In the area of youth policy, programmes are intended for the general population of young people and the emphasis is on inclusion. The former Ministry for Demography, Family, Youth and Social Policy provided in 2019 incentives for civil society organizations and local and regional self-government units to implement projects and programmes at local level and create conditions that will contribute to meeting the needs of young people and raising the quality of their lives.
One of the priorities of the Central State Office for Demography and Youth is certainly to provide funds to support and operate youth organisations and further encourage the work of youth associations and youth organisations in order to improve the quality of life of young people. In addition, tender documentation is being prepared for the public call for national financing of projects aimed at young people in 2021. Another public call for projects aimed at youth financing from the European Social Fund is under preparation, amounting to HRK 27,750,000.00. The call aims to contribute to greater social inclusion of young people in the community. The tender dossier for this call is in preparation and is expected to be published in the forthcoming period.
The former Ministry published the Call for proposals in 2019 for youth-oriented projects which were implemented in 2020. Resources for the financial support distributed through the call are ensured from the state budget and from a portion of the state lottery funds.
In the context of social inclusion, the call points out that the priority for funding have organizations that include volunteers in their work, and which intend to employ at least one young unemployed person in the implementation of the project in an appropriate profession and/or as a volunteer. Specific priorities include the development of multiculturalism, tolerance, gender and sexual equality, human rights, non-violent conflict resolution and youth participation in decision-making. New initiatives in communities with fewer opportunities such as areas of special state concern, islands, rural and less urban environments with a lower development index are also mentioned, as is including young people from socially marginalized groups, young people in war-affected areas, rural areas, islands and small places, and young members of national minorities.
Priority areas of the call are based on measures from the National Youth Programme 2014-2017 (also in 2018 and 2019), as well as the ministry’s obligations stemming from the Youth Guarantee Implementation Plan, and are defined separately in each annual call.
When defining priorities of a call, the ministry recognized that young people who are leaving education early face numerous employment barriers and it is of utmost importance to offer ways to return to the formal education system. Also, initiatives for non-formal education can help young people to become qualified for employment. With focus on creativity and innovation, civil society organizations play an important role in providing support to young people at the local level. In addition, the Youth Guarantee Implementation Plan contains reforms and measures implemented in close partnership of various stakeholders. A significant part of the measure refers to working with young people not in education, employment or training (NEET). Measures aimed at supporting youth work will also strengthen youth organizations and organizations for youth to work with young people and support the development of programmes and support projects for their peers, with a special emphasis on hard-to-reach and vulnerable groups.
In view of the above, one of the priority areas of the Call for proposals was ‘Youth Work with NEETs’.
Based on the National Youth Programme 2014-2017, the former Ministry for Demography, Family, Youth and Social Policy was conducting the abovementioned call for proposals (see previous paragraph and/or 1.7.Funding youth policy).
The annual amount for calls differs depending on current financial obligations under previously agreed programmes and defined priorities. In 2019, for example, the total amount for the call for proposals for all priorities was amounted of HRK 8,134,000 HRK. Six projects within priority area ‘Youth Work with NEETs’ were awarded a total of 437,000 HR (approximately 58,000.00 euros) and six projects within priority area ‘Social inclusion of young people in social care system’ were awarded a total of 480,000 HRK (approximately 64,000.00 euros).
In addition to youth-oriented calls, the former Ministry opened in December 2019 a Call for project proposals oriented towards social exclusion reduction and prevention and social inclusion and integration of socially vulnerable groups for 2019/2020 (Poziv za prijavu projekata usmjerenih smanjenju i prevenciji socijalne isključenosti te socijalnom uključivanju i integraciji socijalno osjetljivih skupina za 2019. /2020. godinu). The call is aimed at non-profit organizations targeting work with socially sensitive, vulnerable and marginalized groups, people with approved international protection, former prisoners, and those targeting work with older people and homeless people. Youth organizations and organizations for youth may also apply for financial support for projects contributing to social inclusion if they act according to the priority areas of this call. Total planned value of the call is HRK 6.500.000,00. The same call was implemented for 2018/2019 and total sum for 33 projects amounted to 5,237,000.00 HRK.
The call for proposal entitled ‘Support for youth-oriented programmes’ (Podrška programima usmjerenih mladima) was opened in 2017 with the aim of increasing social inclusion of young people. The call determined programmes’ activities as follows: quality spend leisure time, informing young people and providing counselling on relevant topics, youth violence prevention, improvement of social skills and competences development, which contribute to the labour market competitiveness and social inclusion, and active participation of young people in society. Total grants within this call amount to HRK 12,000,000 (85%:15% ratio of EU and national funding) which were ensured through the European social fund, Operational programme the efficient human resources. The public body in charge for its implementation was the former Ministry for Demography, Family, Youth and Social Policy. The Ministry awarded 15 programmes within priority area “Youth work-oriented activities” and 2 programmes within priority area “Establishment and activities of youth centres” in May 2018.
The same Ministry was in charge for implementation of the following calls for proposals from the European social fund, within the Operational Programme Efficient Human Resources 2014-2020:
- Inclusive society through reading (Čitanjem do uključivog društva), opened from December 2020 till March 2021. Total value of the grant is 41,000,000 HRK.
- Including children and young people in the risk of social exclusion, people with disabilities, and children with developmental difficulties in community through sport (Uključivanje djece i mladih u riziku od socijalne isključenosti te osoba s invaliditetom i djece s teškoćama u razvoju u zajednicu kroz šport), opened from June 2018 till December 2019. During that period 57 projects were awarded a total of 63,702,712.05 HRK.
- Support to the marginalised groups’ social inclusion and employment (Podrška socijalnom uključivanju i zapošljavanju marginaliziranih skupina), opened from September 2017 till December 2019. During that period 80 projects were awarded a total of 263,240,256.50 HRK.
- Support to the deinstitutionalisation process and the prevention of children and youth institutionalisation (Podrška procesu deinstitucionalizacije i prevencije institucionalizacije djece i mladih), opened from March 2017 till December 2020. During that period 7 projects were awarded a total of 39,657,575.31 HRK.
- Art and culture for youth (Umjetnost i kultura za mlade). The call was opened in 2017 and during 2017 and 2018 29 projects were awarded a total of 17,968,221.23 HRK.
The Ministry of Regional Development and EU Funds was competent body for implementation of the Call for proposals ‘Improving the social services providers’ infrastructure to the children and youth as a support to the deinstitutionalization process – phase 1) (Unapređivanje infrastrukture pružatelja socijalnih usluga djeci i mladima kao podrška procesu deinstitucionalizacije – faza 1), from the European Regional Development Fund, within the Operative programme Competitiveness and Cohesion 2014-2020. The call was opened from 2016 till 2018. During that period 5 projects were awarded a total of 51,471,423.28 HRK.
Applicants whose projects were approved are obliged to submit a narrative and financial report to the competent public bodies, in accordance with the provisions of the financial support agreement.