JANUN Principles

Stand Delegiertenversammlung 23.01.2016

1. Self-Image

(updated November 2012, expanded November 2013)

JANUN understands itself as a political youth association. The objectives of our work are laid down in our statutes. To enable participation, JANUN is organized as a grass-root democratic network. As an organization, we desire to overcome sexist, racist, antisemitic, hetero normative conditions and other mechanisms of discrimination. We are well-aware that we partake in reproducing these behaviors, too. For us, this results in the following requirements when dealing with each other: JANUN is not a place for (sexual) violence/abuse or other violations. We view ourselves as a place of the greatest possible volunteerism. We confront our own boundaries and the boundaries of others and acknowledge the sheer diversity of boundaries such as wording, volume, privacy. We respect different sensations. Even though we might not feel like our boundaries are violated, others may be restricted in their freedom. We like to be in constant dialogue with each other on how to deal with our boundaries. That protects us and our counterpart. Therefore, it does not come to a violation of boundaries. We are approachable, confidential and react to specific cases in a differentiated manner to support all parties involved in the matter. Because education is the best prevention, we pay special attention to raising awareness among all those who work with and for JANUN. Instead of certificates of conduct or other more formal evidence as an instrument to protect children and young people, we build on communication, respecting boundaries and further education.

2. Donations and Sponsoring

(updated Nov. 2012)

A clear distinction must be made between donations and sponsorship. Donations are defined as materials and funds that are donated by a company or private individuals without the expectation of compensatory measures. Sponsorship is defined as materials and monies which are given by companies or individuals in connection to compensatory measurements such as, a reference as a cooperation partner or advertisement. There cannot be dependencies between a sponsor and the structure of JANUN. Consequently, member and project groups are encouraged to independently check the eligibility of their received donations by companies or private individuals. If there is any doubt about it, the specific case is introduced to the Brüter for further discussion. The funding of projects by foundations is not affected by this. To ensure transparencies, all donations, sponsorships and other funding need to be documented in the annual report.

3. Energy

(updated 2017_01)

JANUN demands a decentralized power supply from 100% renewable energy sources

This should include wind power plants, hydro power plants, photovoltaic and solar thermal plants, tidal power plants and biomass and bio-gas. However, environmental compatibility and usefulness must be taken into account when generating energy from renewable energy sources: social and environmental consequence of each form of energy production must be weighed against their benefits before it is used.

With the help of renewable energy sources, a decentralized power supply should be made possible. That opens up regional channels for everyone participating in matters concerning public and private energy supply.

JANUN demands the immediate worldwide shutdown of nuclear power plants

It does not matter if they are used for energy production, research or armaments production. Uranium should not be mined but instead be left where it belongs, in the ground. JANUN wants to counteract the legitimization of nuclear power and therefore rejects the participation of Anti- nuclear initiatives and the search for a possible disposal site for nuclear waste as long as Nuclear power plants are still up and running and uranium is mined. JANUN consciously avoids the term “Endlager” (permanent disposal site) because it is not a secure long term storage of nuclear waste and therefore no final storage. Consequently, we reject further disposal of nuclear waste in mines such as Gorleben or Schacht Konrad. Besides nuclear power, fusion power is rejected as well because of the uncertainty of handling radioactive substances.

JANUN demands an immediate phase-out of coal

Coal mining and its conversion into electricity have far-reaching negative consequences for society and nature. For example, ecosystems and fertile soil are destroyed through coal mining and because of it, many villages need to be relocated. On top of that, the power generation out of coal maximizes the catastrophic effects of climate change.

JANUN demands an equitable and more frugal use of energy

It should be pointed out that any currently known form of energy production has disadvantages for society and nature. Consequently, this means that only dispense of energy or rather the reduction of energy demand, production and consumption can be regarded as fully environmentally friendly. JANUN demands energy sufficiency.

4. Food Sovereignty

(incorporated Januar 2015)

JANUN advocates for food and seed sovereignty. That guarantees patent-fee access to seeds. We reject the profit-oriented mechanism and objectives which are used in agricultural technology in today’s society. That includes the massive utilization of toxins that harm the environment and the acceptance of incalculable risk to biodiversity.

5. Economics

(updated November 2013)

JANUN wishes for an economy which is not built on competition and exploitation and keeps the limitations of natural resources of all kind in mind. The aim is to achieve the greatest possible common good while taking individual needs into considerations. We operate on a local level but take global connections into account.

6. Centralization

JANUN is very concerned about the concentration and centralization processes that are taking place, considering that centralism of any kind always has difficulties in complying with environmental principles.

7. Violence

JANUN does not support the use of violence to enforce one’s goals and profoundly refuses to work with groups that practice violence.

8. Collaboration

(updated November 2012)

Our fundamental objective is to work closely linked with as many people and groups as possible, and in the process to cross the border of associations. However, we refrain from working with groups or organizations that do not agree with our self-image (see principle 1). JANUN is not linked to any political party. Hence, we anticipate not being instrumentalized by party politics. Although we do not rule out possible cooperation with parties, these should be critically reflected.

9. Principal Staff

Determining content or distribution of task for others are not part of the job for principal staff at JANUN. On the contrary, their task is to support the work of the projects, motivate volunteers and explore potential new ideas with them. Principal staff members are not to be seen as assistants who work on unpleasant tasks. There are to be seen as equal, and their work should bring them fulfillment and fun.

10. Internal Decision-Making Process at JANUN

(incorporated November 2012)

JANUN makes decisions during structural meetings such as the coordination council or the open board. The decision-making process is based on the consensus principle. Every active member has the right to participate and make their voices heard. Decisions by consensus are seen as more productive and sustainable since the energies of the participants are not used to fight others points of view but are instead invested in finding better outcomes. During the decision-making processes, the wide array of competencies and qualities within JANUN can support and strengthen each other.

Consensus decisions are reached by following these steps:

  • Problem analysis (What is it about?)
  • Searching for the deciding question (What needs to be decided?)
  • Disclose of opinions, interests and needs (What does everyone think about the topic?)
  • Discussion and clarification process (What are possible motives behind each argument?)
  • Development of possible solutions (What solutions are available to us? What do you think about them and what can we do to improve them?)
  • Working out a consensus, using the 6 steps of the workshop for “Nonviolent Action” (I feel like that solution might be supported by everyone.)

The six steps are as followed:

  1. Unconditional acceptance: The active person fully supports the decision-maker and the contents of said decision.
  2. Slight concerns: The active person supports the decision, but has slight concerns.
  3. Abstention: The active person refrains from the decision-making process, leaves the decision-making process to others and will support the outcome.
  4. Refrain from the process: The active person does not partake in the decision-making process. They can neither approve nor endorse the proposal. However, the person does not want to block the proposal and therefore stands aside.
  5. Serious concerns: The active person does not endorse the decision and expresses serious concerns that must be addressed. However, they wave a formal objection as to not hinder the groups' decision-making ability.
  6. Veto: The active person objects to the decisions. No consensus cannot be reached if a person puts in a veto.

We at JANUN aspire to form a decision during one of our Koras. If a decision is not made during one event, it must be reached within the following three. At the beginning of the decision-making process a time frame is set up (At what time should we as an entity come to a decision?). The decision-making rules contained in our statutes shall apply without any prejudice. If there is a veto, we aim to find a solution during the next Kora involving the same agenda item. When no consensus can be reached, a person entitled to vote can request a majority vote, which is possible under the statutes. Before each session, it is necessary to clarify whether and which roles are needed (moderation, oral, visualization, timing, mood observation and presentation). If it is required and possible, the consensus procedures are externally moderated. If possible, this item of the JANUN principles will be sent around before structural meetings take place, during each meeting half an hour is dedicated to present the decision-making process.

11. Voting Rights for Volunteers

(incorporated November 2012)

Participants in a voluntary service are not seen as principal staff by JANUN, meaning that they can be sent to the Kora or the Deli by project groups or active members and exercise their right to vote. The principal staff has no right of instruction over the volunteer. Nonetheless, it should be kept in mind that members of the principal staff, might have put pressure on the volunteers to vote a certain way. The volunteers should critically reflect on the situation and in cases of doubt request a secret ballot or abstain from the vote.

12. Handling of Activities across State Borders

(incorporated November 2012)

Project groups and members need to reside in the state of Lower Saxony. The administration cost for rent or phone cannot be spent on places outside of Lower Saxony. Project groups are required to have at least three contact people in Lower Saxony and be active there. Seminars are subject to the regulations of the seminar directive.

13. Dealing with the Age Limit 12 or 27 years at JANUN

(incorporated November 2012)

Definition: volunteers (who do not participate in a voluntary service are volunteers between 12 and 27.

Participation in committees (Kora, Brüter, Aks)

People under 12 and over 27 years of age may:

  • be present and participate in discussions
  • support and giving advise
  • share life experiences
  • express their opinion

People under 12 and over 27 years of age may not:

  • vote or dominate decisions
  • work on the executive board (see Articles of Association)

Structural Working Groups (Aks)

The working groups, which are convened by the KORA, Deli or Brüter (Finance, Structural or other working groups), receive specific work and decision-making orders. For the AK to have a quorum, at least three volunteers need to be part of the working group, and more than half of the members need to be volunteers as well. Otherwise, only draft decisions are passed along to the Brüter, Kora or Deli for a final decision on the matter. The following deviating rules only apply to the Personnel working group: a decision needs to be passed rather quickly as soon as a new position opens up and needs to be filled. Even principal staff members who are delegated by the board are able to vote on that matter. Half of the “personnel working group” must consist out of active volunteers between the ages 12-27, and one of those participants needs to be a board member as well. If such people are not to be found, the Brüter is able to put a different arrangement in place. The Personnel working group is invited via the organization- list.

Collaboration with members and project groups

JANUN activities should be:

  • Ages 12-27: Perform statutory work (youth environmental activism).
  • Ages 12-27: Work with the target group who are people under age 12.
  • Age 27 and above: Work with the target group age12-27 (Yes, if the target direction is met).
  • Age 27 and above: Work with people under the age of 12 (Yes, if the target direction is met).
  • People age 27 and above can participate at JANUN as project groups (recognized, work, being financed) if their work supports personal and social competencies regarding youth work of people under the age of 27. The above mentioned competencies are as followed: promoting independence, self-confidence, promoting self reliability, and teamwork/. Promoting communication skills, being able to deal with criticism, cooperation and conflict skills. And of course, promoting social engagement and co-responsibility.

14. Contact for Members, Project Groups and non-active Project Groups

(incorporated November 2012)

JANUN sees itself as a network and is hence dependent on communication. Our network thrives on a continuous exchange between groups. To guarantee transparency it is important to check on a regular basis whether all members and project groups are still active. Like this, unnecessary conflicts can be eliminated. Each member and project group needs three contact people in Lower Saxony who can be reached by phone or mail.

The list of members, project groups and their respective contact person should always be up to date. Each year, the list is updated before the September Kora. The query of whether a group is active or not is handled by the State Youth office. However, the groups are responsible for naming their contact person in the course of a set deadline. If it is the case that a project group has less than three members and contact people, they will be given time until the following Kora to find new active members. If no members can be found, the next Kora decides the fate of the group: can the group still be seen as an active group or do they need to reapply at the following Kora. Each project groups should participate in at least two Koras each year. If a group is not present three times in a row, the state youth office and the Brüter will be in contact with the member group and asking them kindly to attend the next Kora. Then there are two options: The group needs to attend the next Kora or put it in written form in what way they are still active and why participation at the Koras is not possible. If the group does not react to the inquiry made by the Brüter, the decisions lie by the Kora if the group is still defined as active or if they need to reapply at the next Kora.