any state support. Without high-quality journalism, Czech citizens will not receive information in order to make informed decisions. Without the development of critical thinking they will not be able to properly evaluate this information.
We will resist fake news!
Roughly 25% of the population believes disinformation channels more than mainstream media, including public television or radio.
Therefore, we ask that politicians do not provide interviews to disinformation websites, do not quote them or share disinformation content (for example, a list of Czech and Slovak disinformation websites can be found at: www.konspiratori.sk).
We also ask that emphasis be placed on introducing critical thinking and media education into schools. Because only an educated society can resist disinformation pitfalls and only such society can navigate in today’s world flooded with information of various qualities.
What do you remember from 1856, 1879, 1903, 1947? Many people respond – war, revolution, elected one or the other president – but what we mean is not related to politics. In these years, plastic, transistors, airplanes and bulbs were invented.
We demand that the achievements of modern scientific progress be accentuated in schools. Progress that inspires the next generation. The technological development of our country is something we can all be proud of.
The fifth day, and the lights are still on!
Four days without electricity would be enough to destabilize a democratically functioning country. Imagine that a cybercriminal breaks into our “smart” refrigerator, television, air conditioner … It sets everything to maximum power and can do it with enough households. This will cause the overload to be so high that a black out occurs.
However, we do not see the solution in the exchange of energy for Czech sovereignty. The Czech energy policy should be self-sufficient and independent.
We think a lot about digitization in the Czech Republic but we are not so successful in realizing these projects. While some data are digitized, we still have to go to the authorities to get them.
We ask to minimize the need for personal contact with the authorities in matters where this is not absolutely necessary. Whether it is an online application for a new ID, the establishment of a trade or the registration of a new car.
Proper mental health care!
Every fourth person goes through some mental illness during their life. About 20% of children aged 13–18 have some psychological difficulties. Roughly 50% of chronic mental illnesses become apparent by the age of 14, 75% by the age of 24. The young generation is a significant risk group, yet there is no emphasis on mental health care. In addition, the services for children and young people who have mental health problems are poor.
We therefore ask that the prevention of mental illness and the promotion of mental health become an integral part of the educational process. Human rights should be emphasized in the care of the sick and the focus of care should be shifted from large psychiatric hospitals to the community.
Let’s prevent diseases such as cancer or heart attack by thorough prevention. Doctors should not just treat their patients, they should lead them for a long time to prevent them through empathetic and equivalent relationships where the patient asks and the doctor explains.
We therefore ask the Ministry of Health to put great emphasis on this issue and to actively engage in awareness-raising in this area.
Business with an added value!
We wish Czechs to prefer quality over quantity and return to “story-telling” products.
We demand greater benefits and opportunities for start-ups and local entrepreneurs. We should appreciate companies that have decided to create and produce in the Czech Republic. The only way to get out of the vicious circle of low salaries is to get rid of the label “assembly shop”.
We need to start producing higher value-added products – a value that will remain primarily in the Czech economy. However, entrepreneurs need appropriate conditions – primarily, they need to produce, not to deal with administration and obstacles.
No more debt!
In the Czech Republic, almost one million people are dealing with distraint, which is a big problem both economically and sociologically. People work illegally, do not pay social and health insurance… The solution consists of several individual elements. First of all, increasing financial literacy is extremely important. However, this will not help people who already are in the debt trap.
We call for a change in the legal framework that will encourage debtors to work legally. Let’s get inspired abroad – for example in Germany. We would like to live in a society in which people do not indebt themselves and the laws help them.
One of the most important problems of the Czech legal system is the fact that people – especially young people – do not understand and do not know how to use it properly. In general, it is necessary to strengthen the feeling in the Czech Republic that the law is here for them.
That is why we call for clear legal material available to all citizens – ideally in the form of a website or mobile application. This resource should be a credible alternative to various internet discussion forums. These are flooded with confusing half-truths or falsehoods that people often use as the sole source of legal information.
When a citizen then comes to court with this information, it often happens that he is not successful. This creates a dangerous frustration from the system because the person, of course, thinks that the state is the unjust.
We only have one planet!
We are a generation that has to actively address environmental problems, including the handling of plastics, as they affect our health and their overproduction significantly affects the environment in which we live. We must take responsibility for ourselves and for the lives of future generations, and gradually take the necessary measures.
We therefore call for legislation to oblige grocery stores to inform their customers about the harmfulness of plastics. The aim of such adjustment is to raise awareness and promote change in consumer behavior.
Yellow is no longer fashionable!
Drought, water scarcity and soil erosion are environmental problems that have solutions.
We demand that our landscape be varied. We see no logical reason why Czech agriculture should focus on crops that make our fertile land a desert. For example, did you know that 2,500 liters of water is used to produce one liter of rapeseed methyl ester?
We are proud of the Czech gastronomy!
In 1958, at the Expo in Brussels, the Czech Republic was honored with reviews as a gastronomic fairy tale of a thousand and one nights.
We ask that the tradition of the renowned Czech gastronomy be followed up and that projects that strengthen its position both at home and on the global gastronomic scene will be supported. National gastronomy is undoubtedly part of the culture. When it comes to the Czech culture, it’s not very well known in the world. But why couldn’t the Czech culture became well known in the world through our gastronomy?
We will behave honestly and fairly!
We will lead by example and behave honestly and fairly. Only then we can change the general frustration of young people.. We will create an environment that will produce positive patterns of public life. We will be able to say once again: we are proud citizens of the Czech state. The state, though small in size, that offers inspiring and great personalities.
We will help and praise!
Despite some of the shortcomings we have mentioned, most of the modern society lives in abundance and in the 100 years of our state’s existence, we have to be proud. But one of our national characteristics is modesty. We are a society of polite and humble people. However, we often hide the reluctance to do something and stand out from the crowd for modesty.
Therefore, we ask everyone to learn not to underestimate, but above all, to learn to help and praise.
We care about the truth!
We do not like how truth is treated in our country.
We ask the truthfulness of those to whom we have given a mandate to manage the public space in which we all live together. That’s why we call it clear NO to fake news publishers, fear traders and history censors. NO spitting on journalists, activists, artists, simply anyone who thinks “differently”. If we do not show strong disagreement with the moral decline of public space, the future will be ripped out of our hands.
We want the society to be courageous and kind. We want a society that makes decisions on the basis of critical thinking and quality information. Society that is actively engaging in public affairs. We want a tamper-resistant society, a society that is sympathetic and fair. In such society, human freedom and human dignity will become a sacred value and everyone will have a place in it.
You have just read the vision of the Czech Republic through the eyes of the young generation.
We ask you to help us transform it into a social reality. To do so – we will need your help. Please share our challenge, send it to your classmates, friends, family and colleagues at work. The more responses and support for our points we gather, the more will we be heard.
The Creators of Czech 21 points
Start-up Creator, Nulisec
Innovator, Enterpreneur, Toprecepty.cz
Analyst, Czech Council of Children and Youth
Lawyer, Havel & Partners
Author of Appeal Million Moments for Democracy
Professional fan of Gastronomy, The End of Wasting
Lawyer, partner ARROWS law office
Analyst, Kremlin Watch
Physicist and Chemist
Scientist, Cosmic Physicist
Founder, Nevypusť duši
In the House of Parliament we cooperate with parties youth organizations
We will be happy to get in touch with you!
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