Youth Policy

Youth Strategy of the German Government arouses great expectations

The German government has a youth strategy. This is an important step towards a good, interdepartmental youth policy.

Together, the German federal ministries want to "make good policy for youth, shape policy together with youth and be open for self-determined youth policy". The Federal Government wants to create equal living conditions, i.e. to give all young people and young adults the same opportunities and possibilities to help shape their future in all regions of Germany. To this end, the strategy describes nine fields of action. It is about the future, generational dialogue and youth images, about participation, commitment and democracy, about town and country, housing and culture. It is about diversity and participation, about education, work and freedom, about mobility and digital. And last but not least, it is about the environment, about health, about Europe and the world.

"The strategy describes correct and important fields for young people," says our Chairman Tobias Köck and demands: "It is now important that the strategy is implemented together with us". After all, just under half of the 14 million young people and young adults aged between 12 and 27 years - or 17 percent of the total population - are active in youth associations and youth organisations. In the interests of young people as a whole, it is important to us that the strategy is successful.

We share much of the analysis in the Strategy: Young people are diverse, and the independent phase of life is both challenging and important for personal development. Social and political developments have a strong impact on young people. The desire and will to take on more responsibility is growing among young people, they have their own ideas and conceptions. "Young people must therefore be involved more strongly and more effectively than before," says our Board member Alma Kleen. The strategy describes a number of formats and measures for doing so. We take a critical view of some of them, or rather: there is still room for improvement in terms of participation and effectiveness. "For example, a reduction in the voting age would be consistent," says Alma Kleen.

The Youth Check clearly falls short in our strategy. It is only given as an example of how draft laws of the German government can be checked for possible effects on the living conditions of young people between 12 and 27 years of age using a standardised methodology. It is described as a voluntary advisory and support service for other departments. "A voluntary Youth Check is not enough for us; the Youth Check must become a mandatory instrument for the federal government," says our board member Daniela Broda. We will continue to fight for this.

We will take a close look at the entire strategy. Above all, the concrete measures outlined above must not be all that the German government is doing now and in the future to make a good youth policy. A truly interdepartmental strategic goal is not discernible, nor are interesting new ideas. "There are still many concrete measures in the strategy that are not intended to be interdepartmental and that work together strategically," says Tobias Köck. They still stand loosely and unconnected next to each other.

Themen: Youth Policy