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PARTISPACE: Evidence paper 6: Youth and student representation, Frankfurt

Image is illustrative. UN Women (flickr.com)

It is one particularity of Frankfurt as a city that it has no youth council, but a school students‘ council as a form of youth parliament, the Youth and Student Council (YSR). It is interesting as one classic and established form of (formal) youth participation. It has a legal nationwide framework, is connected with other youth structures on different levels (city, federal states, state) and has a foundation by the city, which assures the council a right to be heard in the city council and opens doors to different city-wide networks and committees. The main space of the YSR is their bureau in the inner city of Frankfurt. It has a big conference room (freshly renovated) for meetings and representation and a small bureau with computer, printer and a few cozy seats. The YSR has a budget per annum provided by the municipality.

In Germany, all schools have student representations at the level of single school councils. In Frankfurt, all schools have the right to send two delegates to the YSR which meets two to three times a year. Elections take place in the end of the year. The Board is responsible for day-to-day business with the chairmen, the consultants and members of different work groups. It meets on a nearly weekly basis. Politically it works on youth- and student-topics (like sexual education) but also daily politics (like the rising racism in Germany). The current board consists of 10 to 15 young people aged 15 to 19 years, most of them elected as board members by the general assembly of the YSR.

Authors

PARTISPACE

The PARTISPACE project provides empirical knowledge on how to broaden the concepts of participation. The core of this knowledge lies in relating individual biographies of young people and the social spaces in which they act in order to understand the meaning of participation from their perspective.