8.3 National strategy on creativity and culture for young people
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In 2019 the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (Bundesministerium für Familie, Senioren, Frauen und Jugend, BMFSFJ) adopted a new youth strategy (Jugendstrategie der Bundesregierung) (cf. BMFSFJ 2019).
The youth strategy is geared to adolescents and young adults aged 12 to 27. Youth, according to the strategy, “is a separate phase in life that requires particular political attention” (cf. office of cultural education NRW [Arbeitsstelle Kulturelle Bildung NRW] 2020, page 9). The conviction that adolescence/early adulthood are separate and formative phases of life with their own specific challenges is also reflected in what is known as Independent Youth Policy (Eigenständige Jugendpolitik), an approach that is incorporated in the federal government’s youth strategy. The aim, states the strategy, is a youth policy across all policy that recognises its shared responsibility for a youth-appropriate society that takes into consideration the diversity of young people’s realities and circumstances (ibid.). The strategy identifies nine youth-relevant fields of action along with a total of 163 measures that are either new or have been developed further. The nine fields of action are: Future, dialogue between generations, images of youth; Participation, civic engagement & democracy; City & country, living & culture; Diversity & participation; Education, work & free space; Mobility & digital world; Environment; Health; and Europe & the world. Cultural education for young people is part of the youth strategy.
The introduction of a joint youth strategy by the federal government was pledged in the coalition agreement (Koalitionsvertrag) for the 19th legislative period (2017–2021) (cf. Christian Democratic Union [CDU]/Christian Social Union [CSU]/Social Democratic Party [SPD] 2018). In it, the federal government stated that all children and young adults must have access to cultural education and that more funding should be earmarked in the plan for cultural education. For the 20th legislative period (2021–2025), the coalition government is set to further develop the youth strategy in the form of a National Action Plan for youth participation (Nationaler Aktionsplan für Kinder- und Jugendbeteiligung) (cf. Social Democratic Party of Germany [SPD]/Alliance 90/The Greens/Free Democratic Party [FDP] 2021, page 98)
The youth strategy relates to all areas of competence at the federal level. Civil society, youth advocacy organisations, the federal states and municipal associations are invited to participate in the strategy by the advisory board (Beirat) of the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (Bundesministerium für Familie, Senioren, Frauen und Jugend, BMFSFJ). Adolescents and young adults, too, are invited to provide input as experts on matters that concern them directly.
The implementation of the mandate to promote cultural participation among children and adolescents through cultural education is evaluated at the level of child and youth work mainly by monitoring the award of funding with a final review, as well as by the competent bodies both at federalstate level and, mainly, at community level (youth welfare office, youth welfare committee, city council). Separate quality assurance systems for schools are in place in each federal state and implemented by the school authorities.