Results of the EU Youth Conference handed over to political decision makers
Foto: Michael Scholl/DBJR (CC0)
After many sessions and dialogues with EU politicians, the youth delegates concentrated on seven demands that will be one of the foundations for the coming months:
- We demand co-decision-making processes on all levels with young people and youth organisations implemented through a rights-based approach.
- Decision-makers should encourage and invest in dedicated processes which amplify young minority voices and ensures their direct engagement.
- Ensure young people's access to formal decision-making by lowering the age of voting and political candidacy to 16 in all elections, while ensuring all youth have the opportunity to gain sufficient skills and motivation to participate actively and passively in elections, as well as removing all barriers to voting.
- We demand a new EU Fund to set up and sustain youth spaces.
- We request that the European Commission puts the creation of safe digital spaces for young people, along with the support and funding of developing digital literacy activities as one of the top priorities in all programs along prioritizing it horizontally at European level.
- We demand funds available for permanent structures of participation.
- We demand critical thinking to become a part of the obligatory private and public school curriculum for at least 1 hour a week from the ages 10-16 in order to fight fake news and disinformation with media and information literacy and to foster youth participation/motivation to be a part of the debate.
Federal Minister for Youth Franziska Giffey, the Portuguese Minister of Education Tiago Brandão Rodrigues and Themis Christpophdou as Director General for Education, Youth, Culture and Sport of the European Commission assured that they will continue to work with the results of the EU Youth Conference.
DBJR President Tobias Köck emphasized that participation is a right and not an offer of politicians to young people. Young people need to be involved in many areas, such as climate policy, migration policy, social policy ... in short, in almost all policy areas in Europe. He quoted as a message a sentence from the debates of youth representatives: "Youthless policy is useless policy".
With the handing over of the baton by our board member Marius Schlageter to Rita Saias, President of the Portuguese youth ring Conselho Nacional de Juventude, the EU Youth Conference ended. All the results of four days of intensive work will be processed and, among other things, influence the Council Conclusions on participation of young people in the democratic life in Europe.