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The Federal cross-sectoral approach: collabortation and impact assessment
As of 2019, to establish youth policy as a cross-sectoral issue, each Federal Ministry had to develop national youth objectives within its sphere of competence, according to the 4 fields of action of the Austrian Youth Strategy (Learning and Employment, Participation and Initiative, Quality of Life and a Spirit of Cooperation, and Media and Information). While the Department for Families and Youth at the Federal Chancellery holds the main and coordinative responsibility in youth politics, all Ministries coin measures of youth policy and consider young people's position in all new legislative projects as part of the 'Youth Check' (Verordnung über die Abschätzung der Auswirkungen auf junge Menschen). With youth policy as a cross-sectoral matters and youth relevant agendas spread out across all ministries, linking these approaches has become a major task of the Austrian Youth Strategy coordinated by the Federal Chancellery.
All parties to the parliament have established a youth representative. On the national level, the Federal Youth Council (Bundesjugendvertretung) acts as the lobby for all children and young people with the duties stated in the Federal Youth Promotion Act (Bundes-Jugendförderungsgesetz) and measures to be implemented by the Federal Chancellery.
Youth Competence Centre and National Working Group on Youth Dialogue
The operating unit for the Youth Strategy is the Youth Competence Centre at the Federal Chancellery (Kompetenzzentrum Jugend). Established in May 2013, the Centre coordinates key activities, offers knowledge and skills, and establishes contact with experts. The goal of the centre is to develop a stable network between a diverse group of youth policy stakeholders. The political responsibility for the implementation is however still the province of the individual government departments and institutions.
The National Working Group on Youth Dialogue and Youth Participation brings together federal and provincial authorities and other youth policy actors to implement the youth dialogue and for the further development of youth participation. The working group is made up of the Department for Families and Youth at the Federal Chancellery (Youth Competence Centre and Department for European and International Family and Youth Policy), the Federal Youth Council (Bundesjugendvertretung),the Federal Network Austrian Youth Information Centers (Bundesnetzwerk Österreichische Jugendinfos), the Federal Network of Open Youth Work (bundesweites Netzwerk Offene Jugendarbeit,), the Austrian European Youth Delegates, the Youth departments of the federal states (Landesjugendreferate), the National Correspondent to the European Knowledge Center for Youth Policy (EKCYP), and the Austrian National Agency Erasmus+ Youth in Action and European Solidarity Corps (OEAD), and the Office for Youth Work of the Autonomous Italian Province of Bolzano - South Tyrol.
Furthermore, the Youth Strategy Forum (Forum Jugendstrategie) provides an informal platform of exchange with Ministries and other relevant stakeholders.
Each head of a provincial youth department is responsible for the implementation of the youth policy and promotion of extracurricular youth work in the particular Federal province. As far as matters are not explicitly assigned to the federal legislation or execution, they belong to the autonomous fields of action of the provincial states. Thus, different laws in each province are possible. The heads of provincial youth departments and representatives of the Federal Chancellery meet up on a yearly basis at the conference of provincial youth departments to exchange and update further co-ordination issues. Provincial youth advisory boards counsel the provincial governments in the field of youth policy.
According to the conference of provincial youth departments core tasks have been defined:
- Promotion and guidance of youth organisations, youth information centres, youth clubs, youth meeting points, local authorities, cultural facilities, private initiatives, etc.
- Quality management
- Gender budgeting
- Results-based management
- Research and evaluation for knowledge-based planning and decisions
- Knowledge and analysis of the diversity of young people’s living environments, challenges and situations.
- The espousal of concerns and for the future of all young people in Austria.
Youth in all parts of politics
- Guidance and active participation in politics and administration of all areas affecting young people.
- Linking and forcing a dialogue with system relevant partners outside of the public sector and the civil society.
- Actively take part in the organisation of the living and social environment of young people on a local, regional, national and international level.
- Develop offers for various areas and fields of action.