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Newslet­ter for Inter­gen­er­a­tional Jus­tice – 08/2014

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1) Chil­dren at the con­sti­tu­tion­al court. Goal: To abol­ish the min­i­mum vot­ing age

2) FRFG is search­ing for an EVS-vol­un­teer

3) FRFG receives award

4) 7th Inter­gen­er­a­tional Jus­tice Award 2013/14 on the top­ic of “Youth Move­ments for Inter­gen­er­a­tional Jus­tice”

5) Obit­u­ary to Hans-Peter Dürr, advi­so­ry mem­ber of the FRFG

6) UN Eco­nom­ic and Social Coun­cil Opens High-lev­el Seg­ment

7) Cli­mate Change and Human Rights — and Ethics Per­spec­tive

8) “Scrap­ping Help to Buy Would Be an Act of Inter­gen­er­a­tional Theft.”

9) Aus­tralian Car­bon Tax Repealed

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1) Chil­dren at the con­sti­tu­tion­al court. Goal: To abol­ish the min­i­mum vot­ing age

01_08_1415 chil­dren and teenagers, aged between 10 and 17, have sub­mit­ted a com­plaint to Germany’s con­sti­tu­tion­al court. They demand the abol­ish­ment of the min­i­mum vot­ing age and, thus, the strength­en­ing of democ­ra­cy and gen­er­a­tional jus­tice. They are sup­port­ed by the Foun­da­tion for the Rights of Future Gen­er­a­tions, which is the “most well-known extra-par­lia­men­tary think tank for mat­ters of inter­gen­er­a­tional jus­tice” (Wirtschaftswoche), as well as the children’s ini­tia­tive “Plant for the Plan­et.” Legal assis­tance is pro­vid­ed by Prof. Michael Quaas, one of “Germany’s best lawyers” accord­ing to the Han­dels­blatt-Rank­ing 2014. Prof. Quaas has so far sup­port­ed the cam­paign free of charge.

Con­test­ing the gen­er­al elec­tion at the con­sti­tu­tion­al court has trig­gered con­sid­er­able media atten­tion, which we doc­u­ment in our press pages (Ger­man).

Cam­paign Back­ground:

Chil­dren had no vote in the 2013 gen­er­al elec­tion. In Ger­many, more than a mil­lion peo­ple are unable to exer­cise their right to vote – just because they are under 18. This means that 17% of the pop­u­la­tion are being denied their most impor­tant polit­i­cal and con­sti­tu­tion­al right. This goes against the prin­ci­pals of democ­ra­cy and pop­u­lar sov­er­eign­ty and is no longer sup­port­able. We have been work­ing with chil­dren and young peo­ple in regards to this mat­ter, and togeth­er we have start­ed the “Wir wollen wählen!” (“We want to vote!”) cam­paign.

On 20th Novem­ber 2013, more than a dozen chil­dren and young peo­ple, togeth­er with the FRFG, sub­mit­ted an elec­toral com­plaint to the Bun­destag. The Bun­destag reject­ed our com­plaint on 8th May 2014. On 7th  July 2014 the FRFG flied a com­plaint before the Fed­er­al Con­sti­tu­tion­al Court, demand­ing the abol­ish­ment of the min­i­mum vot­ing age.

If the com­plaint is approved by the con­sti­tu­tion­al court, the costs of sci­en­tif­ic advice and legal assis­tance will be incurred. We would there­fore like to ask you to sup­port our cam­paign finan­cial­ly. We have launched an appeal for dona­tions at Bet­ter Place . We thank you very much for your sup­port!

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2) FRFG is search­ing for an EVS-vol­un­teer

02_08_14_evsThe FRFG is search­ing for an EVS-vol­un­teer for the new issue of the Inter­gen­er­a­tional Jus­tice Review. The project will start from 1st Jan­u­ary 2015 and end on 31st of Decem­ber 2015. All inter­est­ed peo­ple can send us an appli­ca­tion (includ­ing CV, moti­va­tion let­ter, cer­tifi­cates, ref­er­ences) via E-Mail (kontakt@srzg.de).

Young peo­ple can also con­tact us for more infor­ma­tion about the EVS and the project. Please note that very good Eng­lish lan­guage skills are required for our project!

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3) FRFG receives award

03_08_14The FRFG was award­ed the Our Task Glob­al Think­ing Award at the Earth 2100 Con­fer­ence, which was held on 26th and 27th July 2014 George Mason Uni­ver­si­ty, Vir­ginia, USA. Dr. Bruce Auer­bach received the award on behalf of the FRFG. He was impressed with the enthu­si­asm of Our Task, which is a young organ­i­sa­tion which seeks to engage the young in cam­paign­ing for envi­ron­men­tal change.

For more infor­ma­tion about Our Task and the Earth 2100 Con­fer­ence, click here.

A video of the award cer­e­mo­ny can be found here.

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4) 7th Inter­gen­er­a­tional Jus­tice Award 2013/14 on the top­ic of “Youth Move­ments for Inter­gen­er­a­tional Jus­tice”

04_08_14The  top­ic for the 7th Inter­gen­er­a­tional Jus­tice Award 2013/14 is “Youth Move­ments for Inter­gen­er­a­tional Jus­tice” and the dead­line for sub­mit­ted work is draw­ing ever near­er. Entries in Eng­lish or Ger­man can still be sub­mit­ted until the 15th Octo­ber 2014. After the dead­line, the work will be judged by our high-rank­ing jury and prizes will be award­ed to the best pieces.

The jury is com­prised of:

- Prof. Dr. Klaus Hur­rel­mann (Her­tie School of Gov­er­nance, Berlin)
— Prof. Dr. Dieter Frey (Lud­wig-Max­i­m­il­ian-Uni­ver­si­ty, Munich)
— Dr. phil. Wolf­gang Kraushaar (Ham­burg Insti­tute for Social Research)
— Dr. James Sloam (Roy­al Hol­loway, Uni­ver­si­ty of Lon­don)
— Juliana Bidada­nure (Uni­ver­si­ty of York)
— Ash­ley Sea­ger (Inter­gen­er­a­tional Foun­da­tion)
— Jun.-Prof. Dr. Dr. Jörg Trem­mel (Eber­hard Karls Uni­ver­si­ty Tübin­gen)

Fur­ther infor­ma­tion can be found here.

The com­plete ten­der doc­u­men­ta­tion will be sent upon request via email to kontakt@srzg.de.

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5) Obit­u­ary to Hans-Peter Dürr, advi­so­ry mem­ber of the FRFG

05_08_14Prof. Hans-Peter Dürr, one of the FRFG’s advi­so­ry mem­bers, died on the 18th May 2014. Prof. Dürr was born in Stuttgart on 7th Octo­ber 1929; he died at the age of 84. He was a quan­tum physi­cist, a peace and anti-nuclear activist, a philoso­pher and alter­na­tive Nobel Prize lau­re­ate, a mav­er­ick and inquisi­tor.

He empha­sized the respon­si­bil­i­ty of sci­en­tists for peace, ecol­o­gy and glob­al jus­tice and became an impor­tant voice in the debate on dis­ar­ma­ment of the 80s. In 1987 he received the Right Liveli­hood Award in recog­ni­tion of “his pro­found cri­tique of the Strate­gic Defense Ini­tia­tive (SDI) and its work to make sophis­ti­cat­ed tech­nol­o­gy avail­able for peace­ful pur­pos­es.” Jakob von Uexküll, founder of the Right Liveli­hood Award and the World Future Coun­cil, praised Dürr as “a bridge between worlds and world­views.” An obit­u­ary to Prof. Dürr can be found on the web­site of the Wol­rd Future Coun­cil.

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6) UN Eco­nom­ic and Social Coun­cil Opens High-lev­el Seg­ment

06_08_14On 7th July 2014, the Unit­ed Nations released a press state­ment about its Eco­nom­ic and Social Council’s post-2015 agen­da. The new agen­da will build on the suc­cess­es and short­com­ings of the Mil­len­ni­um Devel­op­ment Goals, with mea­sur­able tar­gets and scaled-up invest­ments in areas such as edu­ca­tion, health, gen­der equal­i­ty and youth employ­ment. Also part of the new agen­da is erad­i­cat­ing extreme pover­ty and an imper­a­tive to build­ing sta­ble soci­eties and tack­le grow­ing inequal­i­ty in both rich and poor coun­tries.

To read the whole press release, click here.

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7) Cli­mate Change and Human Rights — and Ethics Per­spec­tive

07_07_14The mes­sage of a recent side event to the Unit­ed Nations Human Rights Coun­cil, held on 19th June 2014, was that “Cli­mate change is increas­ing inequal­i­ty and impact­ing ter­ri­to­r­i­al integri­ty and secu­ri­ty as well as pro­vok­ing the forced dis­place­ment of peo­ple and thus seri­ous­ly affect­ing the human rights of peo­ple all over the world. Cli­mate action based on sci­ence can help pro­tect the basic human rights of indi­vid­u­als both in this gen­er­a­tion and in future ones, as cli­mate change pos­es ques­tions to inter­gen­er­a­tional jus­tice.”

For more infor­ma­tion, the rest of the arti­cle can be found here.

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8) “Scrap­ping Help to Buy Would Be an Act of Inter­gen­er­a­tional Theft.”

08_08_14George Osborne, the UK’s Chan­cel­lor of the Exche­quer, has said that scrap­ping the Help to Buy ini­tia­tive would be an “act of out­ra­geous inter­gen­er­a­tional theft.” He said that we want young peo­ple to have the same oppor­tu­ni­ties to buy homes as his gen­er­a­tion did. The Help to Buy scheme offers work­ing first-time buy­ers a loan of up to 20% (on top of a mort­gage) of the price of a new­ly-built house, on which no inter­est is payable for the first five years.

The rest of the Telegraph’s arti­cle can be accessed here.

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9) Aus­tralian Car­bon Tax Repealed

09_09_14On 17th July, Australia’s Sen­ate vot­ed to repeal the car­bon tax by a mar­gin of 39 votes to 32. The tax was intro­duced in July 2012 and Australia’s high­est pol­luters were charged 23 Aus­tralian dol­lars per tonne of green­house gasses they pro­duced. The Prime Min­is­ter, Tony Abbot, has pledged to reduce green­house emis­sions with­out the “inter­na­tion­al odd­i­ty” of a car­bon tax, but Green par­ty leader said that the repeal­ing of the car­bon tax rep­re­sent­ed “inter­gen­er­a­tional theft.”

To read more, click here.

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All newslet­ters are avail­able on our home­page: www.intergenerationaljustice.org > Press > Newslet­ter

If you want to unsub­scribe this newslet­ter, please send an e-mail to
kontakt(at)srzg.de or unsub­scribe direct­ly on our home­page.
—-
Please feel free to con­tact us with any feed­back con­cern­ing our newslet­ter.

With best regards,
The Edi­tors

Foun­da­tion for the Rights of Future Gen­er­a­tions
(Stiftung fuer die Rechte zukuen­ftiger Gen­er­a­tio­nen)
Mannsperg­er Str. 29
D-70619 Stuttgart

Tel: +49-(0) 711 – 28 05 27 77
Fax: +49-(0) 3212 – 28 05 27 7
E-Mail: kontakt(at)srzg.de
Home­page: www.intergenerationaljustice.org & www.srzg.de

Board:
Bern­hard Win­kler
Dr. Bet­ti­na Munimus
Wolf­gang Gründinger
Adri­an Schell (head of board)

Office Man­ag­er:
Igor Dim­itri­jos­ki

Copy­right © 2014 FRFG

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Newslet­ter for Inter­gen­er­a­tional Jus­tice – 06/2014

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1) “We want to vote” Cam­paign: Bun­destag rejects FRFG’s Elec­toral Com­plaint

2) FRFG is search­ing for an EVS-vol­un­teer

3) 7th Inter­gen­er­a­tional Jus­tice Prize 2013/2014 with the top­ic “Youth Move­ments for Inter­gen­er­a­tional Jus­tice”

4) Young Amer­i­cans sue gov­ern­ment agen­cies for inac­tion

5) Cana­da: debate about how to engage young peo­ple in local pol­i­tics

6) Sri Lan­ka: World Youth Con­fer­ence 2014

7) 44th St. Gallen Sym­po­sium

8) Youth invit­ed to attend world sum­mit

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1) “We want to vote” Cam­paign: Bun­destag rejects FRFG’s Elec­toral Com­plaint

01_06_14_wollenwaehlenOn 20th Novem­ber 2013, more than a dozen chil­dren and young peo­ple, togeth­er with the FRFG, filed an elec­toral com­plaint at the Bun­destag. On 8th May 2014, the Bun­destag reject­ed our com­plaint. We now have the chance to insti­tute our pro­ceed­ings at the Fed­er­al Con­sti­tu­tion­al Court before 4th June, 2014. The SRzG is going to make use of this option. At the moment we are work­ing in col­lab­o­ra­tion with our lawyer, Prof. Quaas, to pre­pare the com­plaint.

To get more infor­ma­tion about the cam­paign click here.

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2) FRFG is search­ing for an EVS-vol­un­teer

02_06_14_evsThe FRFG is search­ing for an EVS-vol­un­teer for the new issue of the Inter­gen­er­a­tional Jus­tice Review. The project will start from 1st Jan­u­ary 2015 and end on 31st of Decem­ber 2015. All inter­est­ed peo­ple can send us an appli­ca­tion (includ­ing CV, moti­va­tion let­ter, cer­tifi­cates, ref­er­ences) via E-Mail (kontakt@srzg.de). You peo­ple can also con­tact us for more infor­ma­tion about the EVS and the project. Please note that very good Eng­lish lan­guage skills are required for our project!

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3) 7th Inter­gen­er­a­tional Jus­tice Prize 2013/2014 with the top­ic “Youth Move­ments for Inter­gen­er­a­tional Jus­tice”

03_03_14_jugendbewegungenThe invi­ta­tion to sub­mit papers for the 7th Inter­gen­er­a­tional Jus­tice Prize 2013/2014, which is ini­ti­at­ed by the FRFG in coop­er­a­tion with the Inter­gen­er­a­tional Foun­da­tion (IF), is now open. This year’s top­ic is “Youth Move­ments for Inter­gen­er­a­tional Jus­tice”. Thanks to our coop­er­a­tion with the Eng­lish Inter­gen­er­a­tional Foun­da­tion, there’s also the pos­si­bil­i­ty to hand in Eng­lish writ­ten papers. Clos­ing date is 15th Octo­ber 2014. Fund­ed by the Apfel­baum Foun­da­tion, prizes totalling 10,000 € will be award­ed to the best papers sub­mit­ted.

Part of the jury are:

-    Prof.Dr. Klaus Hur­rel­mann (Her­tie School of Gov­er­nance, Berlin)
—    Prof.Dr. Dieter Frey (Lud­wig-Max­i­m­il­ian-Uni­ver­sität, München)
—    Dr. phil. Wolf­gang Kraushaar (Ham­burg­er Insti­tut­für­Sozial­forschung)
—    Dr. James Sloam (Roy­al Hol­loway, Uni­ver­si­ty of Lon­don)
—    Juliana Bidada­nure (Uni­ver­si­ty of York)
—    Ash­ley Sea­ger (Inter­gen­er­a­tional Foun­da­tion)
—    Jun.-Prof.Dr. Dr. Jörg Trem­mel (Eber­hard Karl­sUni­ver­sität­Tübin­gen)

For more infor­ma­tion on the CfP click here.

You are wel­come to request the entire ten­der doc­u­ments via kontakt@srzg.de.

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4) Young Amer­i­cans sue gov­ern­ment agen­cies for inac­tion

04_06_14Young peo­ple from all over the Unit­ed States are suing six fed­er­al agen­cies for cli­mate inac­tion, which con­sti­tutes a vio­la­tion of the con­sti­tu­tion­al rights of the youth. Filed by five teenagers and two NGOs and sup­port­ed by more than 30 envi­ron­men­tal and con­sti­tu­tion­al pro­fes­sors, the suit refers to the pub­lic trust doc­trine. It is part of a nation­wide cam­paign that wants to call atten­tion to cli­mate change and its sig­nif­i­cance (espe­cial­ly for the younger gen­er­a­tions) and aims to make the US gov­ern­ment final­ly take action on this issue.

Right now the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Cir­cuit has to decide on the fed­er­al suit. Click the fol­low­ing link to see the whole dis­cus­sion.

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5) Cana­da: debate about how to engage young peo­ple in local pol­i­tics

05_06_14The Depart­ment of Munic­i­pal and Inter­gov­ern­men­tal Affairs of New­found­land and Labrador has intro­duced a new bill. Bill 6 will amend sev­er­al acts con­cern­ing munic­i­pal oper­a­tions so that youth rep­re­sen­ta­tives are allowed to be appoint­ed to city and town coun­cils. Although young rep­re­sen­ta­tives, aged under 18, wouldn’t be allowed to vote, the bill would give young cit­i­zens a voice in the coun­cils.

Now, the politi­cians of New­found­land and Labrador are dis­cussing the poten­tial con­se­quences of this bill. Indeed, every­one wants the youth to be more engaged in pol­i­tics but the views on Bill 6 are diverg­ing. For exam­ple, one con­cern is that the polit­i­cal jar­gon of coun­cil meet­ings isn’t youth appro­pri­ate and could even dis­cour­age young peo­ple to be active in pol­i­tics.

For more infor­ma­tion about the top­ic click this link.

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6) Sri Lan­ka: World Youth Con­fer­ence 2014

06_06_14The first world­wide World Youth Con­fer­ence was held in Colom­bo, Sri Lan­ka, from May 6th – 10th 2014. 1,500 par­tic­i­pants from all over the world, half of them between the ages of 18 – 29, met under the theme “Main­stream­ing Youth in the Post-2015 Devel­op­ment Agen­da”. The Con­fer­ence, based on an inter­gen­er­a­tional dia­logue, result­ed in the Colom­bo Dec­la­ra­tion on Youth. This Dec­la­ra­tion con­sists of rec­om­men­da­tions on 14 sub­jects, such as devel­op­ment of youth lead­er­ship, elim­i­na­tion of pover­ty, gen­der equal­i­ty, youth rights and inclu­sive youth par­tic­i­pa­tion and has a sym­bol­ic char­ac­ter. Hope­ful­ly, the rec­om­men­da­tions will be pre­sent­ed to the 69th Ses­sion of the UN Gen­er­al Assem­bly by mem­ber states that were present at the Con­fer­ence.

Click the fol­low­ing link for more infor­ma­tion.

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7) 44th St. Gallen Sym­po­sium

07_06_14The 44th St. Gallen Sym­po­sium took place a the Uni­ver­si­ty of St. Gallen, Switzer­land, on the 8th and 9th May 2014. 600 “Lead­ers of Today” and 200 “Lead­ers of Tomor­row” took part in a debate on “The Clash of Gen­er­a­tions.” The keynote address was deliv­ered by Pro­fes­sor Lau­rence Kot­likoff, who described inter­gen­er­a­tional injus­tice as “A war on our chil­dren” and implored the audi­ence to acknowl­edge and face up to the issue.

To see Pro­fes­sor Kolikoff giv­ing his speech, click the fol­low­ing link.

For more infor­ma­tion about the 44th St. Gallen Sym­po­sium, click this link.

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8) Youth invit­ed to attend world sum­mit

08_06_14Young peo­ple are invit­ed to attend the One Young World Sum­mit 2014, which will be held in Dublin, Ire­land from 15th-19th Octo­ber 2014. The invi­ta­tion is extend­ed to all young peo­ple between the ages of 18 and 30. The sum­mit aims to bring togeth­er the younger gen­er­a­tion to share and hear their con­cerns, opin­ions and solu­tions and to take action to bring about change in their respec­tive com­mu­ni­ties, com­pa­nies and coun­tries.

For more infor­ma­tion about the sum­mit, appli­ca­tion and fund­ing, click here.

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All newslet­ters are avail­able on our home­page: www.intergenerationaljustice.org > Press > Newslet­ter

If you want to unsub­scribe this newslet­ter, please send an e-mail to
kontakt(at)srzg.de or unsub­scribe direct­ly on our home­page.
—-
Please feel free to con­tact us with any feed­back con­cern­ing our newslet­ter.

With best regards,
The Edi­tors

Foun­da­tion for the Rights of Future Gen­er­a­tions
(Stiftung fuer die Rechte zukuen­ftiger Gen­er­a­tio­nen)
Mannsperg­er Str. 29
D-70619 Stuttgart

Tel: +49-(0) 711 – 28 05 27 77
Fax: +49-(0) 3212 – 28 05 27 7
E-Mail: kontakt(at)srzg.de
Home­page: www.intergenerationaljustice.org & www.srzg.de

Board:
Bern­hard Win­kler
Dr. Bet­ti­na Munimus
Wolf­gang Gründinger
Adri­an Schell (head of board)

Office Man­ag­er:
Igor Dim­itri­jos­ki

Copy­right © 2014 FRFG

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Newslet­ter for Inter­gen­er­a­tional Jus­tice – 03/2014

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1) Leg­isla­tive Prize for Gen­er­a­tional­ly Just Laws

2) Cam­paign: “We want to vote!”

3) Sev­enth Inter­gen­er­a­tional Jus­tice Award 2013/2014 and its top­ic “Youth Move­ments for inter­gen­er­a­tional jus­tice”

4) Dis­cus­sion on the vot­ing age in the UK

5) Ris­ing inequal­i­ty among employ­ees in Eng­land

6) The Transat­lantic Trade and Invest­ment Part­ner­ship and the risks for our food

7) FRFG part of the Work­shop “Future Chal­lenges of Fam­i­lies in Europe” in Tallinn

8) Vot­ing Age in Nor­way

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1) Leg­isla­tive Prize for Gen­er­a­tional­ly Just Laws

01_03_14_legeThe award cer­e­mo­ny for the Leg­isla­tive Prize will be on April 8th at 6 pm in the Hum­boldt-Viad­ri­na School of Gov­er­nance in Berlin. Due to the cor­po­ra­tion with the Huboldt- Viad­ri­na, the award cer­e­mo­ny is embed­ded in the Plenum­s­tri­a­log of ener­gy rev­o­lu­tion.

The law to nuclear phase out was enact­ed by the sev­en­teenth Bun­destag and will be award­ed with the Leg­isla­tive Award. The Leg­isla­tive Award for gen­er­a­tional­ly-just laws will be giv­en to young rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the four par­ties in the eigh­teenth Bun­destag. Through the prize, the SRzG wants to main­tain focus on the impor­tance of cam­paign­ing for inter­gen­er­a­tional­ly just laws (tran­scend­ing par­ty lines) also in the com­ing leg­isla­tive peri­ods.

More infor­ma­tion on the Leg­isla­tive Award can be found here.

More infor­ma­tion on the Tri­alo­grei­he with the top­ic ener­gy rev­o­lu­tion can be found on the fol­low­ing web page: www.trialog-energiewende.org

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2) Cam­paign: “We want to vote!”

02_03_14_wollenwaehlenDur­ing the Bun­destagswahl 2013, mil­lions of kids and teenag­er did not have the chance to vote- only because they are under the age of 18. This is vio­lat­ing the prin­ci­ples of democ­ra­cy and the sov­er­eign­ty of the peo­ple. This sit­u­a­tion is no longer tol­er­a­ble. To change this inequal­i­ty, we start­ed the ini­tia­tive, “Wir wollen wählen!” (“We want to vote!”).

On Novem­ber 20th, rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the SRzG and a dozen chil­dren and ado­les­cents chal­lenged the valid­i­ty of the elec­tions. If the Bun­destag rejects our motion, we will hand in con­sti­tu­tion­al com­plaint.

Aid appeal at Bet­ter Place for the cam­paign.

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3) Sev­enth Inter­gen­er­a­tional Jus­tice Award 2013/2014 and its top­ic “Youth Move­ments for inter­gen­er­a­tional jus­tice”

03_03_14_jugendbewegungenAs of now starts the call for papers by the SRzG in cor­po­ra­tion with the Inter­gen­er­a­tional Foun­da­tion (IF) for the sev­enth Inter­gen­er­a­tional Jus­tice Award. The top­ic is “Youth Move­ments for Inter­gen­er­a­tional Jus­tice”. The award is insti­gat­ed by the Foun­da­tion Apfel­baum an endowed with €10,000.

More infor­ma­tion on the call of papers.

You can ask for the bid­ding doc­u­ments via Email. Please con­tact antony@if.org.uk or kontakt@srzg.de.

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4) Dis­cus­sion on the vot­ing age in the UK

04_03_14_voting_ageThe right to vote has been grant­ed to 16-year-olds in the Scot­tish inde­pen­dence ref­er­en­dum, which will take place on Sep­tem­ber 18th. Even though this not unlike­ly done under the regard that both sides expect to derive advan­tages from it, this is to be appre­ci­at­ed.

The British Youth Coun­cil is now lob­by­ing for low­er­ing the vot­ing age down to 16 in the UK more than before, mak­ing it a sub­ject in West­min­ster again. Encour­aged by the Scot­tish, young sup­port­ers demon­strate in front of par­lia­ment reg­u­lar­ly and numer­ous­ly. They are polit­i­cal­ly sup­port­ed by Labour and the Lib­er­al Democ­rats.

More infor­ma­tion: 1 & 2

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5) Ris­ing inequal­i­ty among employ­ees in Eng­land

05_03_14Eng­land also faces a grow­ing gap between wages of younger and old­er work­ers. While old­er employ­ees used to earn 1.7 times more than younger in 1997, this ratio rose to 2.6 times more in 2014. If this is depict­ed in real income, 18–21-year-olds now earn 19% less than before, while over-50-years-olds earn 25% more. Fur­ther­more, increased cost of liv­ing puts pres­sure on the spend­ing capac­i­ty of young peo­ple: they have to spend about 45% on essen­tials like rent, food and fuel. At the same time, youth unem­ploy­ment is ris­ing. This is some­thing that should wor­ry pol­i­cy-mak­ers.

More infor­ma­tion can be found here.

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6) The Transat­lantic Trade and Invest­ment Part­ner­ship and the risks for our food

06_03_14The Transat­lantic Trade and Invest­ment Part­ner­ship (TTIP) is more and more becom­ing a dis­cus­sion on how food ought to be manip­u­lat­ed in the EU. While Amer­i­can stan­dards are more based on allow­ing food until pos­si­ble risks are known, Euro­pean are more pre­cau­tious and tend to pro­hib­it foods until its harm­less­ness was proofed.

Still, this does not explain, why genet­i­cal­ly and hor­mon­al mod­i­fied food, which was proofed harm­ful and can­cer-caus­ing for human beings is now dis­cussed to be allowed in Europe.

How­ev­er, a strong coun­ter­move­ment seems to devel­op in the mem­ber states of the EU, lead by agri­cul­tur­al spokes­men. Fur­ther­more, he debate will with­out much doubt have a great impact on Euro­pean Elec­tions in May.

More infor­ma­tion: 1 & 2

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7) FRFG part of the Work­shop “Future Chal­lenges of Fam­i­lies in Europe” in Tallinn

07_03_14_tallinnThe SRzG- Ambas­sador Yvonne Eich rep­re­sent­ed the foun­da­tion at the work­shop “Future Chal­lenges and fam­i­lies in Europe” on Jan­u­ary 8th, 2014 in Tallinn. This took place in the course of the first con­sor­tium-meet­ing of the cross-nation­al EU- research project “Chang­ing fam­i­lies and sus­tain­able gen­er­a­tions: Pol­i­cy con­texts and diver­si­ty over the life course and across gen­er­a­tions” and was lead by the Vien­na Insti­tute of Demog­ra­phy. Togeth­er with 25 par­tic­i­pants, Yvonne Eich argued, which fac­tors are major for a har­mon­ic atmos­phere for com­ing gen­er­a­tions in the fam­i­ly. It was also focussing on the needs of com­ing gen­er­a­tions. This is why all mem­bers shared the opin­ion that there have to be ris­ing con­sid­er­a­tions and mea­sures to tack­le youth unem­ploy­ment and that young peo­ple have to have more access to polit­i­cal pow­er. Inter­gen­er­a­tional jus­tice in regard to pub­lic spend­ings was also a top­ic. The cam­paign “We want to vote!” for suf­frage with­out age restric­tions, cur­rent­ly orga­nized by the SRzG, was sup­port­ed by many of the par­tic­i­pants.

The results of the Work­shop are pub­lished at the begin­ning of march on the project-web­site www.familiesandsocieties.eu. They are the fun­da­ment for the work­ing project “Fore­sight and Future Impact”, which aims to devel­op inno­v­a­tive rec­om­men­da­tions for polit­i­cal action with the help of future research meth­ods. Tak­ing part in the project are 25 research part­ner from 15 coun­tries as well as stake­hold­ers from Euro­pean orga­ni­za­tions, foun­da­tions and min­istries work­ing with fam­i­ly pol­i­tics.

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8) Vot­ing Age in Nor­way

08_03_13_norwayLow­er­ing of the vot­ing age is a debate high on the agen­da in sev­er­al Euro­pean coun­tries dur­ing the recent years. Nor­way is no excep­tion. In the 2011 munic­i­pal­i­ty elec­tion, a vot­ing age tri­al was con­duct­ed, where the vot­ing age was low­ered to 16. More infor­ma­tion here.

The results can be summed up, refer­ring to four groups of argu­ments; the democ­ra­cy argu­ments, the polit­i­cal matu­ri­ty argu­ments, the legal argu­ments and the con­sti­tu­tion­al argu­ments.

In respect of the democ­ra­cy argu­ment, it is too ear­ly to decide whether the tri­al improved the qual­i­ty of Nor­we­gian democ­ra­cy. How­ev­er, the find­ings indi­cate that the lev­el of polit­i­cal engage­ment among ado­les­cents in the rel­e­vant munic­i­pal­i­ties slight­ly increased, and that 16-and 17-year-olds had a high­er turn our rates than vot­ers between 18 and 21. Regard­ing the polit­i­cal matu­ri­ty argu­ment, the report states that those over the age of 18 are sig­nif­i­cant­ly more polit­i­cal mature than those under 18. Con­cern­ing the two last groups of argu­ments, the legal argu­ments and con­sti­tu­tion­al argu­ments the con­clu­sions are that there are no for­mal bar­ri­ers (nation­al or inter­na­tion­al) pre­vent­ing Nor­we­gian politi­cians too low­er the vot­ing age, nei­ther are there any legal reg­u­la­tions (nation­al or inter­na­tion­al) that demand such reforms. As for con­sti­tu­tion­al reforms, the vot­ing age might be low­ered with­out hav­ing con­se­quences for the eli­gi­bil­i­ty age (18) or the age of major­i­ty (18), even though this will vio­late the prin­ci­ple of har­mo­niza­tion. If the vot­ing age is to be low­ered in local elec­tions only, this demands amend­ments in the elec­toral law. If the vot­ing age is to be low­ered in both local and nation­al elec­tions, both the elec­toral law and the con­sti­tu­tion must be amend­ed.

Summed up, the report lends sup­port to both actors who sup­port and actors who oppose low­er­ing the vot­ing age in Nor­way from 18 to 16. Nor­we­gians politi­cians are free to low­er the vot­ing age, if they want to. Thus, it remains a high­ly polit­i­cal ques­tion.

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