German Federal Youth Council (DBJR)

Not every post of this website can be translated. But the following articles give summary of the DBJR´s essential functions and values. 


Photo: Michael Scholl | DBJR

On October 3rd 1949 the German Federal Youth Council (DBJR) was founded as the working group of  nation-wide working German youth councils and organisations. Currently 28 nation-wide youth organisations and 16 regional youth councils are members. The six affiliated organisations have an advisory vote in the DBJR´s committees. The German Federal Youth Council is a registered non-profit organisation.

General assembly
The general assembly usually meets once a year. It discusses the basics of the DBJR´s work. In addition it defines the specific work priorities for the following year. The youth organisations send delegates to the general assembly by a ratio, which is based on their membership figure; the youth councils are represented by one delegate each.

Council of member organisations
Every youth organisation has got one vote in the council of member organisations, the youth councils in their entirety are represented with three votes. Between the general assemblies the council of member organisations accomplishes all tasks, which are not particularly reserved to the plenary assembly. The council of member organisations meets four times a year.

The board operates on the terms of the resolutions of the general assembly and the council of member organisations. The board meets approximately eight to ten times a year, leads the political conversations and represents the German Federal Youth Council at events.

Positions of the German Federal Youth Council in English:

eParticipation – Participation on and with the internet

Impulses for a strong democracy

We are fed up with hunger! Fighting hunger globally and sustainably

Energy Politics - Fairness for all Generations

Young, European and choosy – Demands for the European Elections 2009

Education in youth organisations

Statement of the German Federal Youth Council (DBJR) regarding the concept of the Structured Dialogue with young people

Youth organisations and voluntary services - Voluntary services: Helping yourself and others!

You have a right… to your rights!

Demographic transition – shaping society under changed framework requirements

"Change course right now"

For a more social Europe Expectations of the German EU presidency 2007

Statement to the Open Method of Coordination (OMC)


A strong network for children and youth

Photo: Salssa |

Youth organisations in Germany: Millions of children and young people are united and active in youth organisations. These are spaces for children and young people to experience solidarity, learn, spend their free time and become active.

The German Federal Youth Council (DBJR) represents youth organisations and their interests on a national level.

The member organisations of the DBJR represent a broad spectrum of young people’s dedication, ranging from confessional, ecological and cultural organisations to young workers’ organisations, humanitarian organisations, scouts and young immigrants’ organisations.

As an association of youth organisations and regional youth councils in Germany, the DBJR provides a strong network.

Representation of interests

Photo: Walter Reich |

Children and young people active in youth organisations have their very own wishes, worries and interests, different abilities and perspectives. They need a strong voice in politics – their lobby organisation is the German Federal Youth Council (DBJR).

In dialogue with policy makers in politics and society, the DBJR brings up the issues the young generation is concerned about. The DBJR represents the variety of young people’s interests and demands in Germany’s parliament and government, and functions as a lobby for young people in public.

The DBJR fights for a youth policy which appreciates young people, ensures empowerment and an independent life, creates space and supports them in their personal development – to ensure young people’s equal participation in society.

Financial & legal framework conditions

Photo: DBJR

Youth work needs effective framework conditions. One of the DBJR’s goals is that voluntary work in youth organisations is not hindered by complicated guidelines and bureaucracy. The legal framework for active youth should be clear and at the same time provide free space. In this context, the DBJR co-operates with partners to further develop the German Child and Youth Welfare Act (KJHG).

In addition to legal framework conditions, a very important issue is the funding of youth work. Seminars, trips and exchange programmes as well as the establishment of enough full-time jobs need a proper funding. Youth organisations need appropriate financial support to be able to continue their work.


Photo: DBJR

Youth organisations are an important and independent part of our educational system. They provide free and independent learning spaces. Youth organisations support young people in their personal development, provide empowerment for an independent life and help them develop their skills. The DBJR fights for a better recognition of these non-formal learning spaces.

Due to their experience and competence, the DBJR member organisations are young people’s strong voice in the debates about the future of our educational system.


Photo: DBJR

Participate, get involved, create – young people want to participate actively in our society and create their own living conditions. The DBJR is dedicated to providing opportunities and free space for participation for them. The DBJR brings in its long experience and presents positions in political debates, fighting for e.g. an effective youth participation and a reduction of the voting age. This would generally open the door to more participation for young people.

Social issues

Photo: Michael Scholl | DBJR

Poverty is young – more than one million children in Germany grow up in poverty. Poverty does not only mean to have no money. It results in fewer opportunities of education and formation, reduced access to information, and social exclusion. The DBJR aims to provide for young people to grow up in health and with equal opportunities, for a life in dignity and the opportunity to participate in society. The DBJR combats precarious working conditions and wages.

The DBJR is a member of the national anti poverty conference (Nationale Armutskonferenz) in Germany, part of the European Anti Poverty Network (EAPN), and accompanies the German government’s report on poverty and wealth.


Photo: Sebastian Schütz |

Media play an important role in young people’s lives. This offers opportunities, but also conceals risks. Therefore, media competence is the key to youth’s responsible approach to media. The DBJR aims to train and accompany young people in order to teach them a critical and responsible approach to media and their contents. The DBJR’s position is that media competence should be considered more important than restrictive measures of the German Protection of Minors in the Media.

Voluntary engagement

Photo: dieprojektoren

Voluntary engagement, self-determination: that is the basis for the work of youth organisations. They offer an ideal framework for youth to become active, and the space to develop ideas and become active together with others. Those who take over responsibility and work to the benefit of others, help youth organisations work, and also have an influence on society. The framework conditions for voluntary engagement must be improved and receive a better recognition in society. The DBJR, for example, grants the award “Heinz-Westphal-Preis” to innovative voluntary projects. Moreover, the DBJR promotes voluntary engagement by giving out the Youth Leader Card (short: JuLeiCa), a proof for young people in Germany that they are competent and trained leaders of youth groups.


Photo: Edith Ochs |

Sustainability means thinking beyond today, in order to maintain the basis of life for future generations. On behalf of children and youth, the DBJR therefore advocates a sustainable way of living and managing in all areas of society. Economic difficulties must be regarded from a social and ecological point of view. Young people show in their organisations that they are willing to analyse and change their way of consuming. For a fair world.


Photo: kallejipp |

It is an essential task for the DBJR to ensure for children and youth with a migration background to have the same opportunities and free space as all young people in Germany. The migration background of young people should be considered an opportunity rather than a stigma. The DBJR supports young people as well as young immigrants’ organisations in their voluntary engagement, to make a successful integration possible.

European Youth Policy

Photo: DBJR

Europe is an important part of young people’s lives. Therefore, the DBJR actively supports the participation of youth in the design of a future Europe. Young people need opportunities to participate actively, not only in Brussels but within their own environment. Generally, youth policy in Europe should have a stronger focus on young people’s needs and living conditions.

An instrument to achieve the active participation of youth in the debates about the future European (youth) policy is the Structured Dialogue. It is important for the DBJR that the Structured Dialogue is strengthened and further implemented.

Moreover, the DBJR member organisations in co-operation with international partners realise various European projects: co-operations of young people, exchanges of youth and young professionals, (further) training of team leaders, or consultation and information about funding. The DBJR member organisations send youth representatives to European conferences, and represent youth issues in leading bodies, thus helping to create and further develop European policy.

International Youth Work

Photo: DBJR

Think out of your own box, act globally: The DBJR has a large number of contacts to youth councils all over the world. Exchanges of delegations and seminars and events realised in co-operation help establish and develop these multilateral partnerships. They form the basis of a sustainable work regarding youth exchanges and co-operation.

The DBJR is not only active in co-operations on a local level, but also in international youth structures, such as in the European Youth Forum, where the DBJR,  together with the Council of Political Youth Organisations and the German Sports Youth, is represented by the German National Committee of international youth work (DNK).

Competent information

Photo: DBJR

Stay up to date: Once a month, the DBJR publishes an information e-paper. This news portal contains the most important and latest information from experts, youth organisations and youth councils. Moreover, the homepage contains information and material.

Get an overview: The youth policy magazine “JugendPolitik” gives an overview over current developments in the youth sector (in German). Published four times a year, it offers articles focusing on a certain topic.

Receive profound information: The DBJR brochures offer background information and best practise examples about topics concerning youth work, e.g. the Youth Leader Card, the empowerment of girls and women in organisations or international youth work.

Represent positions: Regularly, the DBJR adopts positions on current topics, e.g. poverty, sustainable ways of living and managing, education in youth organisations or European youth policy.