What is YOU:KO?
The YOU:KO is a youth congress that sees itself as a forum where young people from a wide range of backgrounds come together to discuss current, politically relevant issues under a specific motto and formulate goals and positions arising from them.
What is special about this year’s YOU:KO?
In view of the commemorative event “60 Years of the Elysee Treaties" the Youth Congress 2023 will focus on Franco-German cooperation and will be realized for the first time within the framework of the cooperation agreement between bpb and the Franco-German Youth Office (DFJW).
What is the Elysee treaties?
60 years ago, Chancellor Konrad Adenauer and Général de Gaulle signed the strategic Elysée Treaty that played a huge role in the history of Europe. The Elysee Treaty redefined relations for a close and lasting partnership between Germany and France, through cooperation in education, foreign policy and defense. Thus, they have become a model of international understanding and European cooperation. At the occasion of this anniversary, the YOU:KO is here to celebrate the Franco-German friendship, to bring together German and French young people, as well as to discuss current challenges.
Who is hosting the event?
The event is hosted by the Federal Agency for Civic Education in cooperation with the German-French Youth Office (DFJW).
What can I expect at YOU:KO?
YOU:KO 2023 consists of three-days gathering, we will first get in touch with our common journey/history and discuss the current and future challenges of our Franco-German connection. Then, according to your choices, you will participate in activities like creative workshops, debates and discussions about topics like the climate crisis, diversity and social justice. Meanwhile, we also want to get to know each other, have fun while doing artistic activities and just have a great time together!
We have three program pillars:
Utopia: work and quality of life
Social justice, multi- identity and diversity
Climate crisis and planetary boundaries
Around these thematic pillars, we are creating an exciting YOU:KO-program. Besides that you can expect the exciting format State of the Youko on the following topics:
"Your impact counts?" - Individual vs. Structural Responsibility
France, Germany & the world
Navigating the unbearable: War, Peace and solidarity
GénérAktion - Between traditional and unconventional means of taking action as a young generation
Who can participate?
At YOU:KO, diversity is celebrated, and we cherish the unique perspectives and experiences that each participant brings. This means that individuals of all genders, religions, beliefs, sexual orientations, backgrounds, and occupations are encouraged to register and join us for this extraordinary event.
The main language of the congress is English. Basic knowledge of English is a prerequisite for participation in the congress.
YOU:KO is looking forward to the participation of young people between 16 and 27 years with a residence in Germany and France.
Minors: For underage applicants, a written parental consent form is required. In addition, minors must be accompanied and supervised by a person between 18 and 27 who has also registered for the congress. The declaration of consent can be found in the registration.
Groups: You want to participate as a group at YOU:KO? Then please contact the organization team in advance (mail: email@example.com).
What is the working language?
Our main working language at YOU:KO is English. In the plenary session there will be a translation between English-German and English-French. The workshops will be offered mainly in English, with a few exceptions and occasional workshops in German or French. All congress materials will be provided in English only. We are aware that sometimes there can be language barriers, so there will be a buddy program at YOU:KO, meaning we will ask when you register if you want to be part of the buddy program and what languages you can offer. We would like to thank you in advance for your help in making YOU:KO as inclusive as possible.
What does the participation cost?
We want to ensure that financial constraints do not prevent anyone from participating in YOU:KO. Therefore, all costs, including travel from France or Germany to the venue, accommodation in shared rooms and meals during the event will be covered. All costs for private stay extensions, etc. must be covered by the participants themselves.
How do you get to Cologne?
Travel bookings will be managed by the organization team and you will get a ticket in advance. You can specify your preferred connection when you register.
How will you be accommodated?
You will be accommodated in double or 4-bed rooms (we have reserved three different hotels for YOU:KO). You can indicate with whom you would like to share a room when you register. If no wish is indicated, the allocation is random (separated by gender). You can find more information on the website under "Venue and Accommodation".
What if I have special needs?
We are committed to providing an inclusive and accommodating experience for all participants. If you have any special needs, please let us know on the registration form. We will reach out to you to provide the best possible solution tailored to your specific needs.
What about alcohol at YOU:KO?
We would like to point out that the congress is a “sober event”. YOU:KO is intended to be a protected space for everyone, so we would like to ask you to take it seriously and respect the prohibition.
Can I offer a workshop or like to offer help with smaller tasks at the event?
If you want to offer a workshop, please let us know in the registration tool. The organization team will then get in touch with you. Also, if you are part of the networks (YEP and teamGlobal), you can sign up as a "helping hand". You can also enter this info in the registration tool.
What about the topic awareness?
YOU:KO is intended to be a protected space where everyone can feel secure and respected. If you experience or witness discrimination, any form of violence, a situation that makes you feel uncomfortable or you need support of any kind, our awareness team at YOU:KO is there for you.
What if I feel ill before the event?
Even after times of Corona, we want to make sure that everybody feels comfortable at the event. So regarding health reasons and to protect our other guests, we request you to stay at home in case you feel ill. Requirement for cost refund is a medical certificate, please send it in case of cancellation immediately to E-Mail Link: firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!