1.4 Youth policy decision-making
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Youth Policy decision-making takes place primarily at a central government level. The main responsibility for youth policy lies within the Central State Office for Demography and Youth (Središnji državni ured za demografiju i mlade). Within the Centrale State Administrative Office there is the Youth Office which is a part of the Youth and Parenting Support Sector.
The Central State Office for Demography and Youth was founded in the August of 2020 by the Regulation on Internal Structure of the Central State Administrative Office for Demography and Youth (OG 97/2020) (Uredba o unutarnjem ustrojstvu Središnjeg državnog ureda za demografiju i mlade (NN 97/2020)). The newly formed Central State Administrative Office took the main responsibilities of the former Ministry for Demography, Family, Youth and Social Policy in the youth field.
- Parliamentary Committee on the Family, Youth and Sports
- Youth Advisory Board of Republic of Croatia (Savjet za mlade Vlade Republike Hrvatske)
- Monitors the work of ministries and other state administration bodies in the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of youth policies within their jurisdictions and, in this context, provides opinions and recommendations
- Monitors the development of youth organisations and provides recommendations for the improvement of their work and support systems
- Provides recommendations for the development of youth policies at local, regional, national and European levels
- Monitors and reacts to phenomena in society that are significant for youth
Members of the Youth Council are representatives of relevant government bodies, representatives of scientific institutions and county associations.
Apart from central government, regional and local self-government units also coordinate local and regional youth policy even though this is not explicitly stipulated in the Law on Local and Regional Self-government (Zakon o lokalnoj i područnoj (regionalnoj) samoupravi, NN 33/01, 60/01, 129/05, 109/07, 125/08, 36/09, 36/09, 150/11, 144/12, 19/13, 137/15, 123/17, 98/19, 144/20).
The Republic of Croatia consists of 21 counties (including the City of Zagreb), 127 towns and 428 municipalities. According to the Constitution of the Republic of Croatia (Ustav Republike Hrvatske, NN 56/90, 135/97, 08/98, 113/00, 124/00, 28/01, 41/01, 55/01, 76/10, 85/10, 05/14) and the Law on Local and Regional Self-Government, counties, cities and municipalities are independent in deciding on affairs in their self-governing sphere.
Counties, towns and municipalities decide independently on the financial means that will be provided annually for the implementation of various youth-targeted activities.
However, the former Ministry of Demography, Family, Youth and Social Policy has, for the last few years, provided certain funds intended for the preparation of local and regional youth programmes in accordance with the specific interests and needs of young people in a specific area.
The implementation of recommendations by counties, towns and municipalities is a part of every annual report on the implementation of the National Youth Programme submitted by the Central State Office for Demography and Youth to the Government of the Republic of Croatia for adoption.
Youth advisory boards
Youth Advisory Boards are advisory bodies of local and regional self-government units that promote and advocate the rights, needs and interests of young people at local and regional level. They are established based on the Youth Advisory Boards Act (OG 41/14) ( Zakon o savjetima mladih, NN 41/14), and their members and deputy members are elected for a term of three years.
The priority areas of the National Youth Programme are usually determined on the basis of:
- results and recommendations from researches
- analyses of valid strategic documents in the Republic of Croatia:
- the National Development Strategy of the republic of Croatia until 2030 (Nacionalna razvojna strategija Republike Hrvatske do 2030.)
- the Croatian Qualifications Framework Act (Zakon o Hrvatskom kvalifikacijskom okviru, NN 22/13, 41/16, 64/18, 47/20, 20/21);
- the Primary and Secondary School Education Act (Zakon o odgoju i obrazovanju u osnovnoj i srednjoj školi, NN 87/08, 86/09, 92/10, 105/10, 90/11, 5/12, 16/12, 86/12, 126/12, 94/13, 152/14, 07/17, 68/18, 98/19, 64/20);
- the Strategic Plan of the Ministry of Science of Education and Sport (Strateški plan Ministarstva znanosti i obrazovanja);
- the Entrepreneurship Development Strategy in the Republic of Croatia (Strategija razvoja poduzetništva u Republici Hrvatskoj 2013.-2020.);
- the Youth Guarantee Implementation (Plan implementacije Garancije za mlade);
- the Labour Market Act (Zakon o tržištu rada, NN 118/18, 32/20);
- the National Health Development Plan2021-2027 (Nacionalni plan razvoja zdravstva za razdoblje od 2021. do 2027. godine).
- the results of the evaluation of previous national youth programmes
- European Commission and council documents relating to youth, including the EU Youth Strategy
The Republic of Croatia has no National Agency for Youth, however there is a National Erasmus+ agency, Agency for Mobility and the EU programmes, which actively participates in the youth policy framework.
Local self-government units are obliged by the Law on Youth Advisory boards to annually submit a report on the youth advisory boards programme.
The only evaluation ever made of the National Youth Strategy conducted by an independent youth researcher was in December 2017. The evaluation showed that only 36.44% of measures were implemented (Baketa, 2017).