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Youth Policy Days in Germany give a political voice to young people

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Germany has just finished holding a series of Youth Policy Days, as it looks to strengthen the rights of its young people in the decision-making process.

Lisa Paus, Federal Youth Minister, formally opened the 4th bi-annual Youth Policy Days with an event in Berlin, under the motto ‘Politics without youth is like the present without a future’.

Around 1,000 young people took part in four days of workshops and other interactive sessions, sharing ideas for youth-friendly politics with local and national government representatives, along with young members of the country’s children and youth parliaments.

Held every two years, the event covers topics ranging from mental health to youth participation, and climate issues to sexual self-determination. It is organised by the German Youth Press and funded by the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth.

Minister Paus described the JugendPolitikTag as ‘a place where the issues of our time are discussed, where different opinions collide, and where there is also debate’.  “Especially in times of crisis, it is important to talk to each other, which helps to identify and overcome the current challenge,” she said.

“It is important to me to exchange ideas with young people. Especially during the pandemic, many children and young people felt that they were not being heard and that their needs and concerns were being ignored. That must end.”

As part of the process of giving young people a voice, added Minister Paus, she had also established the Alliance for the Young Generation. “I am also committed to that 16-year-olds will also be able to vote in federal elections in the future – young people have a right not only to be noticed, but to be taken seriously,” she said.

Click here for more information on JugendPolitikTag (Youth Policy Days), including details of the various social media channels.

Click here for the Kinder- und Jugendparlamente (child and youth parliaments).

Author: Simon Weedy

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