Skip to main content
European Union flag
EU Children's Participation Platform

What Children Want from Decision-makers

Every child has something valuable to contribute and their perspectives should be taken into account when making decisions that can impact their lives.

On this page you will find the views and opinions that children are sharing with EU-decision makers on different topics. Adding their voices to help build Europe's future.

Some adults think that their opinion is the one that is correct, and they don’t listen nor respect what we are saying.

Children’s focus group, Portugal. Our Europe, Our Rights, Our Future
Blue dialogue bubble which shows there is a quote from somebody.

Children’s priorities and concerns

Our General Assembly in June 2023 offered a great opportunity for children and teenagers to meet and discuss a set of topics which are important to them. This included children's rights, greener Europe, protection from violence, and child poverty.

Children’s input to the EU rights of the child strategy

Over 10,000 Europeans aged 11-17 outlined what matters to them in two surveys: Our Europe, Our Rights, Our Future and The Europe Kids Want .  


Here are five top priorities for the European Union regarding children: 

Three children's fists in the air... one white, one brown, one black - all equal.
That all children are treated in the same way, even if they are different

One in three children in the EU have experienced some form of differential treatment. The most frequently mentioned: appearance, gender, school results, sexual orientation, and mental health problems. 

A red angry emoji face with a line through it. No to violence.
All children are free from violence in whatever form

Many children expressed their frustration over lack of action on preventing bullying in school. Children and young people are also worried about online bullying.  

Two school books.
All children can go to school

Almost a third of students say that they face some cost-related barriers to education. Such as school trips, books, school meals, and also access to transport and after-school activities. 

Two sets of hands around a red love heart.
That children can grow up in their family or by someone who takes care of them in a loving environment

This is a subject of concern for over half of the children from EU countries. Almost 1 in 10 children also identifies as suffering from mental health problems or symptoms such as depression or anxiety. 

Two hands intertwined to symbolise the relationship between the policy-makers and the children. Working together.
My opinions being considered by politicians when they take decisions that affect me

Two thirds of the children were unhappy with the way cities or towns engage with them. Almost half felt they were never listened to by decision makers in their city or town

Source: Our Europe, Our Rights, Our Future; The Europe Kids Want, page 84

Documents for and by children

Sometimes the information given by adults is a bit complicated or boring for children. Part of our work is to share and help create documents and information which are more interesting for children and teens.  

These three documents, which explain more about children’s rights and participation, have been written together with children.