5.3 Youth representation bodies
In Italy, there are a number of organizations representing young people in different areas, but there is no youth parliament.
The Chamber of Deputies and the Senate of the Republic organize specific initiatives fostering a “close collaboration aimed at offering schools tools that promote the planning and reflection, within the curricular educational paths, on the principles and relevance of the Constitutional Charter”, as well as “to bring young people closer to its values” through multidisciplinary activities and laboratory methodologies (Cf. 5.7).
Youth Councils and/or youth advisory boards
The National Youth Council is the new advisory and representative body of young people, which replaced the National Youth Forum. It was set up in 2019 with law n.145/2018 (Art. 1 paragraphs 470 to 477). According to its statute, it is an independent and democratic association that promotes the rights and interests of young people “to the public authority in particular to the President of the Council of Ministers or the delegated political authority and is heard at the request of the Ministers competent on political matters that have an impact on the younger generations”.
The CNG is a member of the European Youth Forum which represents the interests of young Europeans in international institutions.
The CNG is made up of Italian youth associations with at least 300 members, 70% of whom are under the age of 36, and of regional Councils/Forums. As of March 2021, 89 organizations are part of the CNG, of which 72 full members, 8 candidate members and 9 permanent observers.
The CNG is a democratic body and the renewal of the statutory bodies takes place every three years, through elections in which the representatives of all the member associations are called to vote, in compliance with the statutory duties. Members of one of the organizations adhering to the CNG between the ages of 18 and 36 (completed not before the end of their mandate) are eligible for positions in the statutory bodies.
The statutory bodies of the CNG are the following:
The General Assembly is the highest decision-making body and is made up of delegates from all the member youth organizations. It meets, ordinarily, at least 4 times a year for the proper functioning of the body: it votes its general guidelines, the budget and the final balance. It has a democratically elected Coordinator and Deputy Coordinator;
The General Assembly for the congress is made up of delegates from all the organizations that have the right to vote from the CNG. It meets once every three years to elect, by secret ballot, the President, the Presidency Council and the Thematic Commissions of the CNG;
The Presidential Council implements the programmatic documents and motions illustrated by the General Assembly and supports the activities of the thematic commissions. It is made up of 11 people (a President and 10 Presidency Councilors) democratically elected every three years. It meets at least once every two months upon call by the President of the CNG or by the majority of the Directors. Its members are elected by the General Assembly for the congress. As of April 2020, the average age of the Board is 31.5 years;
The thematic commissions are specialized technical bodies that provide tools and materials to support the Bureau and the General Assembly in fulfilling their prerogatives; its members are elected by the General Assembly for the Congress and elect a coordinator from among them; each commission meets at least once every 3 months.
The thematic commissions are as follows:
Culture, Sport, Legality
Gender Rights and Policies;
Active citizenship and civic service;
Foreign Affairs, Integration, European and international mobility;
Work, Training and Social Policies;
Environment and Agriculture;
Business and Cooperation with the European Union.
The President is the legal representative of the CNG and implements the resolutions of the Presidential Council;
The Secretariat is made up of the Secretary General and the Administrative Secretary. The General Secretary and the Administrative Secretary hold office for three years and are appointed by the Presidential Council on the proposal of the President;
The Treasury Office is made up of the Secretary/Administrative Office, the Secretary General and a member of the Presidential Council delegated to the Treasury, proposed by the President, who assumes coordination;
The Board of Auditors remains in office for 2 years. It is made up of one President and two members elected by the Assembly and controls the regular keeping of the accounts by the Administrative Secretary.
The Board of Guarantors remains in office for 2 years and is made up of one President and two members. It is elected by the General Assembly from among persons of recognized prestige and independence. The interpretations of this Statute and internal regulations are entrusted to the Board of Guarantors and is a judge with respect to disputes between the member organizations and the organs of the CNG.
In order to encourage the participation of young people in the political, social, economic and cultural development of the Country, the National Youth Council promotes:
the dialogue among institutions, youth organizations and young people;
the overcoming of obstacles to the participation of young people in the mechanisms of representative and direct democracy;
the active citizenship of young people and, to this end, supports the activities of the youth associations, encouraging the exchange of good practices and their networks;
the development of youth advisory bodies at a local level.
The Council collaborates with the public administrations drafting studies and reports on the situation of youth, expresses opinions and formulates proposals on legislative acts that deal with youth issues, expresses opinions and formulates proposals on the legislative acts of the Government initiative that affect young people; participates in European and international association forums, encouraging communication, relations and exchanges between youth organizations of different countries.
According to the Program Report presented to the Department for Youth Policies and Universal civic service in order to obtain the financial support required by law, the CNG has set its action on six pillars within the Programmatic Lines 2023 - 2025:
- Labour, training and social policies
- Gender rights and policies
- Citizenship and civic service
- Culture, Sport, Legality and Health
- Environment and Agriculture
- European and International Cooperation
The programmatic report also includes promoting projects, events and campaigns in the thematic areas that correspond to the aforementioned thematic commissions. For 2023 the public funding to support CNG is set at 1.000.000 EUR.
Participatory bodies of young people are active in almost all the Regions in different forms: forums, tables and councils. Each of these bodies has its own rules and objectives based on regional laws.
- Regional Law 11/2000 - Recognition and promotion of the role of the younger generations in regional society (regional forum);
- Regional Law 2/2000 - Youth project regional council (register of associations)
- Emilia Romagna
- Regional Law 14/2008 - Policy provisions for young generations (Forum, regular conference)
- Friuli Venezia Giulia
- Regional Law 6/2009 - Promotion of policies for minors and young people (Forum)
- Regional Law 4/2022 – “La Lombardia è dei giovani” Regulation of regional youth policies - Regional law n.4 adopted on 31.03.2022
- DPR 6/2012 - Simplification of the procedures for the promotion and implementation of interventions in the youth sector and the functioning of the provincial council of youth service for the Italian language group
- P.A. Bolzano
- P.A. Trento
- Regional Law 2/2019 – new norms on youth policies (Regional youth Council)
- Regional law 14/2020 - Regional Forum of adolescents
- Regional Law 1/2016 - Youth policy rules (Concil)
- Valle d’Aosta
- Regional Law 12/2013 - Promotion and coordination of youth policies (Forum)
- Regional Law 17/2008 - Promotion of youth protagonism and participation in social life (Forum).
Higher education student union(s)
The national council of university Students (Consiglio Nazionale degli Studenti Universitari, CNSU) is an advisory body of the Ministry of Education and Merit, established with the D.P.R. 491/1997. The CNSU is composed of twenty-eight members elected by the students of the third-year and specialist degree courses, as well as specializing and research doctoral candidates. Elections take place every three years. The Council may issue opinions and proposals to the Minister of Education and Merit and to the Ministry of University and Research concerning the university (implementation of the reforms, right to study, funding, news of national relevance regarding national universities). Finally, the Council elects among its members, eight representatives who sit on the National University Council (Consiglio Univsersitario Nazionale, CUN), the highest representative body of the Italian academic system.
School student union(s)
The Provincial Student Council (Consulta Provinciale degli Studenti, CPS) is an institutional body of student representation on a provincial basis composed of two students for each secondary school in the province. The representatives are elected by the students of the school and remain in office for two years.
The Council has its own funds to be used for events and projects aimed at supporting student participation in their local area. They create moments of coordination and representation at a regional level, concretizing, at a national level, the formulation of their requests through the national council of councils’ presidents (Consiglio Nazionale dei Presidenti di Consulta, CNPC). The councils encourage the exchange of information and experiences in the area, design projects to be integrated, discuss the crucial issues common to the CPS and dialogue with the Ministry of Education and Merit, by drafting opinions and proposals.
ANCI Giovani is the national council of young local administrators “under 35” in Italy, which represents all the young administrators of the municipalities belonging to the National Association of Italian Municipalities (ANCI). ANCI Giovani promotes the meeting and exchange of opinions and the different local experiences of young administrators. The goal is to create, in agreement with ANCI and through the structures connected to it, a network made up of the new local ruling class. The networks aim at not only the understanding and monitoring of the phenomenon related to the presence of young people in local administrations, but also contributing, as a young and innovative soul of the association, to the definition of public policies that affect local authorities, in terms of proposals and content to be shared.
In addition, ANCI Giovani promotes training activities for the new local managerial class (ANCI school of young administrators) also through the organization of specific events and appointments that encourage continuous training and effective updating on many issues, techniques and regulations, related to local authorities. These purposes are to be implemented throughout the national territory, also operating as a link with the regional realities and in collaboration with all the ANCI local representatives.