The youth-check is a regulatory impact assessment tool to analyse the impact of federal legislation on young people aged between 12 and 27 years. The youth-check contributes to good legislation and raises awareness of young people’s issues during the legislative process. The check gives visibility to the intended effects of proposed legislation, mostly draft bills, on young people’s lives as well as revealing their unintended effects. The youth-check is realized by the Competence Centre Youth-Check (ComYC).
Procedure and publication
Legislative projects such as draft bills are checked during the interdepartmental coordination process using scientific methods and in keeping with a standardised format. The potential effects of proposed legislation on young people are the focal point of the youth-check. Impact is identified across six areas of life such as “leisure time” or “politics and society”. These are then further inspected using eleven impact dimensions, among them “protection from violence” and “mobility”. The impacts are differentiated by groups of young persons and set out the anticipated impact in detail.
The results of the impact assessment are condensed into the final youth-check. Ahead of parliamentary debate, the ComYC passes the youth-checks on to actors in the legislation process including ministries and parliament. Furthermore, the youth-checks are made accessible to the public at the ComYC’s website. This contributes to a broader social debate and decision-making basis in the legislative process. Furthermore, ComYC offers an easy-to-read version of each youth-check on its youth-friendly website.
Checking and sensitising
The youth-check serves as an assessment and sensitisation tool for policy makers and ministerial staff alike. It reveals the potential impact of planned legislative projects on young people’s lives and thereby raises awareness of young people’s interests and life trajectories. The youth-check was developed by the German Research Institute for Public Administration (GRIPA) in cooperation with youth policy experts.
The Competence Centre Youth-Check (ComYC)
The ComYC is a project initiated and run by the German Research Institute for Public Administration (GRIPA). It receives funding from the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (BMFSFJ) and is part of the Federal Government‘s Youth Strategy.
The ComYC’s advisory board is appointed by the GRIPA Drawing on extensive experience with diverse types of youth policy as well as acclaimed scientific expertise on young people’s life circumstances and trajectories, the members of the advisory group provide continuous guidance and counselling for the ComYC.
Further development and participation formats
The youth-check methodology is continuously reflected on and developed further. For this purpose, the ComYC maintains a permanent exchange with political and civil society actors.
Young people’s perspectives and opinions are highly valued at ComYC. To ensure that the ComYC reaches its goal of accurately assessing the impact of legislative projects on young people, participation formats are conducted with young people aged between 12 and 27 years from all over Germany. Serving as experts on their own matters, young people provide feedback on ComYC’s work. The results are incorporated into the work of the ComYC and published in reports. The youth-check itself is not a participation tool and may not be misunderstood as a substitute for participative youth policy. It serves to inform political decision-makers, raise awareness of young people’s interests and highlight the anticipated impact of legislative projects on young people early in the legislative process.
All government departments have the opportunity to request case-specific guidance for an individual legislative project such as a draft bill. One option entails the ComYC providing guidance and expertise to identify possible youth-related effects and impact. As an additional option, the ComYC offers an accompanying participatory format to include young people as experts on their own matters. The ComYC app, which offers the option to collect feedback from young people, can be used as part of this process.
The ComYC is happy to answer your questions, give talks and engage in exchanges as well as provide case-specific guidance and support.
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