‘Ragazzi in Aula - Youth in the Law hall’ is a project based on the concept of ‘open government’, empowering adolescents to participate in the simulation of law-making procedures and thus to be fully involved in regional government life.
‘Ragazzi in Aula’ allows students to experience first hand what it means to be a councillor, by being involved in debates, discussions, decisionmaking processes, as well as the proposal of new laws. The main objectives of the project are to create incentives to engage young people; to enable high school students to get involved in participatory forms of regional government; to provide a set-up for debating, discussing, deciding and proposing regional laws; and to finally educate students towards becoming involved and active citizens.
Seven students from the first four years (out of five) of high school are selected throughout the entire region of Piedmont on the basis of their edited law proposal. Together with their entire class, these students are invited for an educational day at the Regional Council’s building in Turin. During that day there is a simulation of a committee session where useful elements concerning regional law will be explained in order to give students an understanding of the functioning of the Assembly and the legislative procedures. Furthermore, the class witnesses an actual official Regional Council meeting and is able to visit the Regional Council library where they learn how to conduct a proper document research. Finally, there is a simulation of a law debate where only the seven signatories can participate. These seven students must sign each law proposal, and classes can suggest more than one law proposal. Each law proposal is composed of a report of a maximum 30 lines and a maximum of five articles concerning subjects of regional competence (art. 17 Italian Constitution). The proposed law can be both completely innovative or a modification of a law in force.
Over the last 12 years approximately 3000 students from around 130 schools have participated in ‘Ragazzi in Aula’. From an initial twoday programme, the project now takes place over three days. A law proposal concerning the umbilical cord and stem cells, dating from 2005 and edited by a high school in Alessandria, led to further discussion of this topic within the Regional Council. In addition, in December 2008 a law proposal from the project ‘Ragazzi in Aula’ was circulated by the President of the region of Piedmont, Mercedes Bresso, and effectively became a regional law. Legge regionale n. 33 03/12/08 ‘Valorizzazione dei quadranti solari’ (sundial valorisation). B.U. 11/12/08, n.50, is now applicable and enforced throughout the whole Piedmont region.
|Award category:||citizen involvement|
|Sector:||Education (higher and lower), training and learning|
|Type of activity:|
|Keywords:||Transparency, youth involvement, law-making procedures|
|Short English description:||‘Ragazzi in Aula’ allows students to experience first hand what it means to be a councillor, by being involved in debates, discussions, decisionmaking processes, as well as the proposal of new laws|
|Organisation:||Piedmont Regional Council|
|Level of government:||regional level|
|Size of organisation:||>100|
|Number of people involved:|
|EU membership:||EU member|