4.2 Administration and governance
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The main governmental authority
The Central State Office for Demography and Youth (Središnji državni ured za demografiju i mlade) is responsible for youth policy. The Office performs administrative and professional tasks related to improving and promoting the quality of life of youth and building a complete, comprehensive and cross-sectorial youth policy. The aforementioned scope includes: proposing and implementing strategic documents, laws, other acts, programmes and projects in the field of youth policy, and monitoring and evaluation thereof, especially in the involvement of young people as partners in the processes of decision-making, informal education, leisure and youth culture, volunteering and participating in the development of civil society, promoting political participation and protecting human rights, information, mobility and the provision of quality and regular support to the organized youth sector and its activities. The Ministry develops measures and programmes aimed at preventing the social exclusion of young people and providing the basis for a complete, creative and dignified life in their youthful times.
- The Ministry of Labour, Pension System, Family and Social Policy carries out administrative and professional affairs related to the care of persons and families who do not have enough resources to meet basic needs or need assistance to overcome the causes of social vulnerability.
According to 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) municipalities, towns and counties are independent in deciding on affairs from their self-governing sphere of competence. At regional and local levels, municipalities and counties establish administrative departments or services to carry out activities within their scope, including, among others, activities in the field of social services, education, social welfare, etc.
A number of stakeholders were participating in the preparation of The National Plan to Combat Poverty and Social Exclusion 2021-2027: government administration bodies, public administration body, civil society organisation and social partners. The Ministry of Labour, Pension System, Family and Social Policy is responsible for the National Plan to Combat Poverty and Social Exclusion 2021-2027.
Crucial to the fight against poverty and social exclusion is the coordination of competent government, public and local authorities, and the cooperation of the government, public and civic actors, and the involvement of citizens. In this context, the national plan highlights the importance of finding new solutions based on guaranteed rights and the promotion of solidarity and social participation. It is important to attain a higher level of solidarity and make efforts to build new social capital. This requires public activities directed to a greater extent towards persons with existential difficulties and aimed at relieving them from seeking out protection mechanisms on their own, which, due to insufficient familiarity among the beneficiaries with the social welfare system and their rights, often results in unexercised rights and a consequent inability to come out of poverty and exclusion.
Therefore, the national plan implementation programmes also build in measures, which strengthen cross-sectoral connections within the solidarity policy that support initiatives of civil society organisations and the involvement of citizens and promote the development of participation of poor and socially deprived persons in the implementation and monitoring of public policy. Namely, besides the contribution of civil society organisations which are active in their work with socially deprived citizens, the voice of persons facing existential difficulties is equally important.
Considering that poverty and social exclusion are multidimensional categories, more strategic areas are foreseen for their combat and prevention in the areas:
- Social welfare
- Health care
- Upbringing and education
- Pension system
- Housing care
- Regional development
- Civil society development