Our demands for the European Election 2024
Young people develop a more advanced idea of Europe. They are striving for freedom, going beyond national borders as a matter of course. They do not want purely economic cohesion in Europe, rather they want a Europe based on solidarity. To take their interests into account, effective and transparent participation in political processes is needed. We have the courage to think in a future-oriented way and to further develop the European Union. This paper summarises our most important demands.
FOR A COSMOPOLITAN AND DEMOCRATIC EUROPE
- The EU must safeguard and strengthen democracy and the rule of law in Europe. However, individual national governments threaten the rule of law from within. Therefore, the EU must consistently implement ongoing procedures to uphold the common European core values as adopted in the Lisbon Treaty. One component of the procedures can be financial sanctions. However, these usually also affect civil society structures. Structural support is therefore necessary, especially in countries where the scope for civil society is restricted.
- We reiterate our demand for an open and humane European refugee, asylum and migration policy. Seclusion is not a political option. We demand legal escape routes and focus on saving lives at Europe's external borders. An asylum and migration policy based on human rights is the responsibility of all member states. Rescue at sea is a humanitarian duty to save human lives and not a crime that can be instrumentalised for political debates.
- The European legislative process must be transparent and comprehensible at all stages. In this way, structures help to strengthen trust in democratic processes. The binding lobby register must be applied comprehensively and the rules on the prevention of corruption must be implemented consistently. The trilogue procedure must only be used in the case of particularly urgent EU legislation.
FOR A SOCIAL AND SOLIDARITY-BASED EUROPE
- Solidarity between people and solidarity between member states must be a European priority. Not least for the legitimacy of the EU, it is crucial that the EU and the member states together are able to provide social security and economic progress.
- The EU member states need common and binding measures in social and employment policy with targets, such as common standards for working conditions like wages and minimum wages, unemployment insurance and minimum income. The measures should be explicitly organised as minimum standards so as not to undermine national standards. They should provide an incentive for the member states to make better social policies in the sense of a social Europe.
- Youth unemployment within the European Union is still twice as high as the average unemployment rate. This makes it clear once again that we urgently need to strengthen the social policy dimension of the European Union in the interest of young people. This requires minimum standards for education in Europe, the abolition of unpaid internships and a further strengthening of the EU Youth Guarantee.
FOR A EUROPE FIT FOR YOUNG PEOPLE
- Democratically self-organised youth associations and rings effectively represent young people's interests, offer comprehensive participation structures and are very familiar with their needs, concerns and wishes. That is why intensive dialogue with youth associations is right and important. They should be involved and listened to as representatives of young people's interests and should be financially supported.
- The Erasmus+ education and youth support programmes and the European Solidarity Corps must be expanded in a needs-based and structural way. A strong and visible youth programme is central for young people. In order to continue to enable encounters and exchanges, changes to the European youth programmes are needed to make the additional funding for sustainable travel applicable for all distances and to cover the real additional costs of climate-friendly mobility. This also applies to the increased costs for sustainable catering and accommodation.
- Following the November 2022 amendment to the electoral law in Germany, young people aged 16 and over will be allowed to vote in the European Parliament elections for the first time in Germany. This is an important step for the serious participation of young people. This right must apply to the young generation in Europe as a whole. This is another reason why a uniform European electoral law is needed that gives young people the right to vote at least when they turn 16.
- The EU Youth Dialogue forms one of the central participation instruments of the EU Youth Strategy and fulfils the objective of promoting dialogue between young people and policy-makers at all levels, thereby involving young people in policy-making at European level. This is right and important and must be sustained. At the same time, there is a need to increase the effectiveness of youth dialogue. It is a success that the results of the EU Youth Dialogue are included in Council resolutions and conclusions, but at the same time there is also a need for monitoring of the implementation of the recommendations according to the criteria of transparency and verifiability of participation.
FOR A FUTURE-LOOKING EUROPE
- Young people in Europe place their hopes in Europe and have clear expectations of the European community. These include keeping the promises made to the accession candidates of the Western Balkans. The EU must vigorously continue the integration process, especially in the Western Balkans. The democratic forces there must be strengthened. On the civil society side, this includes above all the youth associations. They bring young people together and, as places where democracy is lived, are predestined to help shape society and Europe. There is a need for structural support of civil society, especially of youth ring structures, also outside the current member states of the European Union.
- We demand a long-term climate protection strategy with the Europe-wide goal of true climate neutrality in the 2030s and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 65 percent by 2030. The Sustainable Development Goals must be structurally integrated in all EU institutions and decision-making processes. We call for an implementation strategy with a timetable, targets and concrete measures. The dependence of the economy on fossil energy sources in Europe must be reduced in a structurally and socially compatible way until an independent, climate-neutral economy is achieved.
- Young people care about what corporate value chains look like. As one of the largest economies in the world, the European Union has a responsibility to strengthen and demand values and minimum standards, especially globally, at every stage of the value chain. We call for a strong and effective EU supply chain law. This includes clear, comprehensive human rights, environmental and climate due diligence obligations for companies, clear social standards to be complied with at all stages along the value chain, barriers to enforcement to be removed and official controls and sanctions to be created.
Automatically translated with DeepL.