Defend the futures of children and young people across Europe!
The paper was addressed at the German Child and Youth Welfare Congress in March 2017 with 30,000 participants. AGJ is an alliance of approximately 100 German child and youth services organisations and institutions at the federal level; it is also a national partner network of Eurochild.
“Europe is at a crossroads - hardly a surprising statement given the severity of the crisis that has beset Europe since 2010. What is surprising, however, is that this insight has yet to have a sufficient impact on the decisions taken by politicians in Germany and Europe at large.
Seven years after the commencement of the public debt, banking and economic crisis, the rapid political tailspin of the European project appears to be far from over. On the contrary: 2016, which brought us the Brexit referendum, marked a new low point. The Britons’ decision to have their country leave the European Union is symptomatic of the dwindling capacity of the European project to create political unity, of the rise in populism and nationalism, and of the decline in EU citizens’ willingness to embrace the EU.
The European idea is in danger of becoming ever weaker. And yet: many political circles and large parts of civil society continue to respond with indifference and reserve to the developments in Europe and their (potential) consequences.
With this statement, the Child and Youth Welfare Association (AGJ) wishes to counteract this indifference and take an unequivocal stand for a strong, social Europe. Besides policymakers and administrators, civil society too has a major responsibility to bear for the continued existence and evolution of the European project.
The German child and youth services community hence needs to take a much more forceful position in the European policy debate and to fight for the European idea if it wishes to prevent the futures of all children and young people, which are inextricably linked to Europe, from being put into serious jeopardy.
Read the full position paper here.