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REGIONAL JOURNALISM, GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE.

Politics
Greenland

Young and realistic

Young Greenlanders are in no rush for their country to gain its independence
Politics
The go-slows have it (Photo: Inatsisartut)

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Greenland youth parliament 2017

Theme: Why is it important for Greenland to have a constitution

Main conclusions
- Greenland’s constitutional commission should work to come up with a constitution that lays the foundation for full independence.
-Greenland’s constitutional commission should work to come up with a constitution that maintains ties with Denmark.
- The process of preparing a constitution should be accompanied by an e-democracy website.
- Instead of drawing up a constitution now, a social charter should be drawn up.

Selected declarations 
- Greenlandic cultural values and traditions should be enshrined in the constitution’s first article
- Independence should be declared on June 21 and the day should continue to be Greenland’s national day, which is to be celebrated as a cultural event.
- The independence process should continue. The youth parliament proposes that, before any more administrative areas of responsibility are devolved, that it be determined whether Greenland has the resources to manage them. New areas of responsibility should be devolved gradually.
- We recommend maintaining ties to Denmark. Given the number of services that a society requires, the transition should take place gradually.
- The youth parliament proposes an improvement of the educational system and greater participation in globalisation.
- Before we become independent, the educational level should be raised. The youth parliament proposes establishing more dormitories in order to ensure that students have a place to live.
- The youth parliament proposes working to improve conditions for children, in recognition of the fact that they are the ones who are going to run the country some day. Childcare facilities should work with schools to inform parents about good parenting.

Source: Inatsisartut

The next generation of legislators in Greenland is urging the current members of the national assembly think twice about the consequences of severing ties with Denmark.

Meeting for a week-long session of the biennial youth parliament last month, two dozen 18-24 year olds agreed that Greenland ought to work towards its full independence, but suggested that legislators spend most of their time on more practical issues, like improving the quality of life for the unemployed and for children, who “are the ones who are going to run the country some day”, the group wrote in its concluding statement.

“Instead of drawing up a constitution now, we should draw up a social charter,” the group wrote, while also calling for things like “participation in globalisation” and a clear statement of Greenlandic values.

But once the time does come for Greenland to consider its independence, Denmark, according to the young legislators, should not be pushed out of the picture.

“We recommend maintaining ties to Denmark. Given the number of services that a society requires, the transition should take place gradually.”

SEE RELATED: Independence is a virtue

Certain issues, like defence, the young legislators recognised would likely remain under Danish control, but others, such as control of the currency system, could eventually be devolved to Nuuk.

“We young people want independence, but we want it when we have the educational system and the economy that can support it. We want it only when we’ve taken care of all the social issues Greenland is dealing with, especially child-welfare issues,” Michael Clasen, one of the participants in the youth parliament, wrote in a statement.

“We young people are clearly more realistic about the independence process and our adult lawmakers should respect that,” Mr Clasen said.