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What is the Junge Union?
The Junge Union of Germany is the federal association of the Junge Union, the independent youth organisation of CDU (Christian-democratic Union) and CSU (Christian-social Union) of Bavaria. The Junge Union covers all of Germany and is organised in 18 regional associations (Landesverbände), 37 district associations (Bezirksverbände) and 466 local associations (Kreisverbände). Over a thousand local groups in villages, towns, cities and city districts make it easy to enter political work at the grass roots level.
This structure shadows the mother parties structure most of the time and conforms to the principle of organisational democracy as laid down in the German law on political parties. Annual congresses are held in local, district and regional associations and the federal association. They are composed of elected delegates (members at the local level) and are the highest decision making bodies respectively, voting on political issues and electing a board every two years, like the federal board, or every year. The board runs the day to day business and is supported by commissions organized by issues in political questions and by secretariats in operative, organisational and communication affairs. At the local and district levels the secretariat function is provided by the mother parties secretariats, the regional and federal associations dispose of their own Junge Union secretariats. The federal association maintains an office in Berlin with a staff of 8 full and part time employees, including one International Consultant (see Contact). In local groups the organisational structure is simplified, consisting of just members or delegates assemblies and an elected board. In between the congresses – the Deutschlandtag with over 300 delegates at the federal level – smaller assemblies are held that adopt political resolutions. In the federal association this is the Deutschlandrat with 66 members. Inside the Junge Union a school students union (Schüler Union) exists as a group. The federal association is editor of the bi-monthly magazine DIE ENTSCHEIDUNG with a circulation of about 10.000 copies.
Membership is possible from the age of 14 to the age of 35 and is independent from membership in CDU or CSU. The reference level for members in administrative as well as participatory terms is the local association in which a person is member and pays its membership fee, including a deduction for the higher organisation levels.
The Junge Union has about 120.000 members and is the largest political youth organisation in Germany and Europe. At the European level the Junge Union is a founding member of the Youth of the European People's Party (YEPP), the youth association of the European People's Party (EPP) which is the European party association of Christian-democratic, Christian-social, conservative and people's parties in Europe. YEPP has 50 member organisations and 2 observers in 35 European countries.