1.7 Funding youth policy
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Funding for youth policy comes from a specific budget line within the State Budget. The Government, not later than 15 November of the current year, submits the budget proposal to the Parliament for adoption. After reviewing and discussing the proposal, the Parliament adopts the State Budget before the year’s end. Once approved, the Government can use the allocated budget funds.
Other ministries responsible for specific measures in the National Youth Programme do not have separate funds for the implementation of these measures. Instead, funds are allocated within the ministry’s budget position, in accordance to its jurisdiction.
Additional financial resources for the implementation of the National Youth Programme are provided through the Decree on the Criteria for Defining Beneficiaries and Ways of Allocating a Portion of Proceeds from the State Lottery Funds. The Government of the Republic of Croatia adopts this decree at the beginning of each year for that year’s implementation.
The Central State Office for Demography and Youth (CSODY), according to the annual Financial Plan for the current year, allocates about 0.4% of the total budget for youth policy initiatives. According to the Financial Plan for 2023, the allocation for the ‘youth policy’ area was planned to be 0.4% of the financial resources.
The 2022 Call for Proposals for Youth-Oriented Projects funded 117 projects across seven priority areas:
- Active participation of young people in society
1.1. Encouraging young people to actively participate in society (8 projects were awarded a total of €92.906.0)
1.2. Youth and sustainable community development (5 projects were awarded a total of €66 361.4)
- Youth counselling and information, organisation of leisure activities for youth, and support for community youth initiatives
2.1. Youth information centres (5 projects were awarded a total of €66 361.4)
2.2. Organising youth leisure activities through youth clubs (4 projects were awarded a total of €66 361.4)
2.3. Youth centres (9 projects were awarded a total of €132 722.8 )
- Enhancing the employability and competitiveness of young people in the labour market and preventing entry into the NEET category (4 projects were awarded a total of €53 089.1)
- Youth in rural areas (23 projects were awarded a total of €291 990.2)
- Prevention of violence against and among young people (22 projects were awarded a total of €265 445.6)
- Youth work in the earthquake-affected areas (16 projects were awarded a total of €159 267.4)
- Prevention of youth addiction (21 projects were awarded a total of €265 445.6)
The total project funding in 2022 was €1 459 950.9.
The specific objectives of the above-mentioned tenders are:
- encouraging young people to assume and practice the role of active citizens in different aspects of social life and to address specific social issues
- raising awareness among young people about their rights and opportunities, as well as the programs and services available to them in the local community
- raising the level of knowledge, skills, and employability while reducing the risk of entering the NEET category
- improving the quality of life and opportunities for young people in rural areas
- reducing all forms of violence against and among young people
- preserving mental health and psychological well-being of young people
- preventing all forms of youth addiction
The target groups of the tender included, among others, unemployed young people, young people in NEET status, young people in rural areas, and young people from earthquake-affected areas.
The CSODY has implemented the project ‘Support to the Development and Expansion of Youth Work in Croatia’. The funding is envisaged from the European Social Fund through direct assignment. The total amount of the funding was HRK 1 717 046.8, or about €227 890.
The project aimed to analyse the existing conditions in the field of youth work in Croatia and to identify needs and possibilities for further development and improvement of the quality of youth work.
The main objectives of the project were:
- increasing the level of knowledge and the amount of information on availability and the state of development of youth work
- influencing the professionalization of youth work and raising the awareness among the public, especially experts and young people, about the relevance of youth work
The results of the project are presented in the Analysis of the current state of youth work in the Republic of Croatia and preparation of recommendations and guidelines for its development report. The results indicate that, alongside a relatively high quality of youth work in Croatia, there is a need for additional information for young people regarding opportunities to participate in activities. The results highlight challenges in working and volunteering conditions of individuals engaged in activities with young people. These challenges encompass issues related to financing, the state of physical infrastructure, the availability of education programs, training for youth workers, and the enhancement of youth work.
Regarding infrastructure for youth work activities, this encompasses physical spaces, youth organisations, organisations for young people, state and public bodies engaged in youth work, and relevant documents addressing these aspects.
Youth work in Croatia is primarily conducted by youth organisations and organisations for young people. These entities vary in their management structures; for instance, youth organisations implementing programmes for young people and youth associations must have more than half of their management body composed of individuals under the age of 30 (50%).
Some youth and for-youth associations utilise EU funds.
The EU funds utilised are:
The Agency for Mobility and EU Programmes (AMEUP) was established by the Act on the Agency for Mobility and European Union Programmes. This act designates the AMEUP as a public institution with the jurisdiction to implement European Union (EU) programmes, specifically the Lifelong Learning Programme and Youth in Action Programme, in accordance with the negotiating position under the Accession Negotiations of the Republic of Croatia and the European Union in Chapter 26, Education and Culture.
The Memorandum of Understanding between the Republic of Croatia and the European Union on the participation of the Republic of Croatia in the Youth in Action Programme and the Lifelong Learning Program 2007-2013, signed on 7 December 2010, marking the completion of the preparatory phase, came into effect on 30 March 2011. Since 2011, the Republic of Croatia has been a full participant in these programmes, with equal rights and opportunities as the EU and other countries with full participation in the programme.