Youth parliament in the city park

Political education

Basic political knowledge is the basis for democratic action. But how and where do young people acquire this knowledge? The city of Hilden wants to show young people the different paths and opportunities. That's why, in addition to already established Youth Parliament projects such as Speed Debating and Young Political Talk, since 2018 there has also been the Municipal Politics Internship for young people from grade 8.

  • Local politics internship

    Local politics internship

    1st Speed Debating
    During a speed debating, with representatives from local politics, the young people get to know the contents and goals of individual council factions. In addition, they come into personal contact with the people who control the political events in their city. After this speed debating, the young people decide on a parliamentary group with which they would like to continue working.

    2. theoretical introduction to local politics
    This module teaches the basics of local politics.

    3. participation in a parliamentary group meeting
    The young people visit a parliamentary group meeting at the party they have chosen after speed debating. Here they experience the discussions and preparations for a committee meeting.

    4. attendance of a committee meeting
    The Group meeting is followed by attendance of the corresponding committee meeting.

    5. simulation game local politics
    Here, young people can try out politics for themselves. In a simulation game, they can slip into the role of a council member and deal with a current (youth) political issue. Local politicians are called upon and invited to watch this "council meeting" and discuss their new role with the young people afterwards. The day ends with the presentation of certificates to the participants.

    In all five modules it becomes clear that the local political internship cannot be implemented by the youth parliament alone, but can only take place in close cooperation with politics and administration. The express aim is to promote understanding of political processes in the municipality, to show young people opportunities for participation and to strengthen democratic awareness.

  • Speed Debating

    Speed Debating overview from bird's eye view

    1st Speed Debating in Warrington
    In October 2009 the Youth Parliament Hilden started a youth exchange with the Youth Council Warrington under the title "The involvement and participation of young people in municipal planning processes". There the young people of Hilden got to know speed debating as a form of participation.
    Speed debating is a large contact and discussion round of young people and people who are involved in different functions with what happens in the town.
    This gives the young people the opportunity to discuss different topics with responsible adults. They can get opinions, contribute ideas and suggestions, and get information on different topics. Each discussion round lasts four minutes. After that, the counterpart and thus also the topic are changed. Politicians, administrators and other stakeholders take on board the young people's ideas and arguments. Each idea is processed further and the young people receive feedback on their idea in a timely manner.

    Speed debating round at a table

    2. implementation in Hilden
    The specifications, the close cooperation between the participants, the lively, fast-moving atmosphere and the sustainability that nevertheless results from this have excited the young people of Hilden. The Hilden Youth Parliament linked this participation method to two of their existing concerns:
    The desire to have opportunities for contact and discussion with politics, not only during the election campaign, resulted from the first-time voter campaign in 2009. The youth parliament sees speed debating as a youth-friendly method of creating and maintaining this contact.
    Another major concern of the youth parliament is the lively and practical design of political lessons. In this context, the young people mentioned a possible connection between speed debating and political education. This requires close cooperation with interested teachers from the departments of politics, history and social sciences, the youth parliament and experts from administration and politics.
    Speed debating is an interesting interface between youth, politics, administration, youth institutions and youth services.

  • Young Political Talk

    Young Political Talk

    1. history
    Since 2010, the youth parliament has organized speed debates, each time in cooperation with a secondary school. At this event, young people have the opportunity to discuss different topics with responsible adults. They can get opinions, contribute ideas and suggestions, and get information on different topics. Each discussion session lasts four minutes. Then the respective counterpart is changed. Young Political Talk was developed in contrast to speed debating.

    2. project development
    The youth parliament started the organizational preparatory work within the framework of a working group. The setting and the course of the event were newly developed by the young people.
    In clear distinction to speed debating, the following points were worked out:

    • The new event is not intended to replace or supersede speed debating, but to take place in addition to it.
    • The resulting conversations and discussions should run over a longer period of time so that topics can be intensively discussed and deepened.
    • The goal is to discuss issues at different topic tables.
    • For each table are scheduled 4 adults and 6 teenagers.
    • At each table, a moderator ensures that the group does not stray from the topic. In addition, he/she should support the discussion with professional knowledge and record the most important discussion results on a flipchart.

    3rd Young Political Talk in Hilden
    The premiere event of Young Political Talk took place on 24.11.16 at the Jugendtreff am Weidenweg.

    4. perspective and establishment
    The aim of the youth parliament is to establish this new discussion platform and, similar to speed debating, to integrate it as a fixed component in the work of the youth parliament. For this to succeed, the Youth Parliament is highly dependent on the cooperation and genuine interest of adults in the young people of this city.

    Young Political Talk gives adults the opportunity to engage with the lifeworld, experiences and opinions of young people, to ask questions and to see the world through the eyes of 14- to 21-year-olds.