Düsseldorf, June 29. The corona pandemic has brought about relevant youth and social policy changes for young people. Now during the German EU Council Presidency we must set the course for a youth-friendly future .


With a total of eight demands on the German federal government, the Association of German Catholic Youth (BDKJ) is starting the period of the German EU Council Presidency beginning on July 1. Among other things, the umbrella organization of Catholic youth associations calls for youth exchanges to be strengthened at EU level. “We need a significant financial increase for Erasmus + and inclusive access,” said BDKJ federal chair Lisi Maier. “This is the only way we can strengthen European identity in a sustainable way in times of Brexit and unilateral member state actions.” It is also important for young people to be involved in EU legislation. The biannual EU youth conference and the EU youth dialogue should remain important instruments, says BDKJ in its current decision. Greater support for the work of democratic youth associations is essential. “This is especially true for the self-organized structures in the member states, where the work of non-governmental organizations is increasingly restricted. This includes some of our partner organizations, ”says Lisi Maier. “We expect this presidency to reverse the trend, which will give civil society engagement more freedom again across Europe.”

In its statement on the EU Presidency, BDKJ also campaigns for the prospects for young people on European labor markets. Young people who are currently in a transition phase between school and training or after graduation are particularly affected by the crisis. With a renewal of the youth guarantee launched in 2014, the federal government can fulfill its responsibility to offer young people prospects.

The BDKJ asks for a swift and complete implementation of the European Green Deal so that the young and future generations are not left alone with the upcoming challenges, such as climate change. All financial decisions in the coming months must pursue the goal of a social-ecological transformation. Otherwise, the coming generations would have to bear the costs of the crisis.

In its decision, the BDKJ also calls for solidarity with refugees, gender justice and policies for fairer trade. The complete decision is available at www.bdkj.de/beschluss-ratspraesidentschaft.

The BDKJ is the umbrella organization of 17 Catholic youth associations with around 660,000 members. It represents the interests of children, adolescents and young adults in church, state and society.