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Comparative Study of Youth Policies in European States
Youth and the Council of Europe..........................................................................................2 Youth and the Council of Europe..........................................................................................4 Transitions to adulthood....................................................................................................4 Structures .........................................................................................................................6 - Directorate of Youth and Sport .....................................................................................6 The Directorate of Youth and Sport is part of the Directorate General of Education, Culture and Heritage, Youth and Sport of the Council of Europe. The Directorate elaborates guidelines, programmes and legal instruments for the development of coherent and effective youth policies at local, national and European levels. It provides funding and educational support for international youth activities aiming at the promotion of youth citizenship, youth mobility and the value of human rights, democracy and cultural pluralism. It seeks to bring together and disseminate expertise and knowledge about the life situations, aspirations and ways of expression of young Europeans. ........................................................................................................................6 Youth Policy in Luxembourg..............................................................................................15 Consultative and decision-making structures of youth policy........................................17 2) Participation of young people in policy-making............................................................21 Youth policy in Malta..................................................................................................23 Involvement in youth policy...........................................................................................23 Involvement in youth policy...........................................................................................32 The Youth Affairs Section is concerned with the non-formal education of Ireland’s young people and provides support by way of financial and other assistance to those providing youth work programmes and services.................................................................................32 Youth policy in Slovenia.............................................................................................42 Involvement in youth policy...........................................................................................42 -the formulation and supervision of the implementation of the priority youth programmes.....................................................................................................................43 -the monitoring of the role and position of young people in society..............................43 -the improvement of the conditions for organized youth activities and youth organizations ..................................................................................................................43 -the stimulation of the mobility of young people ...........................................................43 -the research for better ways of supplying young people with information and advice 43 -the support for international exchanges and the subsidizing of trips for children and young people...................................................................................................................43 -the encouragement of various interest activities of young people and the creation of conditions for the inclusion of young people in social processes. ................................43 The Office for Youth is helping to set up a network of youth organizations, councils and centres, as well as information and advisory centers. ....................................................43 Post-transition: 2004, the first year of full membership of the EU ................................46 Croatian National Youth Council: Evaluation excerpt for the evaluation of the implementation of the world programme of action for youth.............................................65 National Youth Policy, Zagreb 1995-2005..........................................................................65 Youth Policy in Luxembourg..............................................................................................66 Youth policy in Malta..................................................................................................67
2 Youth policy in Slovenia.............................................................................................70 From international and national objectives to local action.............................................78 Citizenship learning............................................................................................................84 Integrated youth policy...................................................................................................90 Running co-operation activities: .................................................................93 working with drop-outs, low-achievers and students with motivational and behavioral problems......................................................................................................................93
Youth and the Council of Europe Transitions to adulthood Concept of youth policy Structures Youth sector priorities 2003-2005 Important documents on youth policies Government body responsible for youth affairs First group: countries with a ministry, a special committee or a state secretary with responsibility for youth affairs Youth Policy in Luxembourg Involvement in youth policy Consultative and decision-making structures of youth policy Youth policy in Luxembourg: Report by an international panel of experts appointed by the Council of Europe Youth policy in Malta Involvement in youth policy Youth Policy in Malta: Report by the international team of experts Position Paper on the National Youth Council of Malta Youth policy in Ireland Involvement in youth policy National Youth Work Development Plan 2003-2007 Second group: countries without a particular ministry with responsibility for youth matters, which consequently come under a ministry whose purview includes matters not always directly linked to youth affairs Youth policy in Slovenia Involvement in youth policy Funding of Projects Consultative and decision-making structures of youth policy Post-transition: 2004, the first year of full membership of the EU Towards the integral youth policy
Youth policy in Estonia Involvement in youth policy Consultative and decision-making structures of youth policy Participation of young people Estonian Youth Policy and Youth Work strategy 2006-2013 Financing of Youth Work Questionnaire on 'Participation' in Estonia Youth policy in Croatia Involvement in youth policy The emergence of the National Programme of Action for Youth Implementation plan Croatian National Youth Council: Evaluation excerpt for the evaluation of the implementation of the world programme of action for youth Annex Structures of youth policies in Luxembourg, Malta, Ireland, Slovenia, Estonia and Croatia Why do me need youth policy? How to implement youth policies? Summary of the final texts of the six Conferences of European Ministers responsible for youth Draft Financial Estimate for the Implementation of the Youth Work Development Plan References
Comparative Study of Youth Policies in European States
This study sets out to take stock of policies and legislation in the youth field in different countries in Europe. The youth policies of the following States have been studied: Luxembourg, Malta, Ireland, Slovenia, Estonia and Croatia. This study is based on the youth policy promotes by the Council of Europe.
Youth and the Council of Europe
Transitions to adulthood Increasingly across Europe, policy-makers are recognizing that it is important to retain an understanding of the place of “youth” in the individual life course. It stresses that
4 young people are not a homogeneous grouping and that the social conditions in which they live are changing fast. It is important therefore to think about what is meant by transition to adulthood, to identify ways in which this is changing, and to understand the nature of diversity in youth. If, as a working definition, we think of “childhood” as a period of social and economic dependence (on parents or other careers) and ‘adulthood’ as the achievement of independence, then “youth” can be seen as a period of transition from one to the other, characterized by changing degrees of semi-dependence. According to much European research on youth, young people’s experience of youth is undergoing significant change, partly because of their own changing expectations, partly because of changing socioeconomic and policy structures, and partly because of wider global change. There is no longer a normative ordering along a unitary pathway to adulthood (comprising a school-to-work transition followed some years later by a household-andfamily-formation transition). This kind of pathway was perhaps uniquely prevalent in the 1950s and early 1960s, but nevertheless persists as the model on which policies are based. Instead, the transition to adulthood can be broken down into different but inter-connected strands or pathways (including into employment, and household and family formation). “Progress” to adult independence may involve backtracking (such as dropout from and reentry into education or training, returns to the parental home, and tentative partnership formation and cohabitation). Young people can become adult according to one criterion but not another. Thus they can become economically independent but still live in the parental home, or live independently but with parental support. A holistic (“global”) approach to research and policy is needed to understand the new character of youth transitions and identify young people’s needs. Policy interventions which affect one area of young people’s lives are likely to affect other areas as well.
Key points include the following: – The period of youth has been extended and has become more complex. There are now more likely to be intermediate stages between school and entry into the labour market, between living in the parental home and having a home of one’s own, and (perhaps) between being a child in a family and being a parent or partner in one. Each of these stages is, however, potentially problematic. The significance of individual events (rites of passage perhaps) within these transitions has changed. Since household formation has become more separated from family formation transitions, leaving home has become a more important life event in itself. Similarly, leaving school becomes less significant when it is not accompanied by starting employment. – The end product, adult citizenship, is less secure and less clearly defined: access to the labour market, an independent home, and a stable family life is more in doubt than before, in what has been termed the “risk society”. Though young people still aspire to conventional constructions of adulthood (job,
5 home and family, though not necessarily in that order), we should beware of seeming to judge them on outdated criteria of “success” and “failure”.
Table 1. Youth transition phases and policy response GROWTH PostPHASE adolescence 25 yrs – TRANSITION - security independence ISSUES - development facility formation support labour market stabilisation - citizenship, education and training - early prevention of social risks - institutional participation, citizen action - life management - labour market integration - risk prevention, harm reduction POLICY RESPONSE policy Child care Childhood Early adolescence Adolescence
- 11 yrs
12 – 17 yrs
18 – 24 yrs
Concept of youth policy (read in annex the documents Why do we need youth policy? and How to implement youth policies?) The concept of “youth policy” is changing. There is a slow but gradual trend away from the more traditional focus on youth work towards a policy perspective, which recognizes that young people may need support to enable them to make successful and fulfilling transitions into adult life. This latter perspective is both a life course perspective and a holistic one. It requires that the definition of youth policy be extended to include education, employment, housing and welfare policies, for example. Young people now experience a more complex and extended period of dependent youth than they did when traditional youth policies were devised. By ‘young people’ we normally mean those aged
6 between 15 and 25. Traditional youth policy tends to be focused on young people in their teenage years.
Structures - Directorate of Youth and Sport The Directorate of Youth and Sport is part of the Directorate General of Education, Culture and Heritage, Youth and Sport of the Council of Europe. The Directorate elaborates guidelines, programmes and legal instruments for the development of coherent and effective youth policies at local, national and European levels. It provides funding and educational support for international youth activities aiming at the promotion of youth citizenship, youth mobility and the value of human rights, democracy and cultural pluralism. It seeks to bring together and disseminate expertise and knowledge about the life situations, aspirations and ways of expression of young Europeans.
- Statutory bodies The European Steering Committee for Youth (CDEJ) brings together representatives of ministries or bodies responsible for youth matters from the 48 States Parties to the European Cultural Convention. The CDEJ fosters co-operation between governments in the youth sector and provides a framework for comparing national youth policies, exchanging best practices and drafting standard-setting texts, e.g., Recommendation R (97) 3 on youth participation and the future of civil society or the Convention on Transnational Voluntary Service for Young People. The CDEJ also organizes the Conferences of European Ministers responsible for youth and drafts legal instruments regulating youth policies in member states. Within the Youth Directorate, the Steering Committee for Youth (CDEJ) comprising senior civil servants from Council of Europe member states and Contracting Parties to the Cultural Convention is responsible for:
• • •
promoting intergovernmental co-operation and serving as a framework for the examination of national youth policies with a view to joint action on issues concerning the situation of young people in society; stimulating exchanges of information, documentation and experience; preparing and taking follow-up action on the conferences of ministers responsible for youth; advising the Committee of Ministers on the means of ensuring an appropriate follow-up to suggestions of common interest arising from the European Youth Centers’ (EYCs) and the European Youth Foundation’s (EYF) programmes; co-operating with the Governing Board and Advisory Committee of the EYCs and EYF in its field of competence as well as with other steering or ad hoc committees in the implementation of common projects.
The Advisory Council on Youth comprises 30 representatives of non-governmental youth organizations and networks. It provides opinions and input from the youth NGOs on all youth sector activities and ensures that young people are involved in the Council's other activities. The Joint Council on Youth is a co-decision body, bringing the CDEJ and the Advisory Council together. It establishes the youth sector's priorities, objectives and budget envelopes. The Programming Committee on Youth is a co-decision body comprising 8 members each from the CDEJ and the Advisory Council. It establishes monitors and evaluates the programmes of the European Youth Centres and of the European Youth Foundation.
Intergovernmental sector → ↓ European Steering Committee for Youth (CDEJ) Government officials → Co-managed sector ↓ Joint Council on ← Youth Questions Government Officials and Youth Organizations/ Networks ↓ Programming Committee Decision-making body of Government Officials and Youth Organizations/ Networks ← Non-governmental sector ↓ Advisory Council Youth Organizations and Network
European Youth Centres The European Youth Centres (EYCs) in Strasbourg and Budapest are permanent structures for the implementation of the Council of Europe's youth policy. They are international training and meeting centres with residential facilities, hosting most of the youth sector's activities. They provide a flexible and modern working environment for international activities, with meeting rooms equipped for simultaneous interpretation,
8 libraries, audio-visual and computer facilities. The professional staff includes an advisory team giving educational and technical assistance in preparing, running and following up activities. The Council of Europe finances many of the Centre's activities. Governments and non-governmental organizations and services can also use the centres for their activities on a self-financed basis. The European Youth Centre in Strasbourg was established by the Council of Europe in 1972; the European Youth Centre in Budapest was inaugurated in 1995.
The European Youth Foundation The Council of Europe established the European Youth Foundation (EYF) to provide financial support for European youth activities, with an annual budget of approximately € 2.5 million. The EYF is a powerful tool for European youth co-operation. It supports European youth activities organized by non-governmental youth organizations, networks and initiatives, primarily international youth meetings, but also campaigns, exhibitions, publications, audio-visual material, websites and pilot projects. The EYF also provides grants for the development and administration of non-governmental international youth organizations and networks. More than 280 000 young people, aged between 15 and 30 and mostly from member states, have benefited directly from EYF-supported activities since 1972. In 2002 the EYF supported some 300 projects involving more than 10 000 young people.
Youth sector priorities 2003-2005 Youth promoting human rights and social cohesion The promotion of human rights as defined in the European Convention on Human Rights is a core element of the mission of the Council of Europe. The Convention is a necessary prerequisite to this process and human rights education is an essential instrument to contribute to it. These considerations were the reason for the Council of Europe's Directorate of Youth and Sport to launch a 3-year youth programme on Human Rights Education in 2000. The programme has been set up as an important opportunity to consolidate and to establish education and learning about, for and in Human Rights throughout Europe. The programme built upon the achievements of the Council of Europe youth sector in the fields of intercultural learning, participation and empowerment of minority youth and its expertise in developing educational approaches and materials for practitioners in youth work. For 2003 - 2005 it is proposed to enlarge the scope of the programme to include social cohesion issues and to focus on the use of the pedagogical materials developed in the 2000-2002 period, in particular at national and regional levels. Consolidation of the
9 networks and experiences created during the first phase of the programme (2000 - 2002) are inherent elements of the methodology.
Objectives for the three-year programme - to deepen the understanding and developing educational and other responses to persistent violations of human dignity, such as social exclusion, violence, racism, intolerance and discrimination. - to empower young people, in particular the most vulnerable groups, and those working with them to develop strategies and activities to address racism, xenophobia, discrimination and gender-based forms of violence affecting them. - to develop and create access to educational tools and methodological resources for use by practitioners in human rights education across Europe and the Mediterranean region. - to consolidate and further develop European networks of trainers, multipliers and youth organizations active in promoting human rights. - to support the establishment and development of pilot projects and activities on human rights education and to disseminate their results.
Youth participation and democratic citizenship Youth participation is an essential part of the mission of the Council of Europe's youth sector. By establishing, from the outset, a true partnership between the civil society (youth organizations and networks) and governments through the system of comanagement the youth sector has set up an exemplary model in this respect. This model should be used for promoting young people's participation in democratic institutions and processes throughout Europe. There exists today a growing feeling among young people that the representative political institutions are out of touch with their realities. These institutions are not perceived as being fully representative or accessible. Young people belonging to marginalized or disadvantaged groups often lack appropriate channels through which to articulate their concerns and interests. In many countries, women, and in particular young women, do not participate on an equal footing in public life. One reaction is to disengage oneself from participating in the political democratic processes, a reaction, which can vary from half-hearted, sporadic commitment at election time to outright political apathy.
10 Efforts have been made to improve the participation of young people, in particular disadvantaged and minority groups, not only in youth organizations and networks but also in the institutions and processes of pluralist democracy. Support should be intensified for the training of young democratic leaders.
Objectives for the three-year programme - to encourage and empower young people, in particular from disadvantaged and minority groups, to actively participate in public life and democratic processes; - to encourage and support equal participation of young men and women in public life and political processes more specifically; - to support the development of democratic and pluralistic youth structures and the training of young democratic leaders; - to promote and support the dialogue between young people and decision makers in political life.
Youth building peace and intercultural dialogue Up until now, the work of the youth sector in the field of intercultural dialogue and peace has largely focused on mobilizing the activity of young people in favor of intercultural understanding through training programmes for professional and volunteer staff in non-governmental organizations dealing with conflict issues. Participants work on the resolution of conflicts through the development of common goals as a means of overcoming conflicts. These are cornerstones of the youth sector's pedagogical approach in the field of peace building and intercultural dialogue. The increase in recent years of social and political conflicts, which find their roots in the malevolent exploitation of cultural differences, gives increased importance to the role of intercultural dialogue for promoting a "culture of peace". As a means of furthering the Council of Europe's action in the development of peace and democratic stability, this three-year sub-programme will build upon existing experience, and will broaden its scope into prevention of conflicts and violence and the dialogue between civilizations (including the religious dimension). Hence, this programme is being developed with special emphasis on the prevention of conflicts and violence; the promotion of conflict transformation through multi-cultural youth activities; the role of intercultural (including inter-religious) dialogue in the promotion of peace; the promotion of intercultural understanding between young
11 people in Europe and further a field; and the development of confidence building measures and preventative strategies in conflict-risk areas and with conflict-risk groups.
Objectives for the three-year programme - to promote intercultural dialogue as a pre-requisite for the development of a "culture of peace"; - to support young people and youth organizations contributing to democratic stability, peace and intercultural dialogue in conflict areas; - to encourage governments to promote youth intercultural education as a contribution to democratic stability; - to provide practitioners in the fields of peace education and intercultural education with materials and training relevant for their work. Youth policy development and research Youth policy deals with education and training, health, housing, employment, criminal justice and participation. This broad understanding of youth policy is at the origin of mainstreaming, inter-ministerial co-ordination, dialogue with the civil society and integrated thinking about young people. However, further to these conditions of `being' there is also a more specific approach to youth policy, addressing concrete measures in the areas of youth work, non-formal education, information, mobility, volunteering and NGO development. The Council of Europe and public authorities at all levels have to address all this: the challenges, the `being young' aspect and the specificity of youth policies. This work, to be carried out competently, requires the close co-operation of state officials, nongovernmental youth organizations, the community of youth researchers and young people themselves. Activities of the three-year programme will include: standard-setting activities on various aspects of youth policy; seminars and training activities involving representatives of youth NGOs and of local, regional and national authorities; experts' visits to member states advising on legislation and specific youth policy measures; national youth policy reviews; symposia and thematic research meetings linked to the overall priorities of the youth sector.
Objectives for the three-year programme
12 -to specify the overall objective of `mainstreaming youth' in specific areas such as human rights, anti-racism, children and family policies, social cohesion, civil society development, non-formal education and participation; -to develop standards for youth policies at national and local levels including the use of youth policy indicators; -to develop a better understanding of youth problems and to formulate policy recommendations as required; -to improve youth information structures and processes; -to advise governments of member states on youth policy development and review.
Important documents on youth policies: Ministerial conferences on youth (read in the annex the summary of the final texts of the six Conferences) The ministers, responsible for youth, have on six ministerial conferences and informal meetings in Strasbourg (1985), Oslo (1988), Lisbon (1990), Vienna (1993), Bucharest (1998) and Thessaloniki (2002) agreed upon the following priorities of a European youth policy, in particular: - participation of the young in society , especially through youth organizations and an intensified co-operation with all partners in the youth field; - equal opportunities of access for the young particularly regarding mobility and youth information; - regular interest in the social situation of the young in Europe - promotion of a global and integrated youth policy. At the occasion of the Bucharest conference (1998), the youth ministers have agreed on the following three main fields of action in youth policy - participation and citizenship; - fighting social exclusion; - non-formal education with the topic of access to the labour market running through all these fields. To a large extent, these texts have constituted the basis for the programmes and instruments which the youth sector has elaborated in order to promote and support youth policy development in the member states and within the Council of Europe.
The White Paper Process
13 In 2001, the member states agreed "A New Impetus for European Youth", a European white paper on youth policy. The white paper was followed up by the agreement between member states on Common Objectives in the following areas: Voluntary activities of young people Greater understanding and knowledge of youth Information and participation of young people
Revised European Charter on the Participation of Young People in Local and Regional Life (2003) The revised charter is divided into three sections. The first provides local and regional authorities with guidelines on how to conduct policies affecting young people in a number of areas. The second part proposes ways to further the participation of young people. Finally, the third section provides advice on how to provide institutional conditions for the participation of young people. In addition to existing guidelines on how to promote youth participation in a large number of policy areas, new ones have been added, addressing recent phenomena such as the information society and urban insecurity.
The European Youth Pact In 2005, the European Union member states agreed a 'Pact', with a view to improving 'the education, training, mobility, vocational integration and social inclusion of young Europeans, while facilitating the reconciliation of working and family life'. The Pact aims to do this by ensuring consistency of relevant initiatives, and providing a starting point for ongoing development of initiatives in this area. The member states are committed to acting in three key areas:
• • •
Employment, integration and social advancement Education, training and mobility Reconciliation of working and family life
Detail of the commitments made in the European Youth Pact can be found on pages 19-20 of the Presidency Conclusions (Brussels 22-23 March 2005). http://ue.eu.int/ueDocs/cms_Data/docs/pressData/en/ec/84335.pdf
Government body responsible for youth affairs1
There are three key elements in the institutional framework of youth policy in European Union countries: the executive body at the national level responsible for youth (ministries or lower ranking government bodies); the national youth council as an advocate and partner to the government in implementing youth policy at the national level; and local youth councils with the same role but as partners to the local and regional government in implementing youth policy. This study divides countries into three groups according to their body responsible for co-ordinating youth policy. - First group Countries with a ministry, a special committee or a state secretary with responsibility for youth affairs and the implementation of national policy in the youth sector. This particular scenario is rarely encountered in the countries of Europe. Such structures exist in Luxembourg, Malta and Ireland2. - Second group3 This group comprises those countries that do not have a particular ministry with responsibility for youth matters, which consequently come under a ministry whose purview includes matters not always directly linked to youth affairs (generally speaking either the ministry of culture and social affairs or the ministry of education). Normal government practice is to set up special youth departments within these ministries. This is the case in Estonia, Slovenia and Croatia. In some countries such as Spain and Portugal special Institutes for Youth have been established in order to co-ordinate different youth projects on a national level as well as international co-operation and research projects in the youth field.
- Third group This group comprises those countries that have neither a special ministry with responsibility for youth affairs nor a department dealing with them within a ministry.
European Steering Committee for Intergovernmental co-operation in Youth field (15 October 1998), Comparative Study of Youth Policies and Legislation in States Party to the European Cultural Convention of the Council of Europe. Available at: http://www.coe.int/T/E/Cultural_Cooperation/Youth/comparative_study.doc 2 This is also the case in Russia and France. 3 A 1999-2000 study shows that most European countries have opted for some form of transversal coordinated of youth policies. The French-speaking community of Belgium (Flanders), Latvia and Italy have set up structures to co-ordinate public policies related to youth across departments. Council of Europe, New Developments in National Youth Policies 1999-2000. Available at http://www.coe.int/T/E/Cultural_Cooperation/Youth/Dev_Nat_YPolicy_99_2000.doc
15 Questions relating to young people are handled by different ministries according to the particular youth aspect involved. This is the case in Poland and Switzerland.
First group: countries with a ministry, a special committee or a state secretary with responsibility for youth affairs
Youth Policy in Luxembourg4
According to the "Lignes directrices de la politique du Ministère de la Jeunesse" (Youth Ministry Policy Guidelines) youth is defined as the age group between 12 and 25 years. Involvement in youth policy - Ministry and administration5 Government priorities are fixed at the start of every 5-year term. Government policy agendas are broadly defined by the central government through Action Plans, but responsibility for their interpretation and implementation is largely devolved to local level. At national level, youth policy falls within the competence of the Ministry of Family, Social Solidarity and Youth. In 1999, the National Youth Service, "Service National de la Jeunesse" (SNJ), which had already existed by statute since 1984, is merged into the Ministry. While the general initiatives of youth policy and the approaches to it are direct tasks of the Ministry, the SNJ tends to take over their operational implementation and realization. The SNJ promotes co-operation nationally between youth associations and organizations on the one hand and the Government and government bodies on the other.
National report on young people in Luxembourg (2001), http://www.snj.lu/fr/10-dossiers/politiquejeunesse/rapport-national/National-report.pdf.
Contacts: Ministry of Family and Social Solidarity Youth Department Tel : (+352) 478-6530 Fax: (+352) 46 74 54 Division IV - Famille et Jeunesse responsable :Mill MAJERUS, Conseiller de Gouvernement 1ère classe Mill.Majerus@fm.etat.lu Nico MEISCH, Conseiller de direction 1er classe, Service Jeunesse Nico.Meisch@fm.etat.lu
16 The SNJ has signed agreement for long-term partnership with different actors of the youth field. Cooperation agreements exist with the following partners: - Centrale des Auberges de Jeunesse Luxembourgeoises (CAJL) - Centre de prévention contre les toxicomanies - Centre National d’Information et d’Echanges de Jeunes - Centres Socio-Educatifs de l’Etat - Europäische Vereinigung für Eifel und Ardennen - Groupe Animateur (GA) - Lëtzebuerger Guiden a Scouten - Päerdsatelier asbl - Regulus Junior Club - Ecole de musique de l’Union Grand-Duc Adolphe The SNJ also works with several public administrations, notably: - Action locale pour jeunes - Administration de l'emploi - Centre de psychologie et d'orientation scolaires (MEN) - Service de coordination de la Recherche et de l'innovation pédagogiques et technologiques (MEN) Locally the Ministry plays a major role especially in co-operation with municipal authorities that maintain youth centers ("Maisons des Jeunes" – MJs) or pursue other local youth policy initiatives such as implementing the "Plan Communal Jeunesse" (Municipal Youth Plan). Practical aspects handled by the SNJ include major tasks in out-of-school educational provision, socio-cultural activities and specific training for those working with young people as a main or secondary occupation or as volunteers. Local politics matter in Luxembourg. Unlike in most other European countries, they rank second only to national politics. This also applies to youth policy initiatives, for which the 118 municipalities are largely responsible for themselves. The state offers it support in the form of funding, advice and monitoring, but it is the municipalities that decide which national initiatives to implement locally, and how far. This widespread practice of subsidiarity necessitates constant initiatives at national level if the main points of youth policy are to be established nationwide. In 1985, the Ministry responsible for youth proposed the formation of local youth parliaments to encourage young people to participate in municipal affairs. Further initiatives ensued, including the creation of local youth services and children’s and young people’s council. Suffice it to say here that many municipalities’ level of commitment has fallen far bellow expectation, and many of the initiatives have found only very limited resonance.
17 - Private non-profit making organizations and associations There is a strong link with state through the nature of the sponsorship (institutional) and/or participation or steering committees. The structures involved have the form of a non-profit making association, but really act only as quasi non-governmental organizations (QuaNGO’s), because the principal scope of their tasks is the pursuit of national approaches to youth policy. These organizations include: - National Information and Exchange Centre for Young People ("Centre National d’Information et d’Echange pour Jeunes" - CNIEJ) - Luxembourg Network of Meeting, Information and Leisure for Young People ("Reseau Luxembourgeois des Centres de Rencontre, d’Information et d’Animation pour Jeunes" - CRIAJ) - Luxembourg’s youth research institute, the Study Centre on the Situation of Young People in Europe (CESIJE), works within this structure. Official policy affords special recognition to youth organizations and associations because ultimately it is they that are best placed to achieve the active involvement of young people in the affairs of their immediate community. Most youth associations and organizations belong to an umbrella association, the "Conference Generale de la Jeunesse Luxembourgeoise" (General Conference of Luxembourg Youth – CGJL).
Consultative and decision-making structures of youth policy The Ministry of the Family, Social Solidarity and Youth is generally responsible for coordinating all aspects of relevance to youth, without directly encroaching on the areas of work of the other ministries that also deal with youth affairs. This explains the variety of youth policy initiatives. These are intended to ensure that other ministerial departments take account of youth aspects coherently and in line with general approaches. The most important structure in the pursuit of this strategy is the "Conseil Superieur de la Jeunesse" (Higher Youth Council), which brings together various ministries and umbrella associations. As a multi-level discussion forum, the Higher Youth Council advises the Youth Ministry on youth affairs. Some of its proposals have led to Government legislation. Its members serve for two years. The Higher Youth Council has no official decision-making power. As far as youth issues are concerned, such power rests with members of the Government in cabinet. Nevertheless, the Higher Youth Council's political influence should not be underestimated, because it serves as a forum for the discussion of other aspects with only an indirect bearing on youth. These fall within the sphere of activity of other ministries and may induce them to change their perceptions of problems.
18 The Ministry also consults the youth organizations and associations by involving the "Conference Generale de la Jeunesse Luxembourgeoise" (General Conference of Luxembourg Youth) if it needs to raise intended pilot projects in the youth field or devise basic youth policy documents. The specific form of the right of participation is up to the associations and depends on many coincidental factors. Moreover, no legal challenge of the Ministry's response to and implementation of stated recommendations are possible. However, Luxembourg's clear structures have brought a process of mutual information and consultation into play at national level. This means that, as a rule, the Ministry's youth policy initiatives can count on a broad consensus when presented to the public. National fora on all major youth issues also contribute to this consensus, as they not only involve the specialist organizations but everyone who may be affected in the broadest sense – not least young people themselves.
Youth policy in Luxembourg: Report by an international panel of experts appointed by the Council of Europe (2002)6 This intergovernmental review of youth policies in Luxembourg was under-taken by a panel of experts on the basis of information gained through the National Report, which described the living conditions of, and policy structures and provisions for, young people in Luxembourg. This was supplemented by a range of additional documents, and particularly through two study visits to Luxembourg during which we met a range of policy makers and practitioners, and encountered a range of views on current policies and emerging needs. Policy structures The National Report tells the history and current framework of youth policy structures in Luxembourg and there is no need to repeat it here. The under-lying principle of youth policy structures in Luxembourg is that all policies for young people should be brought together, so that young people are treated as an integral group. In this chapter on policy structures, two questions concern us. The first is whether existing structures appear to work in terms of current youth policy priorities. The second is whether existing structures could allow for youth policies to develop in a more holistic way. If Luxembourg were to move towards a more holistic youth policy agenda which took the broader view of youth advocated in this review, then this second question is also important. It is therefore dealt with briefly below. In the course of the panel’s study visits, we met representatives from a range of youth organizations. We also met on both visits a number of representatives from the relevant Ministries, QuaNGOs and NGOs, and municipalities, as well as of young people themselves. How do these different levels work together to produce effective policies? As
Council of Europe (2002). Youth policy in Luxembourg: Report by an international panel of experts appointed by the Council of Europe. Available at: http://www.coe.int/T/E/Cultural_Co-operation/Youth/YP_luxembourg.pdf
19 the National Report itself indicates, there are important current issues concerning the policy structures, in respect of: 1) the relationship between vertical policy structures; 2) the effectiveness of young people’s participation 3) the relationship between transverse policy domains; and 4) the balance between volunteering and professionalism. This chapter of the report seeks to avoid getting bogged down in the complexity of the policy structures by focusing on these themes.
1) Vertical structures Vertical structures are defined here as the national, municipal and grass roots. We are mainly concerned with the links and relationship between these levels, the ease of communication between them. Government priorities are fixed at the start of every 5-year term through Action Plans. There have been three Action Plans specifically concerned with youth policy: - The Action Plan for Participation by Young People, 1997. This emphasized the need for active participation and learning through participation. It was supported through the Municipal Youth Plan of the same year which aimed to institutionalize co-operation between local and national levels. - The Action Plan for Communication with Young People, 1998. This set out an information policy for young people (under the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child), and created a structure for the development of information centres (co-ordinated by CNIEJ), Municipal Information Points, the information bus, and Youth Cards. Specific provisions broadly within this plan include the Mediation Centre and the Drug Addiction Prevention Centre. - The Action Plan for Youth Work, Voluntary Action and Partnership, 1999. This aims to review all youth policies to ensure synergy and coherence, but focuses on voluntary youth work and in particular the role of MJs and the SNJ. National frameworks need to be flexible enough to be adapted according to local need but at the same time they need to ensure some evenness of pro-vision. As far as youth work is concerned, this is achieved through the Service National de la Jeunesse (SNJ). The SNJ has a very clearly defined mandate to create an infrastructure for non-
20 formal education and youth participation. It has played a key role in the development and delivery of youth work in Luxembourg. It has been in existence since 1984, and came under the aegis of the Youth Ministry in 1994. The Conference Générale de la Jeunesse Luxembourgeoise (CGJL) is the central umbrella organization for youth organizations in Luxembourg, and has the function of liaising between them and the national government. It was founded in 1961 and restructured into a non-profit organization in 1987. Because of differences between its member organizations, its role in representing them has been particularly difficult, but the potential value of the CGJL has not been fully exploited. The National Report points out that as a result, the CGJL has missed opportunities for an active political contribution to the Action Plans. It is clearly important that these differences should be addressed, if the CGJL is to play a fuller role in agenda-setting, but it may not be feasible to expect youth organizations to speak with one voice. The CGJL is concerned with ecology, social and gender equality, sustainability, international development etc. It acts not only at national level but also though the European Youth Forum at European level. The organization also has a funding problem. In many European countries, it is recognized that youth organizations need minimum subsidies to supplement the subsidies they receive through projects, since much of their work is not project-related. The panel considered that the Luxembourg government should legitimate and support the role of the CGJL (which currently has only one paid staff member) by providing more financial support. The Plan Communal Jeunesse 1997 (Municipal Youth Plan) attempts to institutionalize concerted action between the national and the local levels. The National Report points out that local politics matter in Luxembourg, since there is no middle tier between the state government and the municipalities. Grassroots ideas can shape policy developments. Some municipalities use local youth committees to plan and implement youth projects. Thus, for example, Youth Councils can propose projects and look for partners to set these up. The Plan Communal Jeunesse gives the municipalities an instrument for planning medium-term youth policies at local level. Plans are drawn up in consultation with young people, through Youth Forums. It has been implemented by eight municipalities, but others are currently planning its implementation.
2) Participation of young people in policy-making It is not only through participation in voluntary youth work but also through participation in policy-making that young people can potentially learn to experience democracy at first hand. Organizations such as youth forums and representation on local and central decision-making bodies can be seen as important forms of empowerment. The danger is always that participation can be seen as token rather than real by the adult population. The other problem is that of representativeness. To what extent do the young people who actively try to engage in politics of this kind actually represent young people in general?
21 – Every secondary school has a school council with elected members, which sends representatives to the Conference Nationale des Elèves (National School Student Council). The organization works on a tiny budget, but is state financed. It appears to be somewhat undeveloped as a lobbying structure, though it advised on the White Paper in 2000. Furthermore, there was criticism that the CNE was not very democratic, and that attempts to make them more democratic were based on “political play rather than reality”. There was a need to improve liaison with immigrant groups and students. Young people with disabilities are not represented on the CNE. This grouping feels its role is completely token. These school representatives can advise on education policy, but not youth policy more generally. The feeling was that the government was only interested in listening when young people ratified policies, rather than criticized them. They feel that they cannot put pressure on the government on issues which concern them, that they do not get sufficient access to information, and that they are being manipulated. – Youth Forums then discuss specific needs at local level. Meetings of the Conseil Supérieur de la Jeunesse are held every two months for communication between young people, local authorities and the ministry. The aim is integration of young people into decision-making processes, but participation is mainly among 12-20 year olds. Through these structures young people could if they wish by-pass youth organizations (including the CGJL) and have direct access to ministers. There have also been National Youth Forums. – If a Luxembourg University is established, then participation is likely to include students through their Students Union, and representation among some over-18s at least could be developed.
3) Horizontal structures (transverse policy domains) At the start of this chapter, we posed a second question: would the existing policy structures allow youth policies to develop in a more holistic way? There appears to be a political recognition of the need to broaden out the definition of youth policy. The Action Plan 3 includes a holistic agenda: one of its aims is “to ensure the socialization of young people and their preparation for the many changes in the economic and cultural domains”. This paves the way for policies and provision to develop in the fields of welfare and housing, for example. There are also Action Plans in each area of government policy which overlap with some of the transition policy needs identified in this review. Thus the National Employment Plan (1999) included provision to integrate unemployed young people into employment. The Conseil Supérieur de la Jeunesse (CSJ) was set up in 1984, and comprises representatives from various ministries dealing with youth issues (the Ministries for Employment, Justice, Education, Health, Culture and Family, Social Solidarity and Youth), plus delegates from five NGOs, and is chaired by the Ministry for Youth. It is a discussion forum, but is not involved in agenda setting and has no official decision-
22 making power. It was this body which discussed and agreed the structure and methods of the National Report. Some of the gaps which we have identified in the National Report may be accounted for by the fact that neither the Ministry for Social Security nor the Housing Ministry is represented on the CSJ. Surprisingly, the CSJ is not represented on the Sports Council or the Employment Council. It appears to be a somewhat underdeveloped resource, perhaps marginalized and sometimes side-stepped. Should it become responsible for the evaluation of policy and provision affecting young people? Should the Housing and Social Security Ministries be recruited? Should it be better linked to wider organizations?
4) Volunteering and professionalism We met a number of practitioners who felt unsupported by these structures. The SNJ has a commitment to voluntary youth work, which it sees as central to its philosophy, but the question here is whether the balance in staffing between volunteers and professional (paid) workers in different organizational structures is appropriate. This issue cropped up in relation to the Maisons des Jeunes (MJs), the CGJL (which, as we suggest above, would benefit from the funding of additional staff posts) and also the CNE, or National Youth Council (which, we were told, was staffed by voluntary workers only, and urgently needed a professional worker to develop and co-ordinate liaison with student and immigrant groups). Feelings on this issue were very strong among some of the people we met during and following a meeting at an MJ in Luxembourg, and we are therefore reiterating them here. The suggestion is that too much emphasis is placed on volunteering. MJs form a focus for youth work in urban areas. The projects are co-funded between the Ministry and the municipalities, and there is a clear financial commitment to providing for this important feature of youth policy. The state is demanding more accountability and more professionalisation, but without providing additional funding for this aspect of the work. Many staff feels hard-pressed, isolated and unsupported by the Centre. There is a high turnover of staff, and Luxembourgers are leaving the youth sector. The feeling was that volunteers are being asked to do too much. It was suggested that professional workers should be employed to undertake the bureaucratic work, and volunteers to be responsible for the activities involving young people. There was a strong feeling that there was a need to create a better climate of co-operation between the parties involved. Clearly, these very real concerns need to be addressed, if volunteers are not to feel that their goodwill is being exploited.
Conclusion Given the empirical evidence that young people are a heterogeneous grouping with different needs according to their degree of social and economic independence, it becomes difficult to conceive of or justify youth policy and provision which takes a narrow age
23 focus. According to the National Report, youth is defined as 12-24 years. However, youth provision in Luxembourg seems to cater mainly for teenagers. This could be because of the difficulty in identifying and reaching an older age group with traditional youth work. Policies for young people of 20 and over will inevitably be aimed at helping their transition into the adult social world, rather than retaining them in the social world of young people. However, Luxembourg has a specific problem in relation to this older age group. The combination of the high level of inmigration of workers from other parts of Europe (either as commuters or as residents) with the high level of out-migration (possibly temporary, possibly not) involving young people going abroad to study confuses both the statistics and the definition of youth policy. The net result of these two movements is that there is a loss of young people of HE student age in Luxembourg, and an over-representation of lower-achievers among residents in this age group. We cannot help but note that one-third of the population of 1823 year olds are ‘missing’ from Luxembourg, attending universities abroad. This ‘selection out’ means that those in the age group who are living in Luxembourg are perhaps those with the greatest needs, but it is difficult for social policies to provide for such a shifting population.
Youth policy in Malta
For the purpose of the National Youth Policy the defined age of youth are people age 14 to 30. Involvement in youth policy In 1990 a Parliamentary Secretariat for Youth Affairs was created within the Ministry of Education and Employment. Two years later this secretariat was transformed into a Ministry of Youth and Arts. After a series of consultative meetings with youth organizations, a National Youth Council7 was established in the same year. It was also in 1992 that the University of Malta agreed to a request from the Ministry to establish an Institute of Youth Studies.
Contact: 36, Old Mint Street, Valletta VLT 12 • MALTA Tel: [+356] 21 245375 Fax: [+356] 21 245376 email@example.com www.knz.org.mt
24 Currently three members of staff service the Youth Department8 within the Ministry. It is worth mentioning, however, that the possibility of creating a quasiautonomous National Youth Agency is being considered. It is evident that the reorganization of the Ministry is still in its early stages. Nevertheless, serious efforts are being made to develop a strategic approach by ensuring that all policies affecting young people are monitored and “youth-proofed” by the Ministry. The National Youth Council is the main body consulted in respect of policy formation – although inevitably, perhaps, there are differing perceptions concerning the efficacy and mutual respect of this consultative arrangement. The Ministry consults the Youth Policy on a regular basis and, in collaboration with the National Youth Council, the Maltese Association of Youth Workers, the directorship of the Youth Studies Programme at the University of Malta, youth organizations and other stakeholders, revise it and organize a National Consultative Meeting for this purpose at least once every three years. Youth policy is delivered through various government ministries and departments. The Ministry’s role in funding NGO’s is another important mechanism for translating policies into ground level practice. The main channels of communication and information used by the Ministry are via youth workers, the website, NGO’s and – as previously stated – the National Youth Council. The small size of the country obviously creates the possibility of close consultation with young people. There are, though, also constraints. These include the problem of the Minister being supported by a small civil service. This can make continuous policy development difficult. Consequently it is sometimes necessary to commission or outsource discrete pieces of work from outside bodies or consultants.
- National Youth Council9 The National Youth Council is a voluntary non-governmental organization which strives to be a protagonist in Malta’s civil society. The National Youth Council embraces a wide representation of youth organizations and serves as a forum for dialogue between young people so that they can be more effective in society. It also facilitates networking and promotes cooperation among youth organizations. The National Youth Council strives to represent the interest of young people both in national and international fora and
Contact: Youth Section Education Building, Room 4 Great Siege Floriana Floriana CMR02 • Malta Tel: [+356] 21 227058 Fax: [+356] 21 227059 firstname.lastname@example.org www.youthnet.org
National Youth Policy 2004-2006, available at http://www.youthnet.org.mt/page.jsp?id=2081&siteid=1
25 activities. It undertakes to increase the participation of young people and youth organizations particularly in decision-making spheres. Minority and disadvantaged youths who tend to be under-represented are given special attention. The National Youth Council is the consultative body for the State on all matters concerning Maltese youth, and consequently Government provides office space and administrative support to the National Youth Council. Government also helps the Council by providing funds that are to be administered autonomously by the Council. At the end of each financial year, the Council must present an annual financial report.
- National Youth Agency A National Youth Agency needs to be set up with the aim of promoting youth development within society and of providing a legal framework on matters relating to young people. This Agency will co-ordinate and monitor a cross-sectoral policy on youth by: - advocating for young people - keeping abreast with young people’s living conditions - supporting youth organizations as well as developing associative life - enhancing local youth activity - monitoring and updating the National Youth Policy of Malta every three years - providing additional and/or specific training to trainers, youth leaders and youth workers - participating in international activities; and - providing an accessible resource centre. The National Youth Agency shall be managed, within an established statutory framework, by a body representative of the government, of professional youth and community workers, and of elected members from the National Youth Councils, the Maltese Association of Youth Workers, local councils, non-governmental organizations and the Youth Studies Programme of the University of Malta. The Youth Studies Programme at the University of Malta aims to provide professional training for prospective youth and community workers. The Youth Studies Programme undertakes researches on, and analysis of, issues that concern Maltese young people, in particular. The programme provides information and makes suggestions about policies that concern Maltese young people, within the local and foreign contexts. It also develops an international dimension through contacts with foreign universities and institution on youth studies.
Youth Policy in Malta: Report by the international team of experts10 COUNCIL OF EUROPE Joint Council on Youth The National Youth Policy of Malta: an Evaluation - National Youth Agency The rationale for establishing a National Youth Agency is clear. Such an agency could potentially work in a more flexible way than present arrangements allow. However, given the experience of QuaNGO-style models of governance in certain parts of the UK, it is important that clear and transparent channels of democratic accountability are established from the outset. What will be the precise relationship between the Agency, the Ministry, the National Youth Council and young service users? If the National Youth Agency is to be an advocate for young people in policy-making circles, to what extent can it realistically afford to be critical of those in power? Thought needs to be given to the process of appointing a Director to the Agency. The charge of cronyism is one that haunts the institutional life of many British QuaNGO’s. The relationship between the National Youth Agency and the National Youth Council will be critical. It is beyond doubt that the National Youth Council should be the principal advocate for young people in Malta. This role cannot be usurped by the National Youth Agency. In order to fulfill its function as an effective advocate for youth, it is essential that the National Youth Council retain a strong sense of critical independence from government and, by implication, the National Youth Agency. It does not follow, though, that the National Youth Council should be excluded from the management structures of the National Youth Agency. Whilst it would probably be inappropriate for National Youth Council members to become embroiled in day-to-day operational decisions, there is no reason why they should not be involved in the strategic management of the Agency. To avoid the danger of co-option, perhaps consideration could be given to the National Youth Council nominating its own representatives to the National Youth Agency. Election by peers rather than selection by governing politicians should enhance the reputation of both the Agency and the National Youth Council amongst young people. In the final analysis, the Review Team wishes to reiterate the point that whilst the respective roles of the National Youth Council and the proposed Agency are potentially complementary, there needs to be a clear separation of powers, functions and responsibilities between the two bodies. As previously mentioned, the mooted Agency should most certainly not usurp the role of the National Youth Council. Indeed, the creation of such a powerful new social actor in the youth field strengthens the argument for an empowered National Youth Council. That being said, the Review Team can perceive the advantage of a National Youth Agency in Malta, provided that its foundation – and the process leading to its foundation – is used to mobilize fresh and creative thinking. ‘Process’ is vitally important to the success of a National Youth Agency: ‘how’
Council of Europe (16 October 2003), Joint Council on Youth, Youth Policy in Malta: Report by the international team of experts. http://www.coe.int/T/E/Cultural_Co-operation/Youth/YP_malta.pdf
27 decisions are made will be as important as the actual decisions taken. The mere establishment of a new Agency is not a panacea for all the problems and ills that afflict the youth field. A National Youth Agency must work innovatively and in a democratic spirit if it is to inspire and animate the grassroots. The Agency’s mandate should also be futureoriented, with a remit that embraces both the national and European levels. - The National Youth Council The National Youth Council has a vital role to play in Maltese society. As previously stated, it should be a truly independent voice speaking on behalf of young Maltese people. There are, however, problems of social representation that the Council needs to address. The Review Team heard from many young people that the National Youth Council was self-serving, elitist, politically sectarian and disconnected from the grassroots. Whether these criticisms are legitimate is ultimately irrelevant. The fact of the matter is that this seems to be a widespread perception. It is important, therefore, that the National Youth Council explores ways of engaging with the grassroots and ensuring its leading class and university-educated. Attention could also be given to ensuring that young people under the age of 18 years are properly represented. Such members could be instrumental in forging links with the new Children’s Commissioner. Despite the above-mentioned criticisms, it is important to record the Review Team’s impression of a talented and committed group of individuals. Moreover, it is certainly in everyone’s interests that the National Youth Council establishes itself as an effective vehicle for representing young people’s interests and concerns. The position and status of the National Youth Council must be secured through adequate funding. The tenure of representatives on the Council also needs to be extended in order to ensure effectiveness and continuity. The International Review Team had a very interesting and open exchange of views with the National Youth Council and raised a number of items. Some of the salient points of discussion are summarized below: - The well-established traditions of political polarization in Malta have resulted in the Council being either Nationalist Party or Labour Party led. The Review Team believes that young people’s common interests are of greater importance than party political divisions. Attention needs to be given to some form of ‘supra-party’ representation. It is a matter of great importance that sectarian divisions are transcended in the interests of all young people. - The short tenure of office of the executive body of the National Youth Council (currently one year) is problematic. It could be argued that because ‘youth generations’ are measurable in periods as brief as 3-5 years, truly representative and responsive leaderships can only be achieved through short terms of office. A tenure of one year, however, is far too short a period within which to establish competence, confidence and, indeed, continuity.
- The preponderance of university students on the National Youth Council exacerbates the problem of the brief tenure of office mentioned above. For most students the latter part of the academic year is dominated by examinations. In effect this shortens the term of office for many student members of the Council. We consider that this strengthens the argument for a longer tenure of office. - The lack of international and European experience within a number of NGO’s was cited as something of a limitation. - The established tendency to split and divide along party lines over political issues is problematic. - The Council’s present level of resourcing is incommensurate with the responsibilities the body is expected to discharge. The material conditions within which the Council is currently expected to operate are inadequate. - Inadequate consultation on youth issues was cited as a perennial problem. The processes of consultation within the existing political and administrative structures require radical improvement if young people are to be engaged in meaningful dialogues. The International Team detected a fundamental problem at the heart of the relationship between government and the National Youth Council. What public authority appears to need in Malta is a professional NGO counterpart that it does not see being fulfilled by the National Youth Council. The National Youth Council, however, does not currently have the opportunity, training or minimum material conditions to grow into the role of a professional counterpart. The resulting institutional vacuum has led to the attractive idea of establishing a National Youth Agency. However, entrusting the National Youth Agency with any of the functions that properly reside with a National Youth Council would be wholly unacceptable to the Review Team. As previously mentioned, the establishment of a powerful National Youth Agency demands robust measures be taken to empower the National Youth Council. Provided clarity is established with regard to the responsibilities and role boundaries of these two bodies, we see no reason that their coexistence cannot invigorate the whole area of youth policy and practice. It is not for the Review Team to adjudicate on the detail of the disputes between the National Youth Council and public authority. Suffice to say, the present relationship is far from being ideal and certainly represents a waste of talent and resources. The democratic opposition usually assigned to youth councils elsewhere in Europe does not appear to be fully accepted in Malta. On the basis of comparative experience, the International Team would argue strongly that – far from being a problem - the cultivation of a properly autonomous and critical National Youth Council is a priority for the democratic health of wider civil society.
29 - NGO’s There is a need to establish a proper statutory framework within which NGO’s can operate. Such a framework does not appear to be in existence at the present time.
Position Paper on the National Youth Council of Malta11 International Team of Experts of the Council of Europe on the Review of the National Youth Policy of Malta Athens: September 2003 This paper aims to highlight the huge importance of establishing an effective, empowered and autonomous National Youth Council (NYC) in Malta. The institutional recognition of such a Council by government and wider society is also crucial: institutional validation is one tangible indicator of a society’s positive attitude towards its young people. It is imperative, though, that a National Youth Council should fulfill its central role as an indefatigable advocate for young people – not only in the national context, but also at the European level. The importance of a strong, representative and autonomous NYC a) Mission The National Youth Council of a country is, or should be, the main advocate for the collective representation of youth and its interests. This should be recognized by the national authorities, civil society and the international community.
b) Composition and Membership A National Youth Council should bring together the widest possible range of youth organizations and NGO's that are capable of accepting its statutes and rules. Some of the main articles of statutes that are common in a large number of NYC's refer, inter alia, to the democratic structure of its constituent organizations, membership, the acceptance of democratic principles and support for the Rule of Law. At the same time, of course, the statutes set the rules for the internal organization of the NYC and for all related electoral procedures. In order for a youth organization or NGO to become a member of the NYC, it needs to accept and work within such statutes. In most cases these statutes are the result of
Position Paper on the National Youth Council of Malta (September 2003), Alexandros Liakopoulos (ETUC Youth), Member of the International Team of Experts of the Council of Europe on the Review of the National Youth Policy of Malta. Available at: http://www.coe.int/T/E/Cultural_Co-operation/Youth/YP_malta.pdf
30 internal democratic processes and collective agreement by the founding members of the NYC. Subsequently, of course, these articles, rules and statutes are subject to amendment via established democratic procedures. Through this pre-defined agreement, represented in the statutes, NYC's create a stable basis on which the collective representation of common youth interests can be pursued. NYC's set the rules for the election to their governing structures and determine the internal distribution of power within the organization as a whole. In common with other institutions, the wording of the statutes, rules and underpinning principles define the NYC’s degree of ‘openness’ and ‘accessibility’ in relation to youth organizations and NGO's.
c) Nature of the institution NYC’s are essentially tertiary ‘umbrella organizations’ composed of their memberorganizations - which in most cases are nation-wide organizations with local branches. Consequently, NYC’s can - via the affiliated organizations - access all those young people who are members of member-NGO’s. This ‘nation-wide’ network of young people forms a potentially vital infrastructure in civil society. These young people and their collective interests are duly represented by the democratically elected governing structures of the NYC. One inherent and major problem all NYC’s face is the fact that they must represent the youth of the country as a whole. The fact remains, however, that the composition of all NYC's is based primarily on the constituency of ‘organized youth’. Young people who are not members of an organization – and in most countries this group forms the overwhelming majority – will almost inevitably be inadequately represented in the structures of NYC’s. Some NYC’s have identified this inherent institutional deficiency and have developed structures and practices to address the challenge of representing ‘unorganized youth’. A variety of ‘enfranchisement’ strategies have been deployed to engage with this large, unrepresented constituency. NYC’s have, for example, hosted open seminars and /or conferences on issues of concern to young people. Campaigns have also been conducted with a view to recruiting volunteers for explicitly political and/or ‘social issue’ activities. The ‘second phase’ of an ‘enfranchisement strategy’ attempts to involve these unaffiliated young people directly with the NYC without necessarily requiring them to become members of a constituent organization. Accordingly, these ‘direct entrants’ become recognized as an integral group within the institution of the NYC. This recognition can be extended to voting and election rights (including the possibility of assuming leadership positions within the NYC’s representative structures). The point should be underlined that every country has its own unique history and set of social conditions. Consequently, the precise strategies used to engage with ‘unorganized youth’ will inevitably vary from place to place. Nevertheless, instructive lessons can be drawn from comparative experience. The main conclusion to draw from any survey of international experience is that the NYC of Malta must acknowledge the importance of the issue and devise strategies that are likely to prove effective in the local context.
d) Main functions Some of the main functions the NYC discharges are summarized below: - Institutional representation of youth in relation to government and other public authorities. NYC’s should promote youth policy interests; defend and extend young people’s rights; and work with public authorities and other agencies on policy formulation and delivery. In some cases NYC’s may be able to establish partnership arrangements with government in key policy areas. Joint Policy Fora and mechanisms for co-decision making are just some of the more progressive practices that might be established. - Development of appropriate policies and practices to address specific problems. NYC’s are developing their political work on specific issues of concern to youth. In response to local social conditions NYC’s organize campaigns, seminars, conferences, information-days, internet debates and training sessions. - External representation and international networking. NYC’s represent the youth of their countries within the youth structures of such international organizations as the United Nations, the Council of Europe and the European Union. They also represent the youth of their countries within international ‘umbrella’ youth organizations such as the European Youth Forum, the Balkan Youth Network and the Euro-Med Youth Network. At the institutional level, while participating in the fora and meetings of international institutions, every NYC aims to influence the policies and practices of these powerful bodies. Through participating in international youth networks and umbrella organizations, NYC’s are not merely promoting their ‘national’ interests. By forming alliances with other NYC’s they are also able to address those youth issues that transcend national borders. Such global networking also creates rich opportunities to access international expertise, share best practice and exchange practical skills. The products of such invaluable lessons can, of course, be adapted and applied to the local national context.
e) Legal basis The legal basis for the functions of NYC’s certainly is open to dispute in many countries. The problem resides in the fact that in many states there are no proper laws to cover and codify the functions of NGO’s. This problem exists in Malta and needs to be addressed accordingly by the government. Currently the NYC of Malta and all other NGO’s are afflicted by difficulties arising from this problematic situation. Many such difficulties could be cited, but the main ones emanate from the fact that they lack an appropriate legal personality. One consequence is that the financing of the NYC of Malta by governmental authorities tends to be occasional, conditional on circumstances, and project-based. As the financing is not legally guaranteed, funding can potentially become an instrument for manipulation by government and other powerful political actors. This unpleasant and unhealthy situation restricts the autonomy of the NYC as it does not have
32 any other significant sources of income. This system of public financing is clearly vulnerable to cynical political abuse. It would be possible, for example, for a government to use funding as a means of obtaining a convenient political compromise. It could even apply pressure for ‘favorable’ NYC leadership election results. In a country where politics appears to be fiercely partisan, any suspicion of government interference in internal NYC affairs needs to be dispelled. The question of the legal basis of NGO’s along with that of public financing for the NYC should be addressed as soon as possible. In many countries the question of public financing for NYC’s has been resolved through drafting an appropriate statute that allocates a specific percentage of the Gross Domestic Product/overall government budget. A sufficiently generous allocation is given to ensure that the operational requirements of the National Youth Council are met. Should such a practice seem too ‘progressive’ at the present time, it is beyond question that the NYC should be given a legally unassailable position. A transparent framework that defines the relationship between the NYC and the government of Malta should include robust legal safeguards to protect the independence of the Council.
Youth policy in Ireland
For the purpose of the Youth Work Act, 200112 a young person means a person who is under the age of 25 years. Particular regard is given to young people between the ages of 10 and 21 and to those who are socially or economically disadvantaged. Involvement in youth policy - Youth Affairs Section within the Department of Education and Science/ Minister of State for Youth Affairs13 The Youth Affairs Section is concerned with the non-formal education of Ireland’s young people and provides support by way of financial and other assistance to those providing youth work programmes and services. The main aim of the youth work service in Ireland is to help all young people to realise their full potential and to become active participants in a democratic society. Youth projects and organisations present valuable opportunities for the social and personal development of young people. The objectives of the Youth Affairs are:
Youth Work Act, 2001, http://www.education.ie/servlet/blobservlet/act_42_2001.pdf?language=EN Contact: Department of Education and Science Youth Affairs Section Tel: 01 889 2179 Fax: 01 889 6536 email@example.com
33 to develop and review the policy framework for youth work to develop and support consultation and co-operation at national and international level to operate, promote and develop funding schemes for the provision of youth work and services
What is Youth Work? Youth Work has been placed on a statutory basis with the enactment of the Youth Work Act, 2001. The Youth Work Act, 2001 provides a legal framework for the provision of youth work programmes and services by the Minister of Education and Science and the Vocational Education Committees (VECs). The Act defines Youth Work as: "A planned programme of education designed for the purpose of aiding and enhancing the personal and social development of young persons through their voluntary participation, and which is – a) b) complementary to their formal, academic or vocational education and training; and provided primarily by voluntary youth work organizations."
- Minister of Education and Science/ Minister for Youth Affairs The Minister ensures the development and co-ordination of policies relating to youth work programmes and youth work services in both the Irish and the English languages. He ensures the co-ordination of youth work programmes and youth work services with education programmes and other programmes that provide services for young persons. He must provides, from within the financial resources available to the Minister, moneys in each financial year to assist in the provision of youth work programmes and youth work services. The Minister conducts research or cause research to be conducted in respect of youth work, including youth work programmes and youth work services in one or more vocational education areas. He also provides for the assessment once every three years of state funded youth work programmes and services funded by the Vocation Education Committees. He appoints the National Youth Work Advisory Committee and gives direction to Vocational Education Committees (VEC) or youth work organizations if this is required. - Vocational Education Committees (VECs) VECs ensure the provision within its vocational education area of youth work programmes or youth work services, or both, by co-ordinating its plans, proposals and activities with approved national voluntary youth work organizations, designated local voluntary youth work organizations and authorized organizations within its vocational
34 education area so as to ensure the provision of those programmes and services by those organizations, and Youth work functions of vocational education committee. VECs are responsible for preparing a three year development plan for their administrative areas. VECs are also able to grant, withdraw or reduce financial assistance to Youth Work Organizations.
- Youth Work Assessor Youth Work Assessor responsibility is to strengthen accountability and efficiency in the Youth Service. The Assessor provides information on the state of the youth work sector. The Assessor enables decision making on the basis of an appreciation of youth work provision. He also enables Vocational Education Committees and the Minister to promote best practice and value for money. - National Youth Work Advisory Committee The Youth Work Act, 2001 also provides for the expansion of duties of the National Youth Work Advisory Committee. This committee has been in existence since the 1997 Youth Work Act and is a valuable and important source of advice in the production of policy direction in the youth work area. The Act states that membership of the committee should be not less than 31 members and not more than 33. It consists of: - 3 Ministerial nominees including the chairman - 2 representatives from the Department of Education and Science - 8 representatives from other Government Departments - 4 representatives from the Irish Vocational Education Association - 15/16 representatives nominated by the National Youth Council of Ireland.
- Voluntary Youth Councils There shall be for each vocational education area a Voluntary Youth Council elected to advise the vocational education committee for that area on the preparation or implementation of any matter specified in a Development Plan prepared by the vocational education committee. A Voluntary Youth Council shall be a forum for the voluntary youth work organizations operating in the vocational education area to discuss the provision of youth work programmes and youth work services in the area. - Prescribed, Authorized, Approved and Designated Youth Organizations The Minister may prescribe an organization representing voluntary youth work organizations to be the Prescribed National Representative Youth Work Organization for the purposes of nominating members of the National Youth Work Advisory Committee.
35 The body known as the National Youth Council of Ireland is deemed to be prescribed as the first Prescribed National Representative Youth Work Organization for the period of 3 years after the commencement of this provision. National Youth Council The National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI) is the representative body for voluntary youth organizations in Ireland. NYCI was established in 1967 through the coming together of the principal voluntary youth organizations. NYCI was set up to represent the interests of young people and youth organizations and continues to do this right up to the present day. NYCI's role is recognized in legislation (Youth Work Act) and as a Social Partner. NYCI endorses all the values and principles enshrined in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the principles enshrined in the UN Declaration on Human Rights, the principles underpinning The Children Act 2001 and the Equal Status Act 2000. NYCI commits to continually and actively appraising our work alongside our core values and principles.
1. Young Person-Centred NYCI believes that all young people are citizens in their own right. They are of equal value, regardless of gender, marital status, family status, age, disability, race, colour, ethnic or national origin, membership of the traveler community, antibody status, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, religious/political belief, trade union membership, criminal conviction or recovering addiction. NYCI is committed to promoting the best interests, well-being, democratic rights, active involvement and need for equal outcomes for young people to enable them to develop as individuals and as active citizens. Guiding Principles
• • • •
NYCI will ensure that the best interests of young people are of paramount importance, NYCI will challenge policies and practices, which infringe upon young people’s rights, NYCI will challenge and inform how young people are portrayed, NYCI will actively promote the participation of young people in decision-making.
2. Equity NYCI is committed to the value of equity, both in terms of promoting the need for fairness of outcomes for young people, and ensuring that the Council’s own policies, procedures and practices are demonstrably equitable.
• • •
In shaping public policy, NYCI will seek to challenge all forms of discrimination against young people, In its own actions, NYCI will seek to ensure that all its policies, procedures and practices are equitable, In its own actions, NYCI will seek to equality-proof all future policies to ensure that no group has been unjustifiably discriminated against.
3. Volunteerism Volunteering is viewed as a vital dimension of democratic and social life, not merely to be valued for its resource input in limited service fields. In particular, it is viewed as essential to the development of civic participation, social solidarity and individual development. Volunteering constitutes a key source of social capital. Today volunteering remains very important, and faces numerous challenges and opportunities. Guiding Principles
• • •
NYCI believes that human solidarity and concern for the common good are created, articulated and sustained by volunteering, NYCI is committed to promoting, sustaining and developing volunteering, NYCI will ensure that volunteers are treated fairly and facilitated to fully participate in all aspects of its work.
4. Pro-activity NYCI aims to encourage coherent and innovative strategies that will enhance the quality of services to young people. NYCI will do this by adopting a partnership approach to ensure that issues are addressed in a holistic manner and resources are used effectively and efficiently. Guiding Principles
• • •
NYCI will promote innovation, NYCI will facilitate the development of partnerships, ensuring common ownership and problem-solving in all areas of work, NYCI will establish effective channels of communication with key partners.
37 5. Interdependence Members of NYCI value the interdependent nature of relationships and activity between and across the member organizations. Member organizations are committed to acting in the collective good of young people and the youth sector. Guiding Principles
• • • • •
NYCI will encourage the building of trust and mutually beneficial relationships with and between member organizations and between the youth work sector and other sectors, The staff of NYCI will not compete with member organizations, except when the Board of NYCI decides that the collective good is better served by them doing so, NYCI will broker and promote collaboration, NYCI will ensure the promotion of a democratic culture in its internal and external operations, NYCI will facilitate the development of partnerships at a policy and strategy level, ensuring common ownership and problem-solving in all areas of its work, NYCI will establish regular channels of communication with key partners and identified stakeholders.
6. Quality NYCI will strive for quality in all its activities, demonstrating transparency in decisionmaking, responsiveness to emerging needs, an openness to challenge and ensuring that all resources are used effectively and efficiently. NYCI will be at the forefront of developing new ‘measurements’ in youth work, which are in keeping with youth work philosophy. Guiding Principles
NYCI will ensure that quality standards are continually improved, NYCI will demonstrate integrity and professionalism in all interactions with stakeholders and the public.
7. Representation In fulfilling its functions as a membership-led organization, supremacy is given to representing interests as determined and defined by the voluntary youth organizations in membership of NYCI. Guiding Principles
• • •
The basis of deciding which interests and the manner in which they are progressed by NYCI is determined by the voluntary youth organizations in membership, The basis of acting on issues that impact on young people is determined by the voluntary youth organizations in membership, NYCI derives its mandate to speak and act exclusively from its member organizations.
National Youth Work Development Plan 2003-200714 (see in annex the Draft Financial Estimate for the Implementation of the Youth Work Development Plan)
The National Youth Work Development Plan 2003-2007 was published by the Minister for Youth Affairs, Ms Síle de Valera, T.D., in August 2003. The Plan, which is being managed by the National Youth Work Advisory Committee, provides a blueprint for the development of Youth Work in Ireland for a period of five years.
Broad goals: 1. To facilitate young people and adults to participate more fully in, and to gain optimum benefit from, youth work programmes and services. 2. To enhance the contribution of youth work to social inclusion, social cohesion and citizenship in a rapidly changing national and global context. 3. To put in place an expanded and enhanced infrastructure for development, support and coordination at national and local level. 4. To put in place mechanisms for enhancing professionalism and ensuring quality standards in youth work.
Vision of Youth Work
- The Educative Process Youth work’s primary concern is with the education of young people in non-formal settings, and education is by definition a planned, purposeful and conscious process (whereas “learning” may or may not be planned and purposeful, and may or may not be conscious). The actual methods adopted or activities engaged in by youth workers and young people vary widely, and include: 1. recreational and sporting activities and indoor/outdoor pursuits, uniformed and non-uniformed; 2. creative, artistic and cultural or language-based programmes and activities;
National Youth Work Development Plan 2003-2007, http://www.education.ie/servlet/blobservlet/ya_nydp_03_07.pdf?language=EN
39 3. spiritual development programmes and activities; 4. programmes designed with specific groups of young people in mind (including young women or men, young people with disabilities, young travelers, young lesbians, gay men or bisexuals). 5. issue-based activities (related to, for example, justice and social awareness, the environment, development education); 6. activities and programmes concerned with welfare and well-being (health promotion, relationships and sexuality, stress management), and 7. intercultural and international awareness activities and exchanges. Despite the apparent diversity, however, what all of these various methods and activities share, in the youth work context, is the focus on process: on the ongoing educational cycle of experience, observation, reflection and action, and – essential for this to happen – on the active and critical participation of young people. The successful facilitation of this process clearly requires substantial experience and a high degree of skill on the part of those responsible, the “educators”, whether paid or volunteer.
- Youth Workers as Educators Not everyone can or should be a youth worker, in the same way that not everyone can or should be a teacher, doctor, administrator or actor. The doing of youth work, in the sense understood in this document, requires a particular combination of knowledge, skills and personal qualities. This is the case whether the person in question is a volunteer or a paid worker, and is more important than ever in the light of the current concern with child protection and related matters. Youth work is not just a vocation, although almost inevitably the people who do it have a particularly strong sense of personal commitment to the work and to the wellbeing of young people. It is a profession, in the sense that all those who do it, both volunteer and paid, are required and obliged, in the interests of young people and of society as a whole, to carry out their work to the highest possible standards and to be accountable for their actions.
- A Positive Contribution to Young People, Communities and Society The view of young people, and of youth work, which underlies this set of proposals for a Development Plan is an unequivocally positive one. Young people are not a “problem” to be solved, any more or less than adults; and youth work is not primarily about solving social problems. It is rather about adults and young people working together to further personal, community and social development. Given this positive orientation, it follows that youth work should be regarded as something from which all young people can benefit, rather than a remedial service for those whose needs are not being met otherwise. It also follows that an investment in a comprehensive youth work service is an
40 investment in a better future for society as a whole. - The Voluntary Dimension A defining feature of youth work, and one enshrined in the Youth Work Act, 2001, is the fact that young people engage in it voluntarily. While qualities of commitment and responsibility are actively encouraged in youth work, and are sometimes “formalized” (or semi-formalized) in youth groups through negotiated agreements or “contracts” between all those involved in a programme (both young people and adults), it remains the case that ultimately the young people can take or leave what is on offer from the youth workers and from the service provided. This is at once both the greatest challenge and the greatest opportunity in youth work. The challenge is to attract and sustain the interest and commitment of young people, when there are many alternatives on offer; the opportunity is to build on that interest and commitment, voluntarily entered into, to further their education and development in an enjoyable and empowering way. The term “voluntary” has a number of meanings when applied to youth work. In addition to the voluntary (noncompulsory) involvement on the part of young people, it is also the case that the vast majority of the adults involved in youth work are volunteers (unpaid). Furthermore, and related to this, most youth work takes place in the “voluntary [i.e. non-commercial and non-statutory] sector”, the very existence of which rests on the acknowledgement of, and commitment to, the value of associative and collaborative ways of living and working. This aspect of youth work has also been recognized in the Youth Work Act, 2001. - Rights and Citizenship The emphasis in youth work on the importance of the active and critical participation of young people is in keeping with the view that young people have rights as citizens. In 1992, Ireland ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, hence acknowledging the right of children and young people to have their perspectives taken into consideration in all matters that affect them. Specifically, Article 3 says that actions concerning children and young people should take account of their best interests, and Article 12 upholds their right to express an opinion, and to have that opinion taken into account, in matters or procedures affecting them. The convention also contains a number of important social rights for the young, such as the right to participate in leisure, recreational and cultural activities. The principle of participation in youth work recognizes these rights and the responsibility of youth work organizations to uphold them. - Equality and Inclusiveness These proposals for a National Youth Work Development Plan are based on a commitment to a vision of youth work which values diversity, aims to eradicate injustice and inequality, and strives for openness and inclusiveness in all its dealings with young people and adults. It aims to uphold in spirit as well as in letter the provisions of the Equal Status Act, whereby no adult or young person may experience discrimination on the basis
41 of gender, marital status, family status, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, race, nationality or ethnicity, including membership of the traveler community.
- Relationships with other Services Recent years have seen a pronounced increase in the range and variety of out-ofschool services for young people, provided, funded and supported by diverse sources. This has given rise to some confusion about the meaning and ambit of the term “youth work”. As already stated, this document takes as its starting point the definition of youth work in the Youth Work Act, 2001, whereby certain features are highlighted, in particular the fundamentally educational nature of the work and the voluntary nature of the young person’s involvement. The various forms of provision for young people which have developed outside the “traditional” or well-established youth work organizations conform to varying degrees to these defining features (and the others mentioned above, such as the emphasis on process and participation). The important point here is not to draw rigid boundaries between one type of provision and the others, but to attempt to ensure that – in the interests of young people themselves and so as to ensure efficiency and effectiveness – there is adequate coordination between all the services and provisions for young people. The Youth Work Act, 2001 includes the coordination of youth work with other youth services (educational and otherwise) as one of the functions of the Minister for Education and the Vocational Education Committees. It is hoped that the implementation of the proposals in the following pages will also enhance such coordination.
Second group: countries without a particular ministry with responsibility for youth matters, which consequently come under a ministry whose purview includes matters not always directly linked to youth affairs
Youth policy in Slovenia
The draft National programme for youth until 2013 sets the lowest and highest age limit at 14 and 29 years of age respectively and defines three types of young people: - young persons covering in particular pupils, apprentices and early active young; - classical, traditionally defined as young persons, covering students, active and 'socially excluded' youth population; and
42 - prolonged youth, young adults covering the population not carrying out adult activities (employment, own family) because they are still attending school, are unemployed or whish to maintain the style of living of young. Involvement in youth policy - The Office for Youth15 In 1991, Slovenia became an independent sovereign State. Soon after independence the National Youth Council was established, followed by the Office of the Republic of Slovenia for Youth, a body within the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport. The co-management between the Youth Council of Slovenia and the Ministry for Education, Science and Sport was established and formalized by the appointment of the Joint Commission for Youth Issues. The responsibilities and activities of the Office for Youth relate to: -the planning, organization and implementation of measures in the area of the youth policy -the activities in the area of social policy for children and young people, education and informal education, leisure activities, culture, public information and international co-operation -the monitoring of the implementation of the regulations and other acts relating to young people, warning of non-effective realization of the regulations and proposing measures for a more effective realization -the formulation and supervision of the implementation of the priority youth programmes -the monitoring of the role and position of young people in society -the improvement of the conditions for organized youth activities and youth organizations -the stimulation of the mobility of young people -the research for better ways of supplying young people with information and advice -the support for international exchanges and the subsidizing of trips for children and young people -the encouragement of various interest activities of young people and the creation of conditions for the inclusion of young people in social processes. The Office for Youth is helping to set up a network of youth organizations, councils and centres, as well as information and advisory centers.
Contact: Office for Youth Sanja Vraber, MA, Director phone: +386 1 426 57 01 fax: +386 1 425 91 46 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.uradzamladino.org
43 - Youth Organizations National Youth Council The National Youth Council of Slovenia (MSS)16 is a national coordinative structure of national youth organizations in Slovenia. The National Youth Council of Slovenia is an umbrella organization linking 17 non-governmental organizations for young people with various interests and outlooks or political orientations. Membership in MSS is exclusively collective and is intended for all youth organizations that are organized on the national level, have volunteer membership and democratic structure. The Youth Council helps stimulate the development of youth policies at home and abroad. The Office for Youth meets with Council representatives within the framework of the Mixed Commission for Youth Issues, the purpose of which is the provision of information on topical issues relating to young people and the co-ordination of standpoints on all open issues. The working areas of the National Youth Council of Slovenia (MSS) are: - Training and education MSS organizes different training activities – their aim is to provide the basic training skills for youth leaders from member organizations. - Information work It includes collection and distribution of information interesting for youth, and also promotion of (new and old) topics among youth organizations. - International co-operation Since 1996 MSS is a full member of European Youth Forum (EYF) and takes part in their international youth activities. MSS also offers a possibility to its member organizations to participate in the activities of Council of Europe. Since its establishment has also prepared several international (bilateral or multilateral) projects. - Social affairs MSS promotes the volunteer work and tries to influence the social status of young people and the recognition of youth organizations in society. - Development of youth structures MSS encourages the development of youth organizations as a tool of their active participation in the society on the national level. In the last years one of the priorities has been the development of local youth structures. Together with Youth Department of Slovenia MSS carried out a project “The
Contacts: Mladinski svet Slovenije (MSS) National youth council of Slovenia Address: Linhartova 13, 1000 Ljubljana Phone: +386 (0)1 430 12 09 Fax: +386 (0)1 433 85 07 Email: email@example.com
44 programme of Local Youth Structures Development”. MSS cooperate with Youth Department of Slovenia (Ministry of Education, Science and Sport), not only on the projects, but also in the so called “Joint Commission for Youth Issues” as a consultative body consisting of representatives of both: MSS and Youth Department of Slovenia. Member organizations Full members - Youth Forum of the United List of Social Democrats - New Generation of People s Party - Young Liberal Democracy - Slovenian Democratic Youth - Young Slovenia - Youth Club of Speleology Association - Young Guild - Association of Students Clubs of Slovenia - Community of Catholic Youth - Association of Slovenian Rural Youth - Association of Catholic Girls Guide and Boy Scouts - Student Cultural Centre - Scout Association of Slovenia - Šolt Association
Associated members - Hostelling International Slovenia - Young European Federalist - Slovenia Local Community Youth Councils Local Community Youth Councils are responsible for youth work and youth policy on a local level, and thus represent the foundations for the participation of young people in local communities. Since the promulgation of the Youth Councils Act in 2000, such councils have been set up in local communities to act as unifying and representative bodies on a local level and as advocates of the interests of young people to the local authorities. Local community youth councils represent the interests of the young to local authorities and negotiate a share of the municipal budget intended for the young. In accordance with the law, the young have the right to express their opinion on all issues that concern them, discussed in municipal agencies. Being an organised group enables them to arrange various activities and make use of different forms of acquiring the means for their functioning (municipal tenders, the Office of the Republic of Slovenia for Youth, Youth Programme, etc.)
Youth centres Youth centres are a meeting point of the young of all ages and different points of view, where they create and develop a variety of club activities. The Centres offer the chance of preventive work, informal education and training of the young at a local level. The Office for Youth advises youth centres and clubs, helps them with mutual coordination and carrying out of projects and informs them about different work and creative possibilities. Every year the Office also co-finances programmes and projects of local youth centres and clubs.
Funding of Projects The Office for Youth issues annual public tenders, which are intended for funding of youth organization and youth centre activities and funding programmes for youth and children. Tenders are meant for voluntary and non-profitable organizations; which carry out a variety of programmes intended for youth in Slovenia. Every year the Office fund a variety of programmes and projects through public tenders, in which youth centres, clubs, societies and councils can apply for funds for their ideas and various activities.
Consultative and decision-making structures of youth policy Developing and monitoring the quality of life of the young in Slovenia is governed by numerous laws and regulations, and it is directly influenced by many institutions, organisations and individuals. The main goal of the Office is to have an impact on implementing laws dealing with youth activities, calling attention to ineffective regulations and suggesting more effective bills. In this area, the Office for Youth operates through a small organisational body, where the Office policy is adjusted within the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport. In conjunction with this is the co-ordination of public tenders, where representatives of the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport and representatives of the Office for Youth collaborate on various commissions for co-financing programmes and activities. Representatives of the Office of the Republic of Slovenia for Youth co-operate on various committees, such as the National Council for Human Rights, and have an impact on the budget adjustment and closely monitor legislation relating to problems and activities of the young. Every year, the Office for Youth organises and hosts a variety of conferences and round tables, where they seek solutions for current problems of the young. In numerous seminars and workshops, young experts are trained for work in youth organizations.
46 Post-transition: 2004, the first year of full membership of the EU17 During the first year of full membership of the EU, the experience gained in the past decade is considered to be valuable when assessing whether the guidelines set were optimal. Parallel to the promotion and expansion of vertical and horizontal youth policy, recently the tightening effects and some drawbacks can also be noted. Instead of the 'comanagement' model we now face the consulting one. The roles of the other NGOs, semiyouth and private institutions have increased and partial interests been strengthened. As a result, youth policy is seen as breaking into smaller pieces and becoming non-transparent, disproportional and asymmetrical within the sector. Sub-fields of the youth sector are not given the equal-opportunity support. The Council of Europe experts visited Slovenia between 21 and 24 May 2002. The team of the Council experts emphasized: 'Roles need to be clearly identified, transparently, so that conflicts may be openly resolved. Where 'inter-ministerial' and government activity fracture from key actors within civil society youth policy loses its momentum and legitimacy. This is in essence, the 'participation dilemma' of youth policy: if there are no clear structures for dialogue both vertically and horizontally, at all levels, then credibility is low and there is the risk of an 'implementation gap' as motivation evaporates and suspicions about other motives creep in.' Towards the integral youth policy New circumstances call for the supplementary synthesis of national policy being challenged also by the open method of coordination within the EU18. In 2004, the working groups for the Youth Act and for the recognition of the status of youth workers finished their work. Initiative was taken to amend the Youth Councils Act; the draft Voluntary service act is being prepared for reading in Parliament. The adoption of the Youth Act, envisaged after the 2004 elections to the Parliament, will pave the way to the National Programme (or at least a Resolution), which will define institutional obligations more precisely.
"Youth Policy in Slovenia", Zorko Škvor (Senior Adviser at the Youth Department of the Republic of Slovenia), Forum 21, European Journal on Youth Policy, No3 (December 2004), available at: http://www.coe.int/T/E/Cultural_Cooperation/Youth/5._Information_services/Forum_21/N3_Slovenia.pdf 18 Commission of the European Communities (November 2001), European Commission White Paper: A New Impetus for European Youth. Available at: http://europa.eu.int/eur-lex/en/com/wpr/2001/com2001_0681en01.pdf The open method involves “fixing guidelines for the Union combined with specific timetables for achieving the goals which [the Member States] set in the short, medium and long terms; establishing, where appropriate, quantitative and qualitative indicators and benchmarks against the best in the world and tailored to the needs of different Member States and sectors as a means of comparing best practice; translating these European guidelines into national and regional policies by setting specific targets and adopting measures, taking into account national and regional differences; periodic monitoring, evaluation and peer review organized as mutual learning processes” . The open method of coordination therefore offers a “way of encouraging cooperation, the exchange of best practice and agreeing common targets and guidelines for Member States… It relies on regular monitoring of progress to meet those targets, allowing Member States to compare their efforts and learn from the experience of others”.
The Mid-term youth policy guidelines, the Strategy 2002-2006 Summary establishes the following goals: - restructuring of the Office for Youth of the Republic of Slovenia (RS) to provide its legal form within the Ministry or the Government of the RS so as to strengthen its importance and influence at the national level; - establishment of an inter-ministerial body for youth at the Government level (Government Council for Youth Issues); - gradual increase of budget appropriations for co-financing youth programmes and youth organizations; - concentration of inter-ministerial method of co-financing youth activities with various Ministries and other public bodies; - introduction of an ombudsman for children and young people.
Youth policy in Estonia
According to the Youth Work Act, which came into force 1 April 1999, a young person is a person between the age of 7 and 26.
Youth Work Act (1 April 1999) Youth work (1) Youth work is the creation of conditions for young people for activities which facilitate their development and enable them to be active outside their families, curricula and work on the basis of their free will. (2) The content of youth work is the social, cultural and health education of young people which promotes the mental and physical development of young people.
Involvement in youth policy Youth affairs are discussed by the Cultural Committee of the Parliament. The responsible ministry is the Ministry of Education and Research, which coordinates the youth affairs activities of county governments and directs the operations of the Estonian Youth Work Centre, its sub-unit. The main level of organisation of youth work is local government, which delegates its youth work duties to the third sector by way of outsourcing, if possible.
48 Youth work is performed in various situations and places using various methods and aiming at ensuring the performance of youth work as closely to the place of residence of a young person as possible. - Parliament (Riigikogu) and the Government of the Republic The Parliament creates legislative basis for youth work, allocates necessary budgetary resources based on youth work concept and development plan. - The Ministry of Education and Research19 The Ministry of Education and Research prepares the national programmes of youth work, supports the activities of youth associations and allocates annual grants thereto. The Ministry prepares an overview of the results and studies of youth work. The Ministry performs other functions provided by law, regulations of the Government of the Republic and the statutes of the Ministry of Education. In co-operation with public-, thirdand business sector representatives, the Ministry of Education and Research changes and improves youth work legislation, youth work concept and development plan and the national youth work programs and projects necessary in the implementation process thereof. It guarantees the planning and supervision of the use of state budgetary funds needed for the implementation of youth work development plan. - Estonian Youth Work Centre (EYWC) The Estonian Youth Work Centre is a national centre for the work with the youth under the authority of the Estonian Ministry of Education and Research and its main purpose is to direct and organize youth work as part of the national youth policy. The priority of the EYWC is achieving good administrative capacity in the field of youth work as a whole. It also accommodates roundtables of eight fields of youth work, which unite the experts of various fields, ensuring the cohesion and development activities with the local development and the field networks. - Youth Policy Council The main participatory body in the field is the Youth Policy Council, a counselling body of the Minister of Education and Research. The Youth Policy Council analyses the status of the Estonian youth policy, including draft legislation concerning the youth policy and presents the Council's proposals for shaping them. It ensures broad advice for making decisions in the field of youth policy and youth work. The Youth Policy Council makes proposals for preparation of strategic youth policy documents and preparation of national and state programmes and assess them.
Contact: Ms Anne Kivimäe Acting head of youth affairs department Estonian Ministry of Education and Research firstname.lastname@example.org
49 The Council consists of 6 representatives of youth associations appointed by the Estonian National Youth Council, 1 representative of county governments and 1 representative of local authorities appointed by the Estonian Youth Advisors Association and 3 representatives of national institutions (Ministry of Education and Research, Estonian Youth Work Centre, Youth for Europe Estonian Agency). - Student Council The Union of Estonian Student Governments and the Federation of Estonian Student Unions have delegate their representatives into the Student Council, a body counselling the Minister of Education and Research. The Student Council allows the representatives of students to introduce their education-related positions and problems to the Minister of Education and Research. The Council meets 4 times a year. - County governor County governor has the responsibility to co-ordinate the drafting and implementation of the national youth policy in the counties and to exercise supervision over the use of funds allocated for youth work from the state budget in the counties. County governors also organizes the provision of information for and counseling of young people in the counties by way of entering into a contract with a legal or natural person for the provision of the specified service. It creates possibilities for the development of third sector and the implementation of youth work projects. - Rural municipality and city councils Rural municipality and city councils determine the priorities of youth work in their administrative territories and set out the tasks necessary for the achievement thereof in the rural municipality or city development plans. They also support the youth programmes and youth projects of youth associations operating in the administrative territory of the given rural municipality or city, approve the conditions, procedure and application forms for supporting the youth programmes and youth projects of youth associations from the rural or city municipality budget. Rural municipality and city councils perform other functions connected with the organization of youth work in their administrative territories. Youth associations operating in the administrative territory of a rural municipality or a city have the right to submit proposals to the rural municipality or city council upon the preparation of rural municipality or city development plan. Local government creates possibilities to involve third sector in the planning and organizing process of youth work on the regional level. It delegates youth work functions to third sector by buying services from it depending on the readiness of the latter to provide such services and organizes supervision on the use of resources allocated from the local government budget to organize youth work. - Youth assemblies
50 Youth parliaments and youth councils, which have been established in several local authorities, are becoming the most important form of participation of young people. - Third sector The sector independently organizes youth work taking into account objectives specified in its articles of association. It participates in the development of the priorities of youth work on the local government level and in the drafting of development plan. The Third sector also organizes youth work together with local government. Youth associations Youth associations are legal persons registered as a non-profit association. Nonformal youth groups are possible as well. The objectives and activities of youth associations are established by joint decisions of members. Youth associations are engaged in one or several fields of youth work, pursuant to the decisions of their members. Youth associations may have a separate office, a youth work agency (e.g. a youth centre, youth camp, etc.) or a youth club and hire employees. Nevertheless, most of the youth work in youth associations is performed by volunteers. According to the Estonian non-profit associations register, there are approximately 150 youth associations and a dozen youth workers' associations in Estonia. According to the Estonian National Youth Council, about 40 of the youth associations are socially active and participate in the development of youth work. 15 Estonian youth associations have over 500 members.
- Youth centres They are run by local authorities or non-profit associations. Youth centres may be different, ranging from centres operating pursuant to the principle of open youth work (socalled open youth centres) in larger agencies or buildings (e.g. culture houses, general education schools, blocks of flats, etc.) to centres located in buildings designed specifically for such purposes, which organize youth work in the territory of the local government. Youth work is organized in youth centres in several fields of youth work (e.g. open youth work, information, counseling, hobby groups, etc.) or it is concentrated on one specific field (e.g. open youth work, special youth cooperation, etc.). Over 110 open youth centres have been established in Estonia over the past three years.
- Hobby schools As institutions possessing an education license, hobby schools provide young people with hobby education of various levels on the basis of a curriculum. The sub-types of hobby education are general culture, creative activities, nature and the environment, technology and sports. The sub-types contain a wide spectrum of hobby education-
51 specific fields: dancing, acting, handicraft, model aviation, study of various musical instruments, study of local lore, etc. Some hobby schools organize open youth work, information and counseling. There are about 200 licensed hobby schools in Estonia.
- Information and counselling centres County information and counselling centres are developed with the support of the Ministry of Education and Research as from 1999. There are several well-functioning local points and centres of information. The centres provide young people with information and counselling. The information must be easily available both on paper as well as through the Internet. There are over 30 centres and information points.
- Business sector The business sector participates primarily as local government's co-operation partner in organizing youth work and acts as possible financing partner.
Consultative and decision-making structures of youth policy On the level of the government the task of the structural units of the Ministry of Education and Research is to coordinate, plan and create necessary legislative conditions in order to develop the field of youth work. Decision-making process involves cooperation with the Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Social Affairs, Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ministry Justice and Finance, Ministry of Ethnic affairs and Ministry of Regional Affairs. Council of youth work has been established in the Ministry of Education and Research to involve different parties in the process of making decisions on the most essential issues of youth work. On the county level the tasks of youth work have been delegated to at least one county and/or local government official. Juvenile committee has been established on the county level and it makes decisions on the field of crime prevention or special youth work. On the level of local government the task of organizing youth work has been delegated at least to one local government official, for more direct organization of youth work hobby schools have been established, youth centres have been opened. Contracts have been signed to provide the offering of youth work services.
Estonian Youth Policy and Youth Work strategy 2006-201320
Estonian Youth Policy and Youth Work strategy 2006-2013: A short summary.
52 The document aims to define goals and measures necessary to be implemented in order to further develop youth policy and one of its domains – youth work – in Estonia. The strategy paper also defines core elements, principles and terms for youth policy and youth work. Increased cooperation in planning, financing and implementing of youth policy in different domains and harmonized efforts on all the levels of administration, especially local level, are the targets this document defines as means to achieve goals of youth policy and youth work for 2006-2013. The strategy paper is divided into 2 main parts: youth policy and youth work. Youth policy Youth policy in Estonia needs to take a step further from just identifying youth as a special target group in various domains – education, employment, health, etc. and move to coordinated, goal-orientated common policy planning i.e. integrated youth policy, which is based on up-to-date knowledge of youth situation, actual challenges and needs that young people are facing today. The main aim of the youth policy in Estonia for the period 2006-2013 is to insure youth participation and development in all the youth policy domains, based on actual interests and needs of young people. In order to achieve this aim, following objectives are defined: 1) actions related to and aimed at young people are based on knowledge of youth situation and actual needs of young people; 2) young people have tangible possibilities to participate in policy planning and decision-making processes concerning issues related to and aimed at youth; 3) integrated youth policy is designed, planned and implemented in cooperation with different parties of youth policy. Youth work The main goal of youth work is to create opportunities for young people for activities that facilitate their development and enable them to be active outside their families, formal education and work, to support the young person in the socialisation process and promote his/her transition into a well-coping member of society. The target group of youth work is young people aged between 7-26 years. Youth work is organised by different institutions and in different settings i.e. youth organisations, youth centres, hobby-schools, youth camps, youth programmes and projects, extra-curriculum activities in school etc.
Available at: http://www.entk.ee/failid/English%20summary%20(YWIIIF).doc
53 There are 10 fields of action in youth work: special youth work, hobby activities and education, youth information, youth counselling, youth research, training, youth camps, youth integration into labour market, international youth work and youth participation. The main aim in youth work for the period 2006-2013 is to insure sustainability of youth work by increasing variability, accessibility and quality of youth work services. To achieve this aim, it is necessary 1) to promote methods used in youth work; 2) to rise the quality of youth work and professionalism of youth workers; 3) to increase youth involvement in youth work and accessibility of youth work services; 4) to develop the network of youth work and support services.
Financing of Youth Work21 Youth work has been, is and will be financed from four main sources: - Parents and young people themselves; Budgets of local authorities - the local government budgets have funding for cultural and youth issues, which is used for financing projects and salaries of local youth specialists. State budget, as a part of the budget of the Ministry of Education 1) grants for youth programmes and youth projects of youth associations; 2) annual grants for youth associations, the membership of which includes at least 500 young persons and the local units of which operate in the territory of at least one third of the counties; 3) grants for national and regional programmes of youth work; 4) grants for youth studies; 5) grants for agencies which organise youth work; 6) grants for international youth work; 7) grants for training youth workers. Along with the funds designated for primary youth work training and the amounts allocated to youth projects from the collected gambling tax, the resource allocated through the Ministry of Education and Research for the development of the youth field in 2004 is approximately 65 million kroons. One third of the budget comes from gambling tax provisions, where the final decision on allocated support is made by the Gambling Tax Council of the Parliament. 21
Estonian Youth Policy: Youth work in Estonia. Available at: http://www.entk.ee/failid/yothworkEST.doc
54 Programme YOUTH The broadest field of activity in international cooperation aimed at young people is the implementation of the Youth programme – 241 different international youth projects with a total value of 14.6 million kroons have been supported by this EU programme through 2000-2002. The programme is coordinated by the Youth for Europe Estonian Agency, which, in addition to the main activities of the programme (youth exchanges, voluntary service and encouragement of the initiative of young people), provides young people, groups of young people and youth workers with counselling, training and contacts. Gambling Tax Foundation – youth projects; youth organizations and youth camps Open Estonia Foundation - European Integration, Civil Society and Central and Eastern European Cooperation Baltic-American Partnership Program – NGO”s in local level Integration Foundation Regional Environmental Centre (for Central and Eastern Europe) – local initiatives, NGO support European Youth Foundation Norden – Nordic Councils of Ministers - Cultural Exchange Programme for Children and Young Adults; EXCHANGE OF CIVIL SERVANTS 2005; Joint Action Plan in Combating the Use of Drugs in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Northwest Russia; Nordic Action Plan for Children and Young Adults in the Adjacent Areas
Questionnaire on 'Participation' in Estonia22 EUROPEAN COMMISSION Directorate-General for Education and Culture
European Commission (2002), Directorate-General for Education and Culture, Questionnaire on 'Participation' in Estonia.
55 1) What are the type and the number of participative structures that include young people (local, regional and national youth councils, young people's Parliaments, etc.)? The structures for youth participation are in different forms and stages of development in different local and regional authorities depending mainly on the status and level of development of youth work. The following types of structures can be mentioned: • Local and regional youth councils: generally these are cooperation bodies for local and/or regional youth organizations. The approximate number: 2 • Youth parliaments: movement initiated by young people usually involving representatives of student councils, youth organizations, individual young people. Number: 6 • Local youth work commissions by local government councils: structural bodies of local government councils, members include politicians, youth workers, youth organizations. Number: 3 • National Youth Council: the Estonian Youth Council was founded by 26 youth organizations on 19th of May 2002. • Youth work council by the Ministry of Education: structural body established by the Minister of Education involving representatives of youth council, youth work organizations, other ministries of Social Affairs, Culture and Justice, local youth counsellors. • Pupils and student council by the Ministry of Education: structural body established by the Minister of Education composed of delegates from the Estonian School Student Council Union and Federation of Estonian Student Unions.
2) What are the institutional authorities competent in regarding the development of young people’s participation? The responsibility of organizing youth work has been put on the local government level with the Estonian Youth Work Act. The Youth Work Act contains an amendment to the Local Government Organization Act – the responsibility of youth work was added to the list of responsibilities of local authorities. The local governments decide what the main objectives of youth work are in its territory and the extent to which these shall be implemented. Young people’s participation is declared as a principle of youth work in the documents Youth Work Concept of Estonia and Development Plan for Youth Work in Estonia, which do not have direct obligatory status neither for local governments nor for municipal institutions. At the same time, it is obvious that both municipal institutions organizing youth work and local governments do take these documents as principle bases to develop local development plans and/or organize the structure of youth work. On the other hand these documents have obligatory status for the Ministry of Education as a governmental body responsible for youth policy and youth work. Therefore it is the responsibility of local governments to develop forms, structures and conditions for young people’s participation at the local level and the responsibility of the Ministry of Education at the state level.
3) What are the specific actions which help young people’s participation in their local community’s life and support their initiatives? What are the follow-up mechanisms? How is the relay between the local and national level organized? There are no coordinated actions from the governmental sector at the national level organized to increase participation in local communities, except clear identifications of youth participation as priority in several legislative documents, which are to be taken under advisement for local authorities. Also there is a lack of information about local initiatives, their character and forms.
4) (a) Referring to the functioning of youth councils, how is each level represented at the "higher" level (local within the regional(*), regional(*) within the national, and the national at the European level)? (b) A large number of young people do not belong to any youth organization or to any structure enhancing formal participation. How do you involve these young people in the dialogue processes and how do you take their opinions and their initiatives into account? (c) Participation is also a learning process. It contributes to social cohesion. Does participation have an impact on the personal path of young people? There is the Youth Work Council as an inter-sectorial and consultative body of the Ministry of Education including members from different ministries and youth associations. The Estonian Youth Work Council is the main body that implements the youth policy in Estonia. There is Estonian National Youth Council with 27 associations, which are partners for the ministry in many different activities. Certain decisions on youth policy are made in cooperation of the Estonian Association of Youth Councillors. The Students’ Council is an advisory body for the Minister of Education comprising representatives of Estonian School Student Council Union and Federation of Estonian Student Unions. It discusses important issues in education. Estonian School Student Councils Union founded in 1998 is a non-governmental politically independent organization based on students’ active voice. At the present moment it is the only organization in Estonia, which represents Estonian secondary and vocational school students from all over Estonia also on national and international level. At the present moment organization unites 110 school student councils. Federation of Estonian Student Unions (FESU) was established in 1991 and it has been expanding quickly representing today 95% of the students. The organization also tries to improve academic as well as social standards for students. All university student unions that have democratic structures and have been recognized by the Estonian Ministry of Education as higher education institutions can apply for the membership of FESU.
In Estonia young people have possibilities to get advice and counseling from youth centres in each county. Open Youth Centres programme is being developed. They are open centres where all young people can go on voluntary bases and they serve as youth work coordination centres in a region. Recreational and educational leisure programmes support leisure activities of youth and youth camps. The number of youth initiative projects has grown three times since 2000. Estonian Youth Work Centre has together with Baltic Sea Youth Project organised several trainings for youth organisations. An adventure-training programme provides young people opportunities for self-development through role-plays, workshops, sport games in adventurous surroundings like hikes and camps. As in many previous cases, it is important to underline that there are no studies conducted to evaluate the influence of participation experiences on one’s personal path. At the same time, there are multiple indicators and examples to claim that there is a relevant impact of active participation to the personal paths of young people – generally meaning acquiring skills recognized as the ones important to success; also a wider range of options and choices for personal development.
Youth policy in Croatia23
In Croatia, youth is regard to be between the ages of 15 and 29. Involvement in youth policy - Institutional framework of Youth policy in the Republic of Croatia from 1990 to 2004 Article 62 of the Constitution of the Republic of Croatia (RH) determines the responsibility of the state to protect youth and to create social, cultural, educational, material and other conditions that will promote and enable the fruition of the right to a dignified life. Numerous oscillations can be noticed in national youth policy from 1990 to date. These oscillations are related to the changes in the general political-institutional system in the entire country however, they are also related to the turbulent events taking place amongst certain umbrella youth organization that together with the government were to create and promote national youth policy.
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in cooperation with the Institute of Economics in Zagreb, the Center for Peace Studies (CMS), the Democratic Youth Initiative (DIM) and the Croatian Youth Network (MMH), Croatian Human Development Report and Youth 2004. Available at: http://www.undp.hr/en/areas/democratic/nhdr_pdf/03%20MladiiDrzava.pdf
58 - State bodies at the national level responsible for youth The Croatian Government Council for Youth is the first national inter-portfolio body established to co-operate with youth. It was founded in 1993 and consisted of twenty members, six were from umbrella youth organization. In 1997, the government abolished the Council and in January it set up the State Institute for the Protection of the Family, Maternity and Youth (DZZOMM) which was a state administrative body with one department and one employee responsible for the care of youth. At the time, youth organizations intensified their cooperation with the Sabor (Croatian Parliament) Committee for the Family, Youth and Sport. In the second half of 1998, the Croatian Government founded the Government Office for Cooperation with Non-Governmental Organizations as a direct link between the Government as the highest executive body and civil society organization – including youth organizations. With the change in government on 3 January 2000, a new era began with youth becoming involved in the decision making process in RH. The Croatian government obliged the DZZOMM to create a National Youth Policy Document. Following their participative role in creating the document, at its session of 2 October 2002, the Sabor supported the draft - National Programme of Action for Youth (NPDM). The Croatian Government adopted the NPDM at its session held on 16 January 2003. With the change of government in November 2003, we have a new institutional framework. The DZZOMM no longer exists in its former structure but instead the Ministry for the Family, Veterans and Inter-Generational Solidarity was set up which includes activities related to youth. - National Youth Council Recent history of Croatia’s youth sector – from 1990 to date – is marked with three larger attempts to establish some kind of an umbrella organization. The National Alliance of Croatian Youth was founded in 1991 with 16 national youth organizations as members however, in an effort to depoliticize umbrella organizations in early 1992 it was decided that youth branches of political parties should not be full members but associate members. The National Alliance of Croatian Youth was in 1995 accepted in the Council of European National Youth Councils (CENYC), which represents a platform of the European Youth Forum (EYF). Nevertheless, in 1996 everything seemed to take a turn for the worse and political parties interfered in the change of leadership and changed the association’s name to the Croatian Alliance of Youth Groups (HSMU). Everything culminated with the departure of the majority of member organization from the HSMU and with the HSMU being excluded in 1999 from the European Youth Forum. After the change in government in 2000 an alternative to the HSMU was founded – the Croatian National Youth Council (NSMH) however, this association too did not last too long. Because of its intransparent activities and failure to conduct annual assemblies it lost the majority of its members and its legitimacy. Following several diplomatic errors and conflicts it lost its credibility before the government and all relevant international institutions and international youth organizations.
Comparatively with the process of creating a national youth policy document, the DZZOMM in association with several youth organizations, initiated the process of networking youth organizations into a new umbrella organization. Croatian Youth Network (MMH) was founded late 1992 by 55 youth organizations, but still did not fulfill its role of being a true national youth council such as those that exist in the EU. The reason for this was the dissatisfaction of several members with the networking process who then decided to be passive members; a certain number of members as well as the entire youth sector is faced with the problem of the lack of capable people to lead it. The main reason for this being that the number of the elected management of the MMH has been in reality halved. The fact remains that Croatia still does not have a national youth council that is a full member of the European Youth Forum (EYF). Membership to that regional umbrella organization brings with it new opportunities for the young and youth organizations in Croatia. - Local and regional Youth Councils Even though local and regional youth councils are a constant practice in the majority of European countries, the Republic of Croatia still does not have a legally regulated system of local and regional youth councils. One of the well known acts by international institutions dealing with this topic is the European Charter on Youth Participation in Life of Municipality and Regions adopted by the Council of Europe in 1992. Croatia has been a member of that institution since 1996. The charter regulates the obligation for local and regional governments to adjust their regulations in order to enable the participation of youth in decision-making. The second most important document that should be mentioned in this context is the White Paper by the European Commission “A New Impetus for European Youth” and if Croatia wants to accede to European Union, it should adopt the Paper as well as certain other European Union standards relating to youth participation in decision-making processes regarding youth. While initiating the process of networking youth organizations the DZZOMM also initiated a debate process in an effort to create and have the Law on Youth Councils adopted. That processes culminated in June 2003 when the bill received consensus by the majority of youth organizations with a few minor adjustments and should have been submitted into legislative procedure. However, feedback from the Croatian Government was not positive due to the additional costs required to open a new administrative register intended exclusively for youth councils registered at the local or county level. Administrative explanations prevailed over involving youth in decision-making processes. In December 2003 a new debate was opened with the co-operation of the Alliance of Associations of Cities and Association of Municipalities in the Republic of Croatia to discuss the Law. This process is still continuing.
The emergence of the National Programme of Action for Youth
60 The Council of Europe initiated the development and creation of the National Programme of Action for Youth as part of Croatian accession to the European Union. The Croatian Government was assigned the task to regulate the position of youth – as the future power of social development. The task of writing the National Programme of Action for Youth (NPDM), was adjusted to European standards and was assigned to the State Institute for the Protection of the Family, Maternity and Youth. More than seventy young people and over 30 youth organizations were involved in the process of creating the National Programme. A proposal of the programme was created by a working group of the DZZOMM which was formed with a total of 80 members (9 subgroups by areas of the programme) and state government bodies, experts and scientists as well as youth representatives. After drafting the first official programme, the idea was to involve youth through a campaign Join In where they could contribute their opinions, add new proposals or evaluate what had already been written. The public campaign endeavored to include 1,000 young people in the process of writing this document before it was submitted to the Sabor and Government for adoption. However, the campaign came too late. Due to the poor timing and insufficient communication, the Sabor adopted the bill before the results of the campaign was collected and analyzed. The campaign nevertheless proved to be a good idea and motivated young people to actively include themselves in the debate about the problems of youth and proposed models to resolve these problems. By using a specially designed computer programme, this was the first time that an official state document could be directly created by those who the document affected – Croatian youth. The usual practice was that strategic documents such as these were adopted within ministries or at closed sessions of the Government while their implementation was left up to the relevant ministries and other state bodies. “When we were given the opportunity to participate in creating this programme, we realized that this would be just another piece of paper if we did not allow young people in Croatia to learn about its existence. We also wanted to check that what we had written and were seeking funding from the state budget related to the real needs of youth. This resulted in the idea to initiate a public campaign by which the document could be accessible to as many young people as possible and to give them the opportunity to change what they wanted to. We were fortunate that the entire process of the National Programme was headed by two wonderful women from the DZZOMM (Dejana Bouillet and Ivana Kanceljak), who managed to find the funds for this “revolutionary project”, said Andrija Vranić, a member of the first working group and the mastermind behind the campaign and coordinator of information points (CMS). The campaign was organized so that as many publicly accessible computers were made available (in secondary schools, faculties, libraries, open universities, cultural centres, youth organizations and clubs) with a specially designed programme that contained all the documents forming the national programme as well as a survey that would assist in choosing priorities, comment on the proposed measures and propose ideas for new projects targeted to youth at the local and national level. On the other hand, TV
61 and radio spots were recorded and a web page for the campaign so that the public would receive the message that these computer programme existed at “info-points” and as many young people as possible were called to offer feedback information relating to the NPDM. The info-points were set up in 115 towns in Croatia. The campaign lasted from 20 September to 20 November 2002 and over 1,600 comments were made by youth around the country. The results of the campaign served as an indicator of the success of the document and showed that the NPDM was truly written for youth and that it catered to its needs. Contents of the document or what does the programme offer us? The Croatian National Programme of Action for Youth declares clear and long-term determination to create social, educational, cultural, material and other conditions for the permanent well being of youth and their active, total and responsible participation in society. Programme determinants: ·National youth policy ·Strategy for implementation of national youth policy ·Action programme (measures) ·Recommendations to non-governmental organizations and local and regional self government With the Programme the Republic of Croatia, with an objective insight into the circumstances in which its young citizens (15 to 29) live in, set its programme objectives for the activities to rule all political factors towards youth in the period up to 2008. With the adoption of the NPDM, the Croatian Government obliged itself to realize the following strategic objectives as soon as possible: · advance legislature that relates to the needs and problems of youth; · define tasks for individual portfolios, relevant government bodies and public institutions in fulfilling international, constitutional and legislative obligations for the Republic of Croatia relating to youth; · improve the quality of life for all its citizens, particularly youth, keeping in mind their interest and in line with European standards and best practice models; · include as many young people as possible in the decision making process about the needs and problems of youth; · introduce new blood to managing social structures; · mobilize all potential in society, particularly the young and most creative members of the community in creating new material and spiritual values
62 for open and sustainable development, active role in the European integration processes and development of a democratic society and a rule of law; · create conditions to reaffirm youth in Croatia, decrease their emigration (brain drain) and motivate return of emigrants and their integration into Croatian society; · develop constructive and partner like relations with youth NGOs and local and regional self-government bodies in the aim of achieving the objectives of well being of youth. The NPDM’s Working Plan sets the basic tasks for state government bodies and organizations to implement the National Programme and calls on local government bodies and all nongovernmental organizations and civil initiatives, but also other stakeholders such as religious communities and political parties, to mutually motivate joint action to contribute towards achieving objectives leading to the well-being of youth in the following areas: · education and information · employment and entrepreneurship · youth social policy · health protection and reproductive health · active participation of youth in the community · youth culture and leisure time · civil society development and voluntary work · mobility, information and counseling The measures contained in the NPDM were truly directed to improving the status of youth in Croatia and this is the first document in Croatia that is all encompassing with regard to youth. It analyses their problems, offers solutions, obliges certain state institutions to implement these solutions in reality. Some of the measures are truly revolutionary and are in line with the most contemporary European trends. The NPDM itself shows just how participatory the entire process of creating the document was, i.e. that for the first time, youth in Croatia were given the opportunity to offer their recommendations to the government with regard to resolving priority problems faced by youth in Croatia. Where the NPDM failed however, was neither in the process of its adoption nor in its contents but in its implementation which simply did not follow once the Programme was adopted.
63 The National Programme of Action for Youth should be implemented in the period from 2003 to 2008. In the fifth chapter of the NPDM there is a Working Plan that determines a total of 110 measures that need to be implemented in that five year period with the aim of creating conditions for the well-being of youth and their active participation in society. According to the provisions of the Working Plan to implement the set 110 measures, 32 various government bodies have been assigned tasks even though since the change in government after the elections, many of these bodies have been changed and have different names now. The largest number of measures relates to the education system, higher education, health, social welfare and entrepreneurship and as such the relevant portfolios are most often responsible for the measures noted in the NPDM. Most of the measures relate to the former Ministry of Education and Sports (now the Ministry of Science, Education and Sports) – 31 measures and the former State Institute for the Protection of the Family, Maternity and Youth which is now a department within the Ministry of the Family, Veterans and Inter-Generational Solidarity – 25 measures. Here it has to be mentioned that in 2003 the DZZOMM employed only a few people. The fourth chapter of the National Programme of Action for Youth described the funding to implement the NPDM. The Republic of Croatia has ensured funding from the state budget required to realize the National Programme in the way that each of the relevant ministries or bodies are to include relevant activities in their budget plans in line with the operative plan determined to implement certain measures or activities. Realization of specific tasks is planned to be implemented in cooperation and partnership with local and regional government bodies, where they will participate in funding according to their financial ability and needs of the local community. In order to realize certain measures contained in the National Programme, with the Government’s approval, the project coordinators can sign contracts with international organizations and other interested donors. Coordination of the implementation of NPDM’s Working Plan was assigned to the said DZZOMM, however in December 2003 (after the parliamentary election) the DZZOMM was abolished and partially transferred to the newly formed Ministry of the Family, Veterans and Inter-Generational Solidarity and now the Ministry is responsible to implement the NPDM. All government bodies responsible for measures contained in the Working Plan are obliged to adopt operative plans for individual measure within six months of the adoption of the NPDM. Each operative plan needs to describe implementation activities, the dynamics of the implementation (time frame), responsible bodies, funding required, foreseen sources of funding, implementation indicators and indicators of success. The DZZOMM encompassed all the operative plans for all the relevant bodies in the united document, the Implementation Plan of the NPDM which was proposed to the government in the autumn of 2003. For the purpose of implementing the NPDM and some other objectives, the Croatian Government founded Council for Youth (Savjet za mlade) which conducted its
64 first session on 30 October 2003. However, unfortunately, after this session, not one regular meeting was held again and following the parliamentary election the body was abolished. The National Programme foresaw that an evaluation of the NPDM would be implemented by expert teams consisting of representatives of the Government, expert institutions, NGOs and local self-government bodies. The body responsible for coordination of the implementation of the NPDM (previously the DZZOMM, now the Ministry) is responsible to submit an annual report to the government explaining the dynamic of implementation and the achieved results. The report is due 15 March for the previous year. The new state body responsible for youth, the Ministry for the Family, Veterans and Inter-Generational Solidarity announced that it would continue with youth policy commenced by the previous government. The new government would continue with implementing the National Programme of Action for Youth where the previous government and the State Institute for the Protection of the Family, Maternity and Youth had come to. Savjet za mlade (Council for Youth) was abolished due to procedural reasons and currently a new body is being appointed with the same members to continue to coordinate the implementation of the NPDM and inter-portfolio youth policy. Those responsible in the Ministry have declared that in addition to implementing the NPDM that they would triple the number of staff working on youth issues in national government bodies and to request increased budget funding for youth. It will continue to finance youth clubs and will open a government foundation to finance youth organizations. News received from those responsible in the relevant government bodies are encouraging but due to bad experiences in the past, youth organizations are taking this news cautiously and will be convinced when the NPDM begins to be implemented in earnest.
Croatian National Youth Council: Evaluation excerpt for the evaluation of the implementation of the world programme of action for youth24 National Youth Policy, Zagreb 1995-2005 Learned lessons 2000-2005 - UN / EU / CoE documents, plans, recommendations, researches should be translated and used in the process of adoption and implementation of National Youth Policy - Only financially independent youth sector can become an equal partner to Governement - Youth NGO (non-governmental organization) are different from Youth CSO (civil society organization) – roles should be clarified and partnership can be built - Internationalization of the National Youth Policy, international obligations by the European Commission and pressure on Croatian Government gives positive results - Formal education and non-formal training for all stakeholders in a youth policy processes are precondition for successes in youth policy adoption and implementation. Main obstacles 2000-2005 - Unstable political situation and politicization of youth policy issue and youth NGOs - Weak involvement of media and local self-governments - Lack of transparency in the tendering process - corruption
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Croatian Human Development Report 2004, Croatian National Youth Council: Evaluation excerpt for the evaluation of the implementation of the world programme of action for youth. Available at: http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/unyin/documents/wpaysubmissions/croatia.pdf
Annex Structures of youth policies in Luxembourg, Malta, Ireland,
Slovenia, Estonia and Croatia
First group: countries with a ministry, a special committee or a state secretary with responsibility for youth affairs
Youth Policy in Luxembourg
According to the Youth Ministry Policy Guidelines, youth is defined as the age group between 12 and 25 years. Practice of subsidiarity Government policy agendas are broadly defined by the central government through Actions Plans, but responsibility for their implementation and interpretation is largely devolved to local level. Ministry of Family, Social Solidarity and Youth - is responsible for coordinating all aspects of relevance to youth, without directly encroaching on the areas of work of the other ministries that also deal with youth affairs - these structures are intended to ensure that other ministerial departments take account of youth aspects coherently and in line with general approaches National Youth Service (Service National de la Jeunesse) is merged into the Ministry of Family, Social Solidarity and Youth. - is responsible for the operational implementation and realization of youth policy - promotes co-operation nationally between youth associations and organizations on the one hand and the Government and government bodies on the other Higher Youth Council (Conseil Superieur de la Jeunesse) comprises representatives from various ministries dealing with youth issues (the Ministries for Employment, Justice, Education, Health, Culture and Family, Social Solidarity and Youth), plus delegates from 5 NGOs, and is chaired by the Ministry for Youth. - acts as a multi-level discussion forum - advises the Youth Ministry on youth affairs - has no official decision-making power The 118 municipalities are responsible for their youth policy initiatives. The state offers it support in the form of funding, advice and monitoring, but it is the municipalities that decide which national initiatives to implement locally, and how far. - local youth parliaments and youth centres are present in many municipalities - the Municipal Youth Plan attempts to institutionalize concerted action between the national and the local levels
67 Private non-profit making organizations and associations There is a strong link with state through the nature of the sponsorship (institutional) and/or participation or steering committees. The structures involved have the form of a non-profit making association, but really act only as quasi nongovernmental organizations (QuaNGO’s), because the principal scope of their tasks is the pursuit of national approaches to youth policy. General Conference of Luxembourg Youth Most youth associations and organizations belong to an umbrella association, the "Conference Generale de la Jeunesse Luxembourgeoise" (General Conference of Luxembourg Youth – CGJL). - is consult by the Ministry if it needs to raise intended pilot projects in the youth field or devise basic youth policy documents
Youth policy in Malta
For the purpose of the National Youth Policy the defined age of youth are people age 14 to 30. Youth Department within the Ministry of Youth and Arts - three members of staff service the Youth Department within the Ministry - all policies affecting young people are monitored and “youth-proofed” by the Ministry - the Ministry consults the Youth Policy on a regular basis and, in collaboration with the National Youth Council, the Maltese Association of Youth Workers, the directorship of the Youth Studies Programme at the University of Malta, youth organizations and other stakeholders, revise it and organize a National Consultative Meeting for this purpose at least once every three years National Youth Council is the main body consulted in respect of policy formation serves as a forum for dialogue between young people facilitates networking and promotes cooperation among youth organizations Government provides office space and administrative support to the National Youth Council. Government also helps the Council by providing funds that are to be administered autonomously by the Council.
68 Malta is thinking of creating a National Youth Agency that will: promote youth development within society and provide a legal framework on matters relating to young people co-ordinate and monitor a cross-sectoral policy on youth. The National Youth Agency shall be managed by a body representative of the government, of professional youth and community workers, and of elected members from the NYC, the Maltese Association of Youth Workers, local councils, non-governmental organizations and the Youth Studies Programme of the University of Malta.
Youth Studies Programme of the University of Malta provides professional training for prospective youth and community workers undertakes researches on, and analysis of, issues that concern Maltese young people provides information and makes suggestions about policies that concern Maltese young people
Youth policy in Ireland
For the purpose of the Youth Work Act, 2001 a young person means a person who is under the age of 25 years. Particular regard is given to young people between the ages of 10 and 21 and to those who are socially or economically disadvantaged. Minister of Education and Science/ Minister of State for Youth Affairs - ensures the co-ordination of youth work programmes and youth work services with education programmes and other programmes that provide services for young persons appoints the National Youth Work Advisory Committee and gives direction to Vocational Education Committees Youth Affairs Section within the Department of Education and Science - is concerned with the non-formal education of Ireland’s young people and provides support by way of financial and other assistance to those providing youth work programmes and services - develops and reviews the policy framework for youth work - develops and supports consultation and co-operation at national and international level
69 Vocational Education Committees - ensure the provision within its vocational education area of youth work programmes or youth work services by co-ordination its plans, proposals and activities with approved national voluntary youth work organizations and designed local voluntary youth work organizations - are responsible for preparing a three year development plan for their administrative areas Youth Work Assessor - is responsible for strengthening accountability and efficiency in the youth service - provides information on the state of the youth work sector - enables decision-making on the basis of an appreciation of youth work provision National Youth Work Advisory Committee - is a source of advice in the production of youth policy 32 members: - 3 Ministerial nominees including the chairman - 2 representatives from the Department of Education and Science - 8 representatives from other Government Departments - 4 representatives from the Irish Vocational Education Association - 15 representatives nominated by the National Council of Ireland Voluntary Youth Councils (VYC) - for each vocational education area there shall be a VYC - are a forum for the voluntary youth work organizations operating in the vocational education area to discuss the provision of youth work programmes and youth work services in the area Prescribed, Authorized, Approved and Designated Youth Organizations - the Prescribed National Representation Youth Work Organization (prescribed by the Minister for Youth Affairs) nominates members of the National Youth Work Advisory Committee - the National Youth Council of Ireland is deemed to be prescribed as the first Prescribed National Representative Youth Work Organization - NYCI's role is recognized in legislation (Youth Work Act) and as a Social Partner
Second group: countries without a particular ministry with responsibility for youth matters, which consequently come under a ministry whose purview includes matters not always directly linked to youth affairs
Youth policy in Slovenia
The draft National programme for youth until 2013 sets the lowest and highest age limit at 14 and 29 years of age respectively and defines three types of young people: - young persons covering in particular pupils, apprentices and early active young; - classical, traditionally defined as young persons, covering students, active and 'socially excluded' youth population; and - prolonged youth, young adults covering the population not carrying out adult activities (employment, own family) because they are still attending school, are unemployed or whish to maintain the style of living of young. Ministry of Education, Science and Sport/ Office of the Republic of Slovenia for youth - his main goal is to have an impact on implementing laws dealing with youth activities, calling attention to ineffective regulations and suggesting more effectives bills - in conjunction with this is the co-ordination of public tenders, where representatives of the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport and representatives of the Office collaborate on various commissions co-financing programmes and activities The Office for Youth meets with the National Youth Council representatives within the framework of the Mixed Commission for Youth Issues, the purpose of which is the provision of information on topical issues relating to young people and co-ordination of standpoints on all open issues. Youth Organizations National Youth Council - is a national coordinative structure of national youth organizations in Slovenia (umbrella organization linking 17 non-governmental organizations) - helps stimulate the development of youth policies Local Community Youth Councils - are responsible for youth work and youth policy on a local level, and thus represent the foundations for the participation of young people in local communities.
71 Youth Centres - offer the chance of preventive work, informal education and training of the young at a local level. The Office for Youth advises youth centres and clubs, helps them with mutual coordination and carrying out of projects and informs them about different work and creative possibilities. Every year the Office also co-finances programmes and projects of local youth centres and clubs.
The Mid-term youth policy guidelines, the Strategy 2002-2006 Summary establishes the following goals: - restructuring of the Office for Youth of the Republic of Slovenia (RS) to provide its legal form within the Ministry or the Government of the RS so as to strengthen its importance and influence at the national level - establishment of an inter-ministerial body for youth at the Government level (Government Council for Youth Issues)
Youth policy in Estonia
According to the Youth Work Act, a young person is aged between 7 and 26. Youth affairs are discussed by the Cultural Committee of the Parliament. The responsible ministry is the Ministry of Education and Research, which coordinates the youth affairs activities of county governments and directs the operations of the Estonian Youth Work Centre, its sub-unit. The main level of organization of youth work is local government, which delegates its youth work duties to the third sector by way of outsourcing, if possible. Parliament (Riigikogu) and the Government of the Republic - create legislative basis for youth work - allocate necessary budgetary based on youth work concept and development plan Ministry of Education and Research - in co-operation with public, third and business sector representatives, the Ministry changes and improves youth work legislation, youth work concept and development plan.
72 Estonian Youth Work Centre is a national centre for the work with the youth under the authority of the Estonian Ministry of Education and Research. - directs and organizes youth work as part of the national youth policy - tries to achieve good administrative capacity in the field of youth work as a whole - accommodates roundtables of eight fields of youth work, which unite the experts of various fields, ensuring the cohesion and development activities with the local development and the field networks Youth Policy Council The main participatory body in the field is the Youth Policy Council, a counselling body of the Minister of Education and Research. - analyses the status of the Estonian youth policy, including draft legislation concerning the youth policy and presents the Council's proposals for shaping them - ensures broad advice for making decisions in the field of youth policy and youth work - makes proposals for preparation of strategic youth policy documents and preparation of national and state programmes and assess them. The Council consists of 6 representatives of youth associations appointed by the Estonian National Youth Council, 1 representative of county governments and 1 representative of local authorities appointed by the Estonian Youth Advisors Association and 3 representatives of national institutions (Ministry of Education and Research, Estonian Youth Work Centre, Youth for Europe Estonian Agency). Student Council The Union of Estonian Student Governments and the Federation of Estonian Student Unions have delegate their representatives into the Student Council, a body counselling the Minister of Education and Research. The Council meets 4 times a year. - allows the representatives of students to introduce their education-related positions and problems to the Minister of Education and Research. County governor - has the responsibility to co-ordinate the drafting and implementation of the national youth policy in the counties - exercises supervision over the use of funds allocated for youth work from the state budget in the counties Rural municipality and city councils - determine the priorities of youth work in their administrative territories - create possibilities to involve third sector in the planning and organizing process of youth work on the regional level
73 Youth assemblies - youth parliaments and youth councils, which have been established in several local authorities, are becoming the most important form of participation of young people Third sector - independently organizes youth work taking into account objectives specified in its articles of association - participates in the development of the priorities of youth work on the local government level and in the drafting of development plan Financing of Youth Work Youth Work is financed from four main sources: - Parents and young people themselves - Budgets of local authorities - State budget, as a part of the budget of the Ministry of Education - Various funds
Youth policy in Croatia
In Croatia, youth is regard to be between the ages of 15 and 29. The Ministry for the Family, Veterans and Inter-Generational Solidarity Those responsible in the Ministry have declared that they would: - continue with implementing the National Programme of Action for Youth - triple the number of staff working on youth issues in national government bodies - request increased budget funding for youth National Youth Council - Croatia still does not have a national youth council that is a full member of the European Youth Forum (EYF) Local and regional Youth Councils - the Republic of Croatia still does not have a legally regulated system of local and regional youth councils - in December 2003 a new debate was opened with the co-operation of the Alliance of Associations of Cities and Association of Municipalities in the Republic of Croatia to discuss the Law on Youth Councils
Annex Why do me need youth policy?25
The key elements of youth policy consist of, first, citizenship learning and youth participation, second, the use of non-formal learning and the policy orientation of integrated youth policy. Following arguments intend to justify these approaches, and answer the question: “why youth policy?” (1) youth participation and citizenship training should be promoted because… It is a fundamental Human Right It is not only coded in the resolutions and recommendations of the Council of Europe, but most notably in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child which states that children and young people have the right to express themselves and participate in all decisions concerning them. The UN General Assembly resolution ”A world fit for children” (2002) further underlines that “children, particularly girls…are empowered to participate fully and equally in all spheres of society” and that “disadvantaged and marginalized children, including adolescents in particular, need special attention and support to access basic services, build self esteem and to take responsibility for their own lives”. It protects children and young people from abuse Global experience has shown that the absence of the perspectives of children and young people in policy-making has resulted in their wide-spread abuse. “Cultural assumptions that young people cannot or should not challenge their elders and are not entitled to express their views, even when their rights are being abused, has increased their vulnerability to, for example economic exploitation, recruitment as child soldiers, enforced participation in sex trade” says the researcher Gerison Lansdown26 , and suggests that young people should not be “merely recipients of adult protection, but active agents in their own lives”. It promotes the well-being and development of young people It has been widely demonstrated that through learning to question, to debate, to respect the opinions of the others and to have ones own views taken seriously, that young people develop life management skills, build social and personal competences, strengthen self confidence and form values, norms and aspirations. All this promotes to a healthy development of young people. For example, participation in schools increases the responsibility of the students on their school environment, improves the working climate and staff/student relationships at the school and even leads to better school achievement. And the positive effects go beyond the school: A Finnish research concludes that “A positive experience from working as an actor of the school community and from participating in the decision-making at the school creates a strong basis for skills and
Siurala, Lasse, European framework of youth policy. Available at: http://www.youth-knowledge.net/INTEGRATION/EKC/BGKNGE/ABC_youth_policy.pdf 26 Gerison Lansdown: Youth Participation in decision-making, UN Conference “Global priorities for youth” 2002
75 competences needed in the working life, like co-operation competences and skills to master the working environment”. It leads to better services There are convincing examples on how the inclusion of young people in the planning, implementation and evaluation of youth facilities, premises and activities, the school environment, parks, traffic arrangements, recreation areas and activities have actually led into solutions which serve best the clients themselves. The full participation of young people and drawing on their ‘tacit knowledge’, perceptions, ideas and innovative thinking are essential both to the positive experiences for the participants and to the quality of public services. Active citizenship needs training Citizenship skills are not inborn, they must be learned. Neglecting citizenship training has serious consequences to the future of democracy. Research evidence shows that the lack of teaching democracy in the family, at the school, among peers, during leisure and in organized youth activities (in youth organizations and municipal youth work) lead to cynical attitudes at politics, low voting turnover and mistrust in politicians, political parties and political youth organizations. Furthermore, “these young people [without experiences in citizenship education] have been shown by the research to be vulnerable to peer influence into extremist and violent political movements”27.
(2) non-formal learning as an approach is important because… It promotes the learning of essential skills and competences A European Youth Forum study by Pasi Sahlberg (1999) on non-formal learning in youth organizations lists following ways in which development and learning of young people is enhanced: “Firstly, it [non-formal education] can help to develop the learning skills and competences that are necessary in work, studies, hobbies or in life. Secondly, it promotes socialization and the acquiring of appropriate social skills. Thirdly, it increases the level of active participation in communities28.” It enriches learning environments for youth Formal education is still very much based on individual cognition, theoretical learning and teacher-oriented provision of facts and generalisations. Non-formal learning enriches this approach through its emphasis on social learning, links to real-life and learner oriented processes of critical reflection of knowledge and values. Non-formal education has the potential to become a complementary learning environment to formal education and lifelong learning29.
CoE Directorate of Youth and Sport: Draft report on research seminar ”What About Youth Political Participation?” 24-26 November 2003, European Youth Centre, Strasbourg 2004. 28 Pasi Sahlberg: Building Bridges for Learning. The recognition and value of non-formal education in youth activity. European Youth Forum, Brussels 1999. 29 see also Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 1437 (2000) 1
It adds values, personal experiences and critical reflection into citizenship education Empirical evidence from a study on citizenship education in 24 countries shows that there is an overemphasis on ‘knowledge’. There should be more room for ‘personal critical thinking’, ‘participation’ and ‘values’30. The formal ‘fact and teacher based’ class room education needs to be added by educational elements typical for non-formal learning: better links to the meanings and experiences of the learner, a more direct relationship to real life situations, a more transparent exposure of values and political interests and an emphasis on critical reflection. This approach is concomitant with the aim to develop youth participation through ‘experiences in the immediate environment – family, school, leisure time and work’ (revised European Charter on the Participation of Young People in Local and Regional Life, 2003). Citizenship skills should be learned in real life contexts and concern matters relevant to young people. It broadens the spectrum of youth involvement and has a spill-over effect on institutional politics Young people have increasingly expressed their aspirations through global and local movements and actions, campaigns, protests, personal life-style choices, cultural events, youth organizations and other civil society activities. Social and political issues are reflected, debated, negotiated, criticized and acted on. These actions and experiences may also contribute to the strengthening of ‘institutional politics’. First, ideas and issues which are developed and raised in these non-formal learning environments, also enrich the political debates of the ‘institutional politics’. Second, in the non-formal areas young people acquire competences and skills, which also are helpful to become active citizens in traditional politics. Furthermore, it has been suggested that “young people involved in protest movements may later on in life become more involved in traditional politics and that this could be a part of a life-cycle of political engagement”31. It is a powerful instrument of social integration Non-formal learning has been successfully applied by NGOs and the public sector to improve the employability of young people, to help school drop-outs to finish their studies, to encourage low achievers at school to better performance and to support young people with behavioral problems or those otherwise at risk. An example is employment projects which use arts, craft or the new media to motivate unemployed young people to set themselves occupational goals, to learn in practice skills and competences needed to apply a job or training and to become acquainted with codes and practices of the working life and to strengthen the young person’s self-confidence. It is an effective method of communication and intervention The top down delivery of educational messages to young people have not always been very effective. For example - in the field of health education - alcohol, tobacco and drug
Parker, Walter (ed.) Education for democracy, Greenwich (2002). CoE Directorate of Youth and Sport: Draft report on research seminar ”What About Youth Political Participation?” 24-26 November 2003, European Youth Centre, Strasbourg 2004
77 campaigns at the schools have proved to be not effective. New approaches, like peer education, widely used in combating HIV, tobacco, alcohol, drug use and other unhealthy life-styles have showed promising results. Young people seem to take messages more seriously when they are not ‘told to’, but instead have the possibility to discuss the messages with peers and draw their own conclusions.
(3) integrated youth policy is needed because… There is a risk that affairs related to youth might fall between the boundaries of the sectors of the public administration. As the situation of young people is only a one and often a minor concern in social affairs, health, employment, housing, city planning and so on, and as young people themselves often lack the necessary status to look after its interests, there is a need for specific action to ensure that the needs of young people are met. The decision makers, both civil servants and the political representatives, are mostly adults. For example in the municipal level, the age group 18-29 is strongly underrepresented in the politically elected decision making bodies. The public decisionmaking needs a policy which co-ordinates youth related affairs from a comprehensive view of the needs and concerns of the young people. Youth participation should not be limited to leisure issues. Young people should have a say on all matters that concern them. Many of the key concerns for young people are decided outside the youth administration, which is often limited to leisure time activities. The youth field should take a co-coordinating responsibility to see to it that young people can become actors of their own lives also in areas like education, employment, housing, health and environment.
Annex How to implement youth policies?
This chapter looks first at the process of establishing national level youth policy objectives and cascading them down to the local level (‘From international and national objectives to local action’). Then, it goes on to elaborate in more detail the two main youth policy objectives; promoting youth participation (‘Citizenship learning’) and improving the living conditions of young people through cross-sectoral co-operation (‘Integrated youth policy’).
From international and national objectives to local action
The general role of the state in relation to regional and municipal levels is threefold. It should (1) formulate policy guidelines, (2) create through legislation, budgeting and other means the conditions and frameworks for regional and local level action and (3) follow-up the implementation of its objectives. These roles have become highlighted also in the recent developments of national youth policies. A synthesis report on Council of Europe national youth policy reviews (Williamson 2002, 36) concludes that “most countries have dramatically expanded their youth policy in recent years, both in conception and operation”. The age range of youth policy has expanded and the policy domains in which youth policy aims to operate have increased. Furthermore, there is a tendency to establish (or maintain) central guidance in youth policy. This situation of the increased duties and the interest in governmental guidance raises the issue of setting priorities, implementing objectives, providing and managing resources, measuring outcomes and making youth policy a process of continuous development: How to establish a priority- and objective-driven policy programme? How to support the regions and the municipalities to carry out youth policy objectives? How to assure the quality of implementation? How to make sure that the entire process becomes a learning experience? How to involve the relevant partners, the regions, municipalities, the different sectors – and the young people, in the planning, implementation and evaluation processes? How to ensure that a basic level of services for young people is provided? Managing youth policy objectives The general process of management by objectives proceeds in a following way: 1. Establishing objectives. Basically there are two types of approaches: setting loose guidelines and establishing concrete objectives. As an example of the former, the objective of the Finnish youth policy is a very general one: “Improving young people’s living conditions and creating conditions for young people’s civic activities”. The state prefers to give the regional and local level the freedom to elaborate this objective in more detail, expecting that in this way the conditions and needs of a given locality become better reflected. The result is more local flexibility and less central guidance. The disadvantage
79 is that it is difficult to know how effective the policy is, how to improve it and it is not easy to make the use of public funds and resources transparent to the government and the taxpayers (insufficient accountability). The other approach for the state youth policy would be to elaborate concrete sub-objectives, cascade them down to the local level, measure their efficiency and effectiveness and reform the original objectives and subobjectives if need be. An example is the Swedish or UK youth policies. This approach provides possibilities for a learning process to further develop state policies and makes the use of public funds transparent to their providers. The main disadvantage is that such topdown management might go against the autonomy of the local level (and hamper its implementation) and it might constrain the flexibility and innovation of the actual grassroot work carried out with young people. 2. Providing structures and resources. Some countries have specific legislation on young people, which define the aims, structures and funding arrangements of state support to youth work. The problem with “decrees and laws are [that] they do not necessarily lead to effective practice, unless appropriate structures for delivery are in place and the necessary resources made available”32. Ambitious objectives in youth policy could mean provision of funds for youth organizations, youth projects and activities, youth premises and national youth centres, support to youth information, creation of youth worker training, subvention of youth work staff costs, facilitating international co-operation, funding youth research, youth work and youth policy statistics and development of youth work methods and other services for young people. As an example of this type of thinking, this report proposes a minimum package of opportunities and experiences for ‘citizenship learning’ and ‘integrated youth policy’ (see the respective chapters). The state also has a responsibility to develop youth work methods related to its main objectives (citizenship learning and integrated youth policies). One element of this work is provision of long term (5-10 years) economic funds for development projects. Furthermore, the resources and activities have to be properly managed 3. Assessing the results. If the state youth administration were to be a learning organization, it should constantly learn from the youth policy and youth work activities it is running on the regional and local level. This is not possible without a coherent and concrete objective setting and reliable means of documenting its outcomes. Youth policy action should go along with empirical data gathering and objective evaluation: how are the objectives implemented in reality? This analysis provides the feedback to further develop the activities themselves and the national youth policy programmes behind them. At the same time the empirical data on the results of the implementation process also functions as accountability of the youth sector to those who have funded the activities, be it the City Council, Regional or National Government. Many municipalities feel that it could be useful if the state supported the local level methodological development giving evidencebased feedback on youth participation methods, measures to co-operate youth issues on a local level, youth policy programmes, how to run knowledge-based youth policies etc.
Williamson, Howard: Supporting young people in Europe: principles, policy and practice. The Council of Europe international reviews of national youth policy 1997-2001 – a synthesis report. Strasbourg 2002, p.39
80 In general the youth policy objectives in the member countries of Council of Europe appear33 relatively similar: there is shared understanding on the importance of promoting youth participation, understanding youth as a resource, improving conditions for independent life through integrated youth policy, enhancing social inclusion of all young people (ethnic minorities, in particular) and supporting cultural diversity. Some countries have added to these objectives their own specific emphasis, but, as the Council of Europe report on national youth policies conclude: “…there is no clash or dissent about the core objectives of youth policy”34. Some national youth policies go on to elaborate and concretize their general objectives into sub-objectives. For example the Swedish government has set (Government Bill 1999:115) three objectives: (1) creation of good conditions for independent life (independence objective), (2) real possibilities for participation (power objective) and (3) recognition of young people as a resource (resource objective). The state youth agency responsible for the implementation of the government youth policy objectives further broke them down to 41 concrete and measurable sub-objectives. The aim of this strategy is, first, to guide the municipalities in the direction of state youth policy priorities, second, to ensure some evenness of services for young people all over the country and thirdly, to be able to evaluate the implementation of the state objectives. The Swedish state youth authorities constantly evaluate the implementation of its objectives (making independent research and gathering statistics) and run an open reflection on its further modification (see www.ungdomsstyrelsen.se). One key challenge for central guidance in countries like Sweden (and other Nordic countries) is their strong municipal autonomy. During the process of adopting the Government Bill on youth policy the municipalities in Sweden expressed their concerns on the new legislation. They (1) expressed their worry about the municipal autonomy in this context, (2) were very critical at the lacking funding for the government objectives, and (3) were ‘doubtful about how these objectives have been formulated’. These concerns became also visible to the Council of Europe expert group evaluating Swedish youth policies. The group was worried that the responsibilities established by the government were too large to implement for many municipalities. The same challenge also concerns those states (like Spain) with strong regional governments. The International expert team on Spanish national youth policy survey noted that “youth policies at the autonomous region level are relatively independent of those promoted at the central level. In this context the group does not believe that in reality they are much influenced by the central policy…35” These challenges call for a clarification of and mutual agreement on the respective roles and mandates of central and the regional/municipal levels. A Council of Europe expert group on youth policies has proposed that “the central government should have a leading role by indicating what to do. At the same time, local authorities should be given much freedom as regards how to implement youth policy. Mechanisms for delivery, therefore, should have flexibility within certain parameters established by national
see H. Williamson 2002, pp. 38-39 H. Williamson 2002 35 International report, review of Spanish youth policy, p. 49
81 governments36.” If the state wants to go further and propose concrete priorities or set explicit sub-objectives it might be advisable to involve the municipalities in the entire process of national objective setting. Establishing a dialogue between the state and the municipalities should increase the motivation and commitment of the latter to join in. It has been often maintained that youth policy suffers from an ‘implementation gap’37: National youth policy objectives are not satisfactorily implemented on the local level. Many CEE countries, which ambitiously want to develop their youth policies, face the “…’implementation gap’ between the vision and the reality: The strong ideas flowing from the centre, from the national government and from the State Council of Youth Affairs, are routinely weakened on account of an absence of resources, an absence of staff, an absence of expertise or an absence of appropriate structures. These factors combine in various ways to make the path leading to effective service delivery and opportunity for young people an unpredictable one”38. The implementation gap is also visible in many (perhaps in most) western countries. The Expert group on the National Youth Policy in Norway raised the worry, that “[the group] recurrently expressed curiosity and some concern about how the aspirations outlined in the work of the central administration were ensured, rather than simply enabled in terms of local delivery”39. The discussion above suggests following lines of improvement: - elaborating youth policy objectives which are unambiguous, ideologically explicit, measurable and relative to the resources available - providing the structures and resources necessary to implement the objectives - making transparent ‘the line of command’ between the youth structures of the state, the region and the municipal level - establishing a system of continuous, evidence-based and open assessment of the youth policy process40 Public management reforms and the youth sector During the past 20-25 years there has been a wave of public management reforms. A vanguard of the most recent changes is the reform model called ‘New Public Management’ which has its origins in New Zealand, Australia, UK and USA. In modified
CDEJ (2003) 16: Select committee of experts on the establishment of guidelines for the formulation and implementation of youth policies, Secretariat memorandum prepared by the Directorate of Youth and Sport, Council of Europe, Strasbourg, 24 June 2003 37 H. Williamson 2002, p. 39 38 Lithuanian Youth Policy Review, Vilnius 2002, p 130 39 Youth Policy in Norway, Report by an International Team of Experts, Council of Europe, DJS/CMJ (2004) 1, p. 15 40 Consult for example “Quality Assurance Framework” of the Kent County Council Youth Service, UK.
82 forms it has spread in many other western countries as well 41. The main elements of the reforms include: - reducing public expenditure or restraining its growth, - improving performance (efficiency and effectiveness) and accountability (transparent use of resources), - building on networks (co-operation with other sectors and the civil society) and partnerships (with the private sector), - increasing responsiveness to citizens and user-participation. Even if the youth sector is a small part of the entire public sector, it still is affected by the way the public sector is managed. For example, in most of the countries also the youth sector has faced reductions in their budgets or at least a slower increase. This has been accompanied by the introduction of human and financial management techniques (mostly transferred directly from the private sector) like Management by Objectives (MbO), Management by Results (MbR), Quality Management (QM), EFQM, CAF, Benchmarking, Quality Assessment, Balanced Score Cards, performance indicators, results–based budgeting etc. In some countries the youth sector has been quick and successful in applying these techniques, while others have resorted to more traditional management methods, not, however, necessarily less effective (see Pollit and Bouckaert 2004, pp. 61-63). Furthermore, to increase resources also the youth sector has searched for partnerships with private companies (often called PPPs; Public, Private Partnerships). Typically large youth events have been sponsored by a company which has wanted to increase its visibility among young people and/or which has wanted to improve its image as a socially responsible ‘entrepreneur-citizen’. In many respects the youth sector can also be seen as a model-student of the expectations of the public management reforms. Through its activities to promote youth participation in the provision of youth services the youth sector is a best practice or benchmarking standard in ‘increasing responsiveness to citizens and user participation’. Co-management of the Council of Europe youth sector is an excellent example on how the citizens or ‘users’ are taken on board on deciding services and activities targeted at them. The same applies for the numerous local level examples of young people participating in the planning and implementation of services directed at them. Furthermore, the modern public management demand for networking across sectors and with the civil society is another example. One of the key aims of the youth sector is cross-sectoral co-operation, where it also scores with many good practices. In many countries the main part of youth services are produced through co-operation with youth organisations, young people themselves and other civil society agents – another benchmarking example for other sectors.
Pollit and Bouckaert (2004) have studied 15 western states and suggest that they represent two reform models. Australia, New Zealand, UK and USA form ‘core New Public Management group’. Belgium, Finland, France, The Netherlands, Italy, Germany and Sweden may be called ‘Neo-Weberian States’. The latter emphasize the importance of the state and a large coverage of public services, but they still go for many ‘neo’ elements like citizen participation, results based management and changing the role of the civil servant from ‘a bureaucratic expert of laws and procedures’ to ‘a professional manager responsive to user needs’.
83 However, despite these successes, there is much to be done in the public youth sector to meet the expectations of the recent management reforms. One of the main ideas behind the reforms is the assumption that everything is under constant and increasing change, which calls for management methods which guarantee a continuous process of innovation and change. The conditions and life-styles of young people are, as was earlier noted, quickly changing. To react, we need management methods which emphasize intensive empirical follow-up of the youth scene and, based on it, the constant evaluation, reform and innovation of youth work methods and policy plans. Many of the new management techniques mentioned above serve this purpose. The implementation of Swedish national youth policies is a good example on the use of management by objectives on a national level and the ‘Quality Assurance Framework’ of the Kent County Council Youth Service (UK) is an example of youth work development and assessment on the local level. The techniques have their drawbacks, but properly applied to the youth field they also have large potentiality. There is the demand of increased efficiency and effectiveness of the public sector. To improve both and to make the invested resources transparent to the taxpayers, objective measures are needed. ‘Efficiency’ refers to the relationships between ‘input’ and ‘output’ (see Boyne et al. 2003 for an extended account). To take an example, the youth administration wants to activate young people to become active citizens (an objective) and provides financial support, facilities, staff etc. for the youth organizations (input), which run their activities (processes) to be measured through the number of members or activities (output). The relationship of the investment of the administration (input) to its outputs (members, activities) is the measure of its efficiency. This is a first step or a primary estimation to the efficient use of public money. It is much better than just giving the money or other resources out and assuming that the taxpayers’ contribution is efficiently used. However, even the efficiency measure could be insufficient. For example, to reduce the use of substance use among young people (objective), funds are allocated to health authorities, police and the NGOs (input) to run information campaigns at the schools (processes). The relationship between inputs and outputs (number of students attending the campaigns, number of campaigns) could be very good and covering (large part of young people covered with considerably low costs). This could, through objective measures, be regarded as a highly efficient activity. However, as a more detailed followup study has recently proved (Babor et al. 2003), these campaigns have not had any effect on the actual substance use of young people. In some cases the campaigns have rather increased the interest of young people to try the substances. The example shows that it would be very important to also know (and measure) the impacts (or outcomes) of an activity: have the investments (inputs) and activities had any effects on the actual behaviour of young people? The relationship between the objective of a policy and the impacts is called effectiveness. Unfortunately, it is not easy to measure the impacts of public sector programmes and activities. It would require a longer term perspective (following young peoples’ lives after the activity) and an intensive research involvement (using a wide range of research methods to assess the impacts). The youth sector in particular has the problem of showing that resources put in youth work are a good investment. It would, indeed, be important to co-operate with the research field and invest
84 in measuring the effectiveness (impacts) of youth policy programmes and youth work activities and interventions. In sum, the effects of the recent reforms in the public sector on the youth field have been three-fold. First, there have been clearly negative effects (reduced budgets, more administrative work). Second, new possibilities and methods for the development of youth work and youth policies have emerged (results based management methods, quality assurance, etc.) and third, in some areas the youth sector can be seen as a front runner of the public management reforms (user participation, networking across sectors and with the civil society). One of the limitations of the current public management reform is its unreasonably large emphasis on strategic management (or change management), as if everything that matters in public service production is the restless chase after new strategies, services and activities. However, there is also something called operative management, managing the daily activities; keeping the youth centers running and street workers operational, organizing cultural events or youth camps, and ensuring that youth organizations can function properly. In addition to being responsive to changes, there must be resources allocated to operative management and to ensuring a basic level of services – something we have called ‘a minimum package of opportunities and experiences’. Perhaps the most important conclusion from this discussion is to understand that youth policy and youth work have to work simultaneously on two fronts: to establish a management culture, which safeguards its continuous development, and to ensure in parallel that ‘a minimum package of opportunities and experiences’ for the young people is guaranteed.
As outlined previously (chapter 1) the key challenge of youth policy is to promote youth participation through the structures of representative democracy and to develop other forms of youth participation with special attention at disadvantaged youth. The hard core of youth policy is to help young people become active citizens through learning the necessary competences (see figure 1). To accomplish this, the youth sector should provide young people with an access to a package of learning opportunities and experiences. In broad, the package includes opportunities and experiences in participation, expression, intercultural learning, information, associative life and support in facing risks. Citizenship learning: a minimum package of opportunities and experiences Youth policies should provide a minimum package of opportunities and experiences to which young people should have access in order to promote the probability of their successful role as actors of democracy and to their successful social integration. These opportunities and experiences constitute the scope for action of youth policy in promoting citizenship learning. They should be implemented differently in the various countries because of different administrative systems, departmental arrangements,
85 political focus and local conditions of youth42. The following minimum package of opportunities and experiences is a rough list of services for citizenship learning and youth participation. 1. the practice and recognition of skills and competences developed in nonformal learning 2. a support system for youth organizations and other youth groups 3. youth information and counseling services 4. opportunities for intercultural learning (mobility support, youth exchange, voluntary work abroad) 5. opportunities for cultural youth work (support to young people’s own cultural productions) 6. access to new information technologies and net-based youth services 7. measures to guarantee the access of disadvantaged young people to citizenship learning and participation 8. opportunities to participation (in policy making on international, national and local level covering the youth administration itself and other sectors affecting young people; education, sport, social and health services, housing, employment, city planning) The package lists first the promotion of non-formal learning - the basic pedagogical approach of youth work (1), then identifies the key services and measures of the youth field (2-7) and proposes participation as the core methodology (8). Non-formal learning is related both to personal development, active citizenship, life management skills and to skills which promote social integration, like employability. Those who speak in favour of non-formal learning tend to emphasize either of these elements. On the other hand, learning to develop and express ones identity and learning to be an active citizen is understood to be the core of non-formal learning. On the other, the potential of non-formal learning interventions in the field of labour market integration, working with school drop-outs or youth lacking educational motivation, strengthening the
An example of a nationally proposed package of opportunities for the local level (Finland):
The governments may want to draft their own minimum package of opportunities and experiences which they would want to be available in the regional and/or municipal level. One example is the list of basic youth services which an expert group (2003) of the Finnish Ministry of Education would recommend every municipality to offer to the local youth. - financial support to youth organizations and non-organized youth groups - premises for young people - a municipal youth worker (funded by the municipality) - employment workshops for young people - a youth information and counseling point - after-school activities for young people at compulsory school - outreaching youth work - free access to internet - instructive hobbies - summer camps
86 life management skills of youth at risk and developing new youth information methods (like peer to peer education) is being increasingly appreciated. Even if non-formal learning has versatile benefits, it might not be useful to isolate it or create cleavages, but rather to promote its recognition and build bridges to other types of learning43. As a general principle, youth participation should concern all spheres of life. Young people should have opportunities to participate in decision-making in working life, in public governance and in civil society (see figure 1, below). Much of the public debate on youth participation revolves around their low voting turnover and mistrust in political structures. One strategy to overcome this negativity has been to give young people opportunities to participate as citizens in public governance, notably in the youth sector. As this document wants to underline, there is much to be done in developing youth participation in public administration. However, perhaps the most important arena for young people to develop their political ideas and also to express them is the civil society. Youth organizations, movements, demonstrations, appeals, cultural expression, the internet, life style choices are examples of the myriad of expression in the realm of civil society. Thus, participation opportunities of the civil society compared to those of the public sector display a broader selection of means and forms. Also, civil society participation covers a larger variety of themes and topics ranging from small exotic lifestyles to sweeping issues of globalisation. Despite the differences, it is plausible to assume that a large spectrum of citizenship activities reinforce pluralist democracy. It is in the interest of the society and its public sector to create conditions for civic participation and for the functioning of an autonomous, vivid civil society. The participation of young people in the private sector has traditionally taken place through trade unions. According to research data young people are not very active in today’s trade unions. Due to the changes in management philosophies, which support workers leisure-time activities and informal networks and which promote workplace democracy, including improved information channels like the intranets (internal databases, news bulletins, interactive discussion), all contribute to the increase of the knowledge, interest and engagement of young people, in particular, on the affairs of the company. Private companies cannot disregard the potential threat of lack of well-educated workforce due to demographic changes: engaging and committing young workers to their company must be and important strategy. Figure 1. Arenas of citizenship learning and practice
As Pasi Sahlberg (1999) has pointed out, youth organizations and other non-formal education providers face a considerable development task to make full use of the potentiality of non-formal learning. First, the non-formal education field needs to agree on a new conception of learning, based on ‘complementary learning environments’. Non-formal learning has its own characteristics (learning as a process, learner oriented nature, pragmatist and emancipatory conception of knowledge, links to real-life concerns etc), but it should be seen as one learning environment among others, notably the formal education and lifelong learning curricula. The second step is to enables the learner establish co-operation between the different learning environments Third, the learning experiences should be co-ordinated “synchronising consecutive phases of learning and parallel forms of education in such a way that to construct a meaningful and coherent whole out of these subsets”. Finally, the quality of non-formal learning should be assessed and credited.
PUBLIC SECTOR participation through: - public elections - public sector decision making CIVIL SOCIETY participation through: - NGO’s - individual and group action - movements, demonstrations, appeals, consumption choices, boycotts, house-squatting, street parties and other cultural and life style –based participation PRIVATE SECTOR participation through: - work place democracy - participatory management - trade unions
Youth participation through the civil society is visible in the way youth work aims to be organized. The guiding principle of youth work is to help young people organize their own activities and find their own way of expressing themselves. The basic strategy has been to support youth organizations to organize activities for young people. This is the main approach in international, national and in the local level. To accomplish this, there are a number of infrastructural services that the public sector could provide including a support system for youth organizations and youth groups, youth information and counseling facilities, opportunities for intercultural learning and cultural activities and access to new technologies. However, despite its merits, the associative life only covers a limited number of young people and in many countries there has been a declining interest among young people to join youth organizations. In some countries only 5% of young people participate in youth organizations. As a result the public sector, in the local level and in the Nordic countries in particular, has taken a larger role in providing services for young people. Also, the private sector and the commercial youth cultures have been increasingly competing for the interests, activities, lifestyles and even the education of young people. Some of the Nordic countries which combine extensive municipal youth services with active NGOs have been criticized for creating “educationalised leisure”, because they are said to be top-down adult-designed and -guided. The international experts on Swedish youth policies called for “more fluid distinctions between the organized and nonorganized activities”. Youth work has to find ways of involving young people outside organizations and develop activities which are not adult-provided services for young people, but activities designed, implemented and evaluated by young people.
88 The last item on the list of the package of opportunities and experience is ‘youth participation’. The report on Council of Europe youth policy reviews (Williamson 2002, pp. 89-97) identifies many obstacles to successful learning of citizenship skills and to opportunities of learning through participation experiences: - in most countries citizenship education either does not exist at the schools or has a marginal place in the curriculum - many youth participation structures (youth hearings, youth and school councils, youth parliaments) are “tokenistic, a rubber-stamping exercise for decisions which have already been made” and often involve only a small number of young people. - in some countries youth policies appear ‘paternalistic’ and ‘adult-designed and guided’ with reluctance “to allow ‘too much power’ to young people”. - too narrow provision of participation opportunities. Youth organizations, political NGOs in particular have traditionally led the way, and sometimes claimed legitimacy over ‘the voice of youth’, but today complementary means of participation, representation and expression should be developed. To challenge these problems following list of ‘things to be developed’ may be useful: 1. Supporting the civil society and listening to it. The corner stone of a pluralist democracy is a vivid civil society. A versatile support for NGOs and other youth groups and actions is needed for them to concentrate on running their activities and not on finding funds. The decision makers of the public sector should develop practices to communicate with the civil society – and tolerate criticism. 2. Provide the conditions for autonomous and representative youth bodies. The Expert group on Youth Policy in Malta maintain that “the cultivation of a properly autonomous and critical National Youth Council is a priority for the democratic health of wider civil society”44. This and similar bodies on regional and local level can also function as youth lobby organization and a partner to the respective public youth administration. 3. Changing the attitudes of the adults to participation. Most adults do not have participation experiences from their own lives, and tend to transfer this to their children. Some are afraid of loosing their ‘parental authority’ if power is delegated to young people. In addition, adults and parents tend to doubt that children and young people have the necessary experience, understanding or other competences to make decisions traditionally made by adults. However, as discussed earlier, young people should not be “merely recipients of adult protection, but active agents in their lives”. 4. Changing the emphasis from ‘youth hearing’ to ‘real participation’. A Swedish study on 10 municipalities committed to develop youth participation, conclude that the municipal decision makers did not explicitly define what they meant by ‘participation’. In
Youth Policy in Malta, Report by the International Team of Experts, Council of Europe, DJS/CMJ (2003) 16, p 70.
89 practice participation referred to listening to young people, but not to letting them actually influence things. Not being taken seriously may also discourage young people from participation. Even if power is a zero-sum game – meaning that power delegated to young people means reducing someone else’s already existing power – it is vital that youth participation structures should go with power delegated to these bodies45. 5. Developing participation structures which involve all young people. A problem with youth participation structures has been that they concern in the end only a minority of young people. Despite the merits of such bodies as ‘schools of democracy’ and as means to bring youth affairs on the larger decision making agendas, it should be necessary to develop ways to involve more young people in affecting matters that concern them. The school, possibly in co-operation with youth worker, plays here an important role. 6. Changing the emphasis from ‘services for young people’ to ‘experiences of participation’. Organizations and the municipality might provide young people with versatile services, often according to the wishes and ideas of young people themselves. However, many of them want to be involved also in the entire planning process and implementation of the activities. It is not enough to throw out an idea and become a passive recipient of the final outcome. The challenge for organizations and for the municipal youth work is to turn young people from the role of ‘a passive customer’ to that of ‘an active partner’. 7. Expanding youth participation to all youth related sectors. Many countries have good practices on how young people have been involved in the decision-making processes concerning leisure activities. The next step should be ‘to export’ these practices to other sectors, where decisions on maters concerning young people are also made, like education, sport, health, social affairs, housing, city planning, etc. 8. Youth participation is not only about ‘user democracy’. The popular trend to provide participation opportunities for young people in areas where they are important users of the services, like youth centres, libraries, outdoor recreation areas and schools is important, but should not stop there. Young people are not only users of services, but also citizens, who should have a say on whatever issues they wanted46. 9. Involving disadvantaged and passive young people. Experience from many national youth policy reviews tells that disadvantaged youth have a tendency to become left out of youth participation structures. Consequently special measures and new ideas are needed to include them. Some studies on political participation suggest that young people are in a process of becoming polarized into those who are interested in politics, vote, discuss with their friends about politics, participate in some type of political organization or activity
as an example the school councils at the City of Helsinki have been delegated 0.5M euros a year to decide on how to improve their school environment 46 according to Lidén and Ødegård (2002) and Sörbom (2003) municipal civil servants and politicians tend to conceptualize youth participation as a consultation process related to services provided for young people. Young people appear in the ‘role of a service user’, but not in the ‘role of a citizen’ with the right to address all issues.
90 and into those who do not show this interest and activity. Special measures are needed to empower the latter. 10. Developing sensitivity to new forms of youth involvement. Increasingly young people express themselves through movements, actions, campaigns, cultural protests, media, the internet, in particular and life-style choices. Also their political mobilization has become more individual- and issue-based one-time-off action in contrast to the traditional collective- and programme-based long-term commitment. The new relation to politics is also characterized by ‘elasticity, play and irony’ vis-à-vis ‘dogmatism, seriousness, and honesty’. As a positive scenario, these new forms of involvement bring new topics to the old political agendas, sensitise young people to social and political issues, motivate them to be active citizens – and some of the “reclaim the streets” – activists might even turn out to become active contributors in the structures of representative democracy. 11. Enhancing moral and ideological dialogues with young people. Participation structures are not enough. According to researchers young people do not have enough opportunities to reflect issues like “Who am I? What do I want from my life? Where do I want to belong to?” It has been shown that democratic decision making, communication and reflexivity as an atmosphere of the family has a positive effect on the political activity of the children. What could the youth field do to promote a communicative family life and provide opportunities for young people to debate on moral and political issues? 12. Research and dissemination of good practices. The widely spread involvement of the European youth field to promote youth participation and the development and experimentation with alternative models and practices, in the local level in particular, create good conditions for learning from each other, evaluating the experiences and finding a way to disseminate good practices. It is important not only to initiate an activity, but also to invest into its research and evaluation.
Integrated youth policy
‘Integrated youth policy’ was earlier defined as a conscious and structured crosssectoral policy to co-ordinate services for youth involving young people themselves in the process. To make this possible it would be useful to identify those policy domains which in this respect are most relevant. Council of Europe member countries list a very broad variety of policy domains where they think youth affairs should be co-ordinated47. However, a smaller number of key policy domains may de identified and they are proposed below as the main policy domains of integrated youth policies. To ensure that the expectations of young people in these domains are met, a co-ordinating structure is needed. This responsibility could be taken by a multidisciplinary body or, in the case of a municipality, even a co-ordinating person. A minimum package of opportunities and experiences means here that young people living in a state, a region or a municipality, are provided with a co-ordinating structure which ensures that somebody takes a
See H. Williamson 2002, pp. 28-29, 49
91 comprehensive view of his or her needs and interests over a large variety of policy domains. Integrated youth policy: a minimum package of opportunities and experiences 1. to ensure a successful integration of young people into society would require coordination of youth related affairs on key policy domains on national, regional and local level: - education and training, - employment and the labour market - health - housing - leisure Other domains which are relevant for youth include social protection, welfare and family and criminal justice. 2. to manage integrated youth policies across the key policy domains, mechanisms of coordination and intervention are needed on national and local level: - youth policy plan - cross-sectoral co-ordination: a body or a person responsible for youth affairs, an administrative capacity to run co-ordinated project - youth representation strategy: youth council/parliament, youth hearing/panel, - other means to listen to the voice of young people: youth study/survey. What could the youth field do across other sectors? Some countries have tried to apply a straight forward ‘aggressive’ approach to integrated youth policies. They have taken as their obligation ‘to advice’ the other sectors on how to run their services to young people. Experience shows that this has not led to good results. A more effective strategy would be to offer the core competences of the youth field (knowledge on youth, access to young people, NGO networks to work with, methods to activate etc) at the disposal of other sectors in a co-operational spirit. The cooperation should also be dependent on the will and interest of the other fields to join in. In this perspective, there are at least three types of contributions that the youth field could offer to those sectors which deal with affairs related to the lives of young people (see figure 2 for examples). First, the youth field could run activities for young people in co-operation with other sectors. There are good examples of youth workers working with teachers, social and health workers, employment officers and police to empower youth at risk, improve young peoples’ self management capacities, organize information campaigns and create leisure activities for different kinds of young people. These may be either projects or permanent services. In the ideal case a joint project which proves out to be a success will be turned into a permanent service or activity for young people.
Second, youth policy aims at ensuring that the needs and expectations of young people are met in all areas of life. The youth field not only works with young people during their leisure, but also promotes their successful integration into society on a wider scale. This may take the form of policy debate, awareness raising or making initiatives in the fields of education, employment, health and social security, to name just a few examples. In the best case the youth field appears as a useful expert on youth related affairs helping other sectors to develop their policies. Third, the youth sector could co-ordinate activities directed at young people. Many public sectors and other actors provide services and activities for young people, but even better results could be achieved through joint efforts based on the interests and ideas of young people themselves.
93 Figure 2. Integrated youth policy – what the youth field can do across other sectors? (Selected examples) Policy domains YOUTH
Running co-operation activities:
working with drop-outs, low-achievers and students with motivational and behavioral problems
providing youth information and counseling services to facilitate occupational career
promoting healthy lifestyles, using nonformal learning in health education (like peer to peer education)
introducing citizenship learning at schools through NGOs and youth workers Involving in policy debate, Raising youth concerns: drawing attention to the importance of participation and nonformal learning in formal education initiating debate on
organizing youth workshops and other employment measures to improve employability promoting youth participation at the work place
running joint intervention activities with social and health sector
promoting youth participation in health policies and measures
participating in policy
comprehensive measures to vulnerable pupils, low-qualified school-leavers, school violence etc. Co-ordinating activities and policies: co-ordinating actors which provide afterschool activities employment policy debates related to young people debate on substance use prevention, linking health disorders to wider issues of youth today etc. co-ordinating earlyprevention measures with health and social sectors and other partners
co-ordinating actions with the employment , housing, social and family policy-makers to ensure the access of young people to independent life
co-ordinating strategies with school, social work, police and other actors to combat marginalization
Developing mechanisms for integrated youth policies48 Youth policy plans. The Council of Europe National youth policy reviews are a good example on how on the national level, in co-operation with international expertise and debate, it is possible to study and plan youth affairs within a comprehensive framework. Not all countries have carefully followed-up their national plans, but some have, and in these cases there is convincing evidence on their impact on the local level youth policy and on the emergence of a systematic learning process of the national policy planning itself. The Council of Europe report on national youth policy reviews (H. Williamson 2002, pp. 122-123) concludes that an integrated youth policy needs “direction driven by a political strategy [through a] dialogue between politicians, professionals and young people”. Thus integrated youth policy is not only about a policy plan document, but also following it up and creating a process through which the professionals and young people implement, develop, evaluate and propose changes to the original plan. Comprehensive youth policy plans may also be drafted on the regional and local level. Experience from some countries49 suggests that such plans have promoted the visibility of
for some experience and examples on youth policy implementation in the Nordic countries, see the appendix “How do governments guide local youth work – observations on Nordic youth policies”. 49 The Finnish government launched in the early 70s municipal youth action plans. As a rule the plan consisted of two elements: a research part, which described the living conditions and expectations of young people and the policy plan part, which listed the actions that the various municipal sectors should take to solve the problems and meet the wishes of the young people. A large number of Finnish municipalities drafted these plans. Towards the end of the decennium an evaluation study on these plans concluded that in many municipalities the youth sector was able to promote its visibility, but very few sectors actually carried out the policy proposals of the action plan – or when they did, it was because of their internal reasons rather than the fact that the proposals appeared in the youth action plan. Very soon the plans simply died out. In a study (Sörbom 2003) on 10 municipalities in Sweden which have volunteered to participate in a follow-up study on the implementation of national youth policy objectives, most have carried out a local youth policy action plan or are aiming to do so. The positive effects have been that youth policy has entered the general
95 the youth sector and youth affairs across other sectors, but that it has been difficult to commit the other sectors to actually implement the proposed actions. The difficulties to draft and implement integrated municipal youth plans have been particularly highlighted in large cities. Is this indicative of similar problems on the level of states: the Council of Europe national youth policy reviews have been typically carried out either in small countries (Estonia, Malta, Lichtenstein, Cyprus) or in relatively small countries (Finland, Sweden, Norway, Lithuania)? Cross-sectoral co-ordination and youth representation. In principle crossMinistry co-ordination and initiatives should be on the responsibility of the Youth Ministry. In many cases there is not much more than the good will and intention of the youth field to take that responsibility: other sectors are often quite ignorant of this policy intention. As one of the Expert Groups on a member country youth policy review states: “Yet the officials [in other sectors] we spoke to often seemed to have little awareness of this wider canvas and concentrated exclusively on their small pocket of responsibility”. In principle there are two kinds of bodies which pronounce themselves on youth related affairs; administrative inter-departmental co-ordination bodies which may also include youth representation and bodies which represent young people themselves. Both types of bodies exist both on state and local level. Ministries responsible for youth have set up trans-ministerial youth committees, normally placed within the youth ministry, which have the objective to co-ordinate youth related affairs across the most relevant sectors. We lack systematic and objective research data on the functioning of these bodies. Apparently the trans-ministerial bodies have sensitized the other sectors on youth issues and created inter-ministerial networks, which facilitate co-operation. At the same time these bodies are criticized to remain only consultative without power and influence. According to the Expert group on Youth Policy in Luxembourg the Conseil Supérieur de la Jeunesse – the cross-Ministry body chaired by the Ministry for Youth – “appears to be a somewhat under-developed resource, perhaps marginalized and sometimes sidestepped”50. In countries where there are no ministries or departments of ministries responsible for youth, it should, however, be extremely important to nominate a representative of youth affairs with the co-ordinating responsibility.
policy agendas and that municipal activities related to youth have started to realize the importance of listening to young people themselves. However, the study concludes that even if political decision makers and civil servants across other sectors express, in the process of drafting the plan, their good will, it does not necessarily mean that ‘the good will’ carries over to the implementation phase. To implement a program requires follow-up mechanisms (like integrating the plan in the municipal budget process). Based on a 1993 ‘decree on local youth work policy plan’ the Flemish Government in Belgium expected the municipalities to draw their policy plans. The experience shows (Schillemans et al. 2003), that it was difficult to involve young people in the entire planning process, that leisure-oriented issues dominated their thinking and that the municipal authorities also felt that “the broader [integrated] perspective is a very good idea, but often still ‘one bridge too far’”. 50 Youth Policy in Luxembourg, Report by an international panel of experts appointed by the Council of Europe, Strasbourg 2002
96 Another national level agent can be the national youth council, an umbrella organization of national youth NGOs and other youth work actors. They may be highly efficient national political lobby agents on youth related legislation, budgeting and youth issues in general. However, in some countries the youth councils prefer to keep a lower profile as a lobbyist. Alternatively, some countries run continuous youth hearing (France) or organize youth panels based on representative samples of young people (Netherlands). Furthermore, different types of research, statistics and reviews are used to keep up with the expectations of young people and their living conditions. Germany is a frontrunner through their youth reviews (Jugendberichten), Norway is known for its national youth research Institute, Spain for its regional youth research institutes and Finland for its youth researcher network and the annual youth barometer, to take just some examples. On the local level a municipal youth service and/or a ‘youth co-ordinator’ could take on the role of trans-sectoral co-ordination. Recently in many Nordic countries the ministries responsible for youth have encouraged the municipalities to establish a post of a ‘youth affairs co-ordinator’, sometimes backed up by a cross-departmental steering group. It has also been suggested that in smaller municipalities with smaller resources the Mayor could take on the responsibility of co-ordinating youth affairs. Many municipalities have youth committees or youth parliaments with youthnominated or –elected representatives. In the best case, these bodies have a budget of their own which is not limited to leisure affairs or they might have developed methods to influence the city council decision-making (through media, networks or status in the administration). In some cases (like Helsinki) local youth organizations have joined forces to establish their own platform to pronounce themselves on local youth issues and to lobby the city or its youth administration on activity plans and budgets. There are countries which do not have trans-sectoral co-operation bodies, but which have developed an administrative capacity to respond to youth issues in a coordinated manner. For example in France the various ministries have been able to run activities to promote joint youth issues. Looking at selected examples of national youth policy implementation to the local level, following issues raise: - in many countries the national youth policy plans or policy objectives are not known to the local level youth policy and youth work actors - in some countries the local level has felt that they have been side-tracked in the process of national youth policy planning - in many countries the local level actors feel that the state has not come up with enough resources for them to be able to carry out their integrated youth policy activities - big cities in particular find the ambitious integrated youth policy objective very difficult to implement - municipalities which have been running youth policy plans and strategies have conceptualized their main task to be the promotion of youth
97 participation, not so much the expectation of the state to run comprehensive cross-sectoral youth policies. The emphasis of local youth work is on youth participation, not ensuring their general welfare. - another discrepancy between the government expectations and the local practices is the way in which the ambitious comprehensive youth policy approaches of the state have, in the practices of municipal youth work, turned into much more modest models of case by case co-operation. However, there are excellent examples of cross-sectoral activities with added value between the youth sector and school (promoting models of school democracy, after-school activities, work with youth at risk), labour administration (youth workshops, improving self-management, motivation and work related skills of young people) and health and social care (substance use prevention, youth information and counseling, integration of youth at risk), to take some examples. There seems to be different and contradictory experiences from the mechanisms briefly discussed above. Unfortunately very few objective and systematic studies have been carried out. Thus there is not much basis to assess their exact usefulness. Again, the point must be made that it would be much easier to argument for youth policy and the establishment and development of its mechanisms if better knowledge was available.
Annex Summary of the final texts of the six Conferences of European
Ministers responsible for youth
The first ministerial Conference (Strasbourg, 1985) focused on the importance for youth policies to create the necessary conditions for effective participation of young people in society and for ensuring their well-being (social protection, access to housing, for example). Youth policies should promote young people’s autonomy, a prerequisite for their effective participation, and facilitate their participation in decision-making processes. They should encourage the development of youth associations and voluntary work, youth information and counseling services, and promote local employment initiatives.
The second ministerial Conference (Oslo, 1988) focused on three main issues: - models of youth participation and initiatives, with special attention to youth policy development at local level, and the involvement of young people in the elaboration and implementation of these policies. In this context, youth policies should in particular encourage new youth initiatives in the social, cultural and employment fields; - the social, economical and cultural situation of marginalised young people as well as of young immigrants and young people from minorities. In this respect, youth policies should promote specific measures and programmes aiming to increase employment opportunities, to combat racial prejudices
98 and xenophobia, and to prevent phenomena which particularly affect young people; - the situation of young girls and young women, and the importance for youth policies to promote equal opportunities for boys and girls in all aspects of social, cultural, educational and economical life.
The main focus of the 3 rd Conference (Lisbon, 1990) was on youth mobility. This Conference recommended to governments, in particular to make mobility possible and accessible for all young people, regardless of their economic, social or geographical situation or their level of education and training, and to recognize the specific role of youth organizations in this respect. Other recommendations concerned the creation of a European programme to foster the long-term engagement of young volunteers abroad, and the promotion of mobility projects of high quality.
At the 4 th Conference organised in Vienna in 1993, the ministers agreed to implement a youth policy focusing on the following: - promoting young people’s European citizenship based on the Council of Europe’s values; - promoting the necessary conditions for young people’s integration and participation in society; - promoting solidarity among young people, notably through intercultural exchanges; - further developing youth participation policies at local, regional, national and European levels; - taking appropriate measures to combat racism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism and all forms of exclusion, and promoting sense of tolerance among young Europeans.
The European Ministers responsible for youth, meeting informally in Luxembourg in 1995 agreed to increase their efforts in order to implement an integrated youth policy that includes measures in the fields of education, training, housing, employment and social integration. In particular, they agreed to unite their efforts in order to prevent exclusion of an increasing number of young people, and to develop new forms of solidarity.
The 5 th Conference in 1998, in Bucharest adopted a Final Declaration in which the ministers stated what the objectives of youth policy should be for the years ahead, in particular:
99 - to encourage associative life and all other forms of youth work and democratic practice of young people in order to facilitate their participation in all aspects of society; - to develop education for democratic citizenship; - to develop a cross-sectoral youth policy at European, national and local levels; - to facilitate young people’s access to the labour market and increase their employability; - to promote new forms of solidarity, notably by encouraging intergenerational dialogue; - to develop specific measures and programmes for disadvantaged/excluded young people.
The sixth Conference, held in Thessaloniki in November 2002 adopted three important policy documents: a Declaration on youth policy and two resolutions on the priorities of the youth sector for the years ahead and on the situation of young people in conflict areas. The Final Declaration stressed in particular that youth policies should: - have a cross-sectoral dimension as well as a local, regional and national dimension; - integrate the educational dimension in a long term perspective, taking into consideration young people’s aspirations; promote their access to autonomy as well as their sense of responsibility and commitment, through, notably, voluntary youth work; - create the conditions to enable active participation of young people in decisions which concern them, and encourage them to commit themselves in their community life; - facilitate the access of young people to the labour market, by means of appropriate projects and training schemes which are likely to increase their professional opportunities; - facilitate the access of young people, notably from disadvantaged groups, to information which concerns them, and in particular, to the new communication technologies; - promote youth mobility by reducing administrative and financial obstacles and encouraging the development of quality projects; - promote non-formal education/learning of young people as well as the development of appropriate forms of recognition of experiences and skills acquired notably within the framework of associations and other forms of voluntary involvement, at local, national and European levels; - promote co-operation between Child, Family and Youth policies.
Annex Youth policy in Ireland
Draft Financial Estimate for the Implementation of the Youth Work Development Plan
Draft Financial Estimate for the Implementation of the Youth Work Development Plan
Actual annual costs with an accumulative total Actions 1.1a 1.1b 1.1c 1.1d 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9a 1.9b 1.10 1.11 Funding Review Youth Club Grant Scheme Youth Work Assessor Youth Work Development Fund Rural Youth Work* Peace 1 Projects
2003 63,500 0 0 63,500 0 507,900 0 0
2004 0 317,500 0 190,500 0 533,200 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 38,000 0
2005 0 635,000 0 381,000 0 560,000 0 0 0 0 0 0 12,700 673,000 0
2006 0 698500 0 571,380 0 588,000 0 0 0 0 0 0 15,300 926,900 0
2007 0 762,000 0 762,000 0 617,085 0 0 0 0 0 0 19,000 1,180,900 0
63,500 2,413,000 0 1,968,380 0 2,806,185 0 0 0 0 0 0 47,000 2,818,800 0
Active participation of young people Adoption of best practice Charter of rights for young people Peer Management projects Promoting and developing volunteerism* Charter of rights for volunteers* National Awards Scheme Youth Information Centres Health Strategy
0 0 0 0 0 0 0
1.12 1.13 1.14 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5a 3.5b 3.6 3.7 3.8 3.9 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 4.8 4.9 Multi-agency professional services* High profile media vehicle
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 127,000 25,500 0 0 12,700
0 0 0 0 0 63,500 0 0 0 0 0 190,500 13,000 0 0 14,000
0 0 0 0 0 76,200 0 38,100 0 0 0 222,200 0 0 0 15,300
0 0 0 0 0 88,900 0 50,800 0 0 0 254,000 0 0 0 16,500
0 0 0 0 0 101,600 0 63,500 0 0 0 179,400 0 0 0 17,800 1,777,600 88,900 1,904,600 0 0 1,777,600 0 2,539,500 0 190,500 209'500 0 152,500 0 0 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 0 330,200 0 152,400 0 0 0 1,073,100 38,500 0 0 76,300 6,221,800 384,000 4,126,700 0 0 4,825,200 0 6,348,700 0 1,336,000 749,200 444,500 482,700 12,700 254,000 0 0 0 0 36,972,865
Support to organisations re info technology* Promotion of Equality and Inclusiveness Equality Initiative Multi Cultural Pilot Initiative Social and Political Education* International Youth Work EU White Paper Formal Participation of young people North-South Dimension Establishment of the Development Unit Regional/local youth services NYWAC sub-committee NYWAC review working methods Resourcing NYWAC Resourcing VECs
254,000 1,015,800 1,523,700 1,650,700 63,500 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1,120,000 82,500 190,500
Resourcing NYCI Outcome of Funding Review see 1.1a Three year funding cycle Grant Scheme for Youth Clubs see 1.1b Single worker projects (180)3 Training and support on Implementation* Capital Programme Access to community/educational facilities Review of Development Plan4 Youth Work Validation Body Once-off Training Initiative National Registration Scheme
69,900 317,500 0 0
634,900 1,269,700 0 0 0 0
634,900 1,016,000 1,396,700 0 0 0
634,900 1,269,700 1,904,600 0 0 127,000 127,000 63,500 0 127,000 0 0 0 0 0 25,500 152,400 127,000 127,000 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 177,800 0 139,700 0 0 0 0 0 0
0 12,700 127,000 0
Debate on PAYW and Employers Body Child Protection Guidelines Good Practice Guidelines* Guidelines for Safety and Protection Youth Research Programme
0 0 0
Common set of procedures for data Total
2,650,300 4,477,700 7,568,900 9,831,980 12,443,985
5% increase €50,790 per post. Estimate Only 3 Estimate Only 4 Preparation of New Plan
Costs included in main recommendations
Youth and the Council of Europe European Steering Committee for Intergovernmental co-operation in Youth field (15 October 1998), Comparative Study of Youth Policies and Legislation in States Party to the European Cultural Convention of the Council of Europe. http://www.coe.int/T/E/Cultural_Cooperation/Youth/comparative_study.doc Council of Europe, New Developments in National Youth Policies 1999-2000. http://www.coe.int/T/E/Cultural_Cooperation/Youth/Dev_Nat_YPolicy_99_2000.doc
Luxembourg Council of Europe (2002). Youth policy in Luxembourg: Report by an international panel of experts appointed by the Council of Europe. Available at: http://www.coe.int/T/E/Cultural_Co-operation/Youth/YP_luxembourg.pdf National report on young people in Luxembourg (2001). http://www.snj.lu/fr/10-dossiers/politique-jeunesse/rapport-national/National-report.pdf
103 Malta Council of Europe (16 October 2003), Joint Council on Youth, Youth Policy in Malta: Report by the international team of experts. http://www.coe.int/T/E/Cultural_Co-operation/Youth/YP_malta.pdf National Youth Policy 2004-2006. http://www.youthnet.org.mt/page.jsp?id=2081&siteid=1 Position Paper on the National Youth Council of Malta (September 2003), Alexandros Liakopoulos (ETUC Youth), Member of the International Team of Experts of the Council of Europe on the Review of the National Youth Policy of Malta. http://www.coe.int/T/E/Cultural_Co-operation/Youth/YP_malta.pdf
Ireland National Youth Work Development Plan 2003-2007. http://www.education.ie/servlet/blobservlet/ya_nydp_03_07.pdf?language=EN Youth Work Act, 2001. http://www.education.ie/servlet/blobservlet/act_42_2001.pdf?language=EN Slovenia Commission of the European Communities (November 2001), European Commission White Paper: A New Impetus for European Youth. http://europa.eu.int/eur-lex/en/com/wpr/2001/com2001_0681en01.pdf "Youth Policy in Slovenia", Zorko Škvor (Senior Adviser at the Youth Department of the Republic of Slovenia), Forum 21, European Journal on Youth Policy, No3 (December 2004). http://www.coe.int/T/E/Cultural_Cooperation/Youth/5._Information_services/Forum_21/ N3_Slovenia.pdf
Estonia Estonian Youth Policy and Youth Work strategy 2006-2013: A short summary. http://www.entk.ee/failid/English%20summary%20(YWIIIF).doc Estonian Youth Policy: Youth work in Estonia. http://www.entk.ee/failid/yothworkEST.doc European Commission (2002), Directorate-General for Education and Culture, Questionnaire on 'Participation' in Estonia.
Croatia United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in cooperation with the Institute of Economics in Zagreb, the Center for Peace Studies (CMS), the Democratic Youth Initiative (DIM) and the Croatian Youth Network (MMH), Croatian Human Development Report and Youth 2004. http://www.undp.hr/en/areas/democratic/nhdr_pdf/03%20MladiiDrzava.pdf United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Croatian Human Development Report 2004, Croatian National Youth Council: Evaluation excerpt for the evaluation of the implementation of the world programme of action for youth. http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/unyin/documents/wpaysubmissions/croatia.pdf
Annex Why do me need youth policy? CoE Directorate of Youth and Sport: Draft report on research seminar ”What About Youth Political Participation?” 24-26 November 2003, European Youth Centre, Strasbourg 2004. Gerison Lansdown: Youth Participation in decision-making, UN Conference “Global priorities for youth” 2002 Lasse Sirula, European framework of youth policy. http://www.youthknowledge.net/INTEGRATION/EKC/BGKNGE/ABC_youth_policy.pdf Parker, Walter (ed.) Education for democracy, Greenwich (2002). Pasi Sahlberg: Building Bridges for Learning. The recognition and value of non-formal education in youth activity. European Youth Forum, Brussels 1999.
Annex How to implement youth policies? CDEJ (2003) 16: Select committee of experts on the establishment of guidelines for the formulation and implementation of youth policies, Secretariat memorandum prepared by the Directorate of Youth and Sport, Council of Europe, Strasbourg, 24 June 2003 International report, review of Spanish youth policy. Lithuanian Youth Policy Review, Vilnius 2002. Youth Policy in Norway, Report by an International Team of Experts, Council of Europe, DJS/CMJ (2004) 1.
105 Williamson, Howard: Supporting young people in Europe: principles, policy and practice. The Council of Europe international reviews of national youth policy 1997-2001 – a synthesis report. Strasbourg 2002. Youth Policy in Malta, Report by the International Team of Experts, Council of Europe, DJS/CMJ (2003) 16. Youth Policy in Luxembourg, Report by an international panel of experts appointed by the Council of Europe, Strasbourg 2002.
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