Youth engagement is highly regarded in Norwegian society, and comprises everything from student councils in schools, opinions in the media, to membership in organisations and political parties.
Norwegian schools must have a student council consisting of representatives from each class. The council represents the pupils before the principal and teachers, and raises different issues and takes part the process of deciding the school rules.
All Norwegian parties in parliament (the Storting) have a youth organisation. This is not as customary in other countries. Although they are closely connected to their mother parties, disagreements between the two is not uncommon. Youth organisations can influence their mother party’s politics, confront them if they disagree on their policies and meet the leading members of the party. All the youth organisations saw an increase in memberships after 22 July 2011. The growth has been stable ever since.
Young people’s participation in elections has also increased. In the municipal and county council elections in 2019, the number of young voters aged 18–19 and 20–24 had increased by 10 percentage points since 2015. Youths also sign more appeals and participate more regularly in demonstrations. The school climate strike in 2019 mobilised approximately 40,000 pupils across the country. Young people writing opinion pieces in the newspapers are also increasing.
These numbers do not show the full picture, however, and major differences can be found between different groups of young people and their participation in elections and other types of engagement.
Bufdir (2015) Medlemskap i politiske ungdomspartier. https://bufdir.no/Statistikk_og_analyse/oppvekst/Samfunnsdeltakelse/Medlemskap_i_politiske_ungdomspartier/
Moe, I., Enge, C. Husøy, E. & Øvergård, M. (2019) 40.000 streikende skolebarn med klart klimabudskap til politikerne, Aftenposten. https://www.aftenposten.no/norge/i/6jjVq3/40000-streikende-skolebarn-med-klart-klimabudskap-til-politikerne
Valg (2019) Stor økning i valgdeltakelse blant unge. https://www.valg.no/kommunestyre–og-fylkestingsvalget-20192/valgresultat-og-valgoppgjor/stor-okning-i-valgdeltakelsen-blant-unge/