I’m not a Finn. But I travelled that miraculous northern country for more than 10 times now. I’ve been to the Cities of Helsinki, Pori, Kuopio, Tampere, Turku, Rahe, Lahti, Jyväskylä and certainly a couple others I do not remember right now.
But in all my travels I have always met, politically active, motivated, bright and hard-working youth. They were all members of youth a youth councils or former members. Some even got involved in the umbrella organization of youth councils in Finnland, nuva ry.
As a foreigner I will not tell anyone how and what to vote, but I ask you to consider that people being involved in youth council work, have a lot of competencies that will help them with their further political work. Such as the ability to speak, insight into political matters, know-how on how to work with a public administration, endurance and many others.
Most likely they will have more knowledge and political skills then many adults. Also the inexperience argument can not be held against them.
Sometimes the language was difficult to understand, but Fatimas way of leading the discussion was really good. Lots of people had the chance to participate and it also a little bit controversial at times. Especially when Tim Burckhard of Jeff said he was disappointed by youth. Unfortunately we didn’t get a straight answer about continuing the youth in action program after 2013.
Of course the location was really hip: the council chamber of Tampere city council is the most beautiful part of the city hall.
Youth councils in the German State of Baden-Württemberg (BW) and Finland
By: Sebastian Müller (University of Education Freiburg) June 14, 2011
Keywords: youth political attitudes, political participation, political behavior, democracy
What was the study about?
In both Finland and the German state of Baden-Württemberg, there are youth councils. Youth council was defined for the study as: “Elected bodies composed of people between the ages of 12 and 22, that are instituted by the local authority and deal with public policy.”
In recent years, the amount of youth councils has increased in both areas to more than 80 in BW and more than 90 in Finland. In BW, the spread of youth councils began around the mid 1990s, in Finland it began around the turn of the century. Both umbrella organizations have a working relationship since 2006, delegations visit each other annually and they participate in joint action.
There are very few scientific enquiries dealing specifically with youth councils, and up to now there was none dealing with them in both areas.
In both regions I sent out two kinds of questionnaires: one dealing with the structures and the other with attitudes of youth councilors. This questionnaire was based on the work done by Michael C. Hermann, who investigated youth councils in BW in 1995.
Unfortunatley he will not sing for us, but this Finnland trip will be good, too.
Today I’m off for Finland again to present my thesis about youth councils in the German state of Baden-Württemberg and Finland. I will present this at NYRIS 11 and be in the Comparative Youth Participation Session. I feel very honoured to be in a session with such important researchers and hope to have inspiring meetings there.
Since 1996 there have been major developments in the field of youth councils in the State of Baden-Württemberg, the number rose from 16 to over 89 today. This study is the first survey of the attitudes of youth councilors in the German state of Baden-Württemberg since 1996 and the first comparative research of the conditions, attitudes and structure of youth councils and their members in Germany and Finland. It builds on previous research by Michael C. Hermann, “Jugendgemeinderäte in Baden-Wprttemberg, eine interdisziplinäre Evaluation” and the joint publication „Youth participation in Finland and in Germany – Status analysis and data based recommendations“ by Eva Feldmann-Wojtachnia, Anu Gretschel, Vappu Helmisaari et al. NYRIS Turku: Youth Councils in Germany and Finnland weiterlesen