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EACEA National Policies Platform


5. Participation

5.3 Youth representation bodies

Last update: 27 March 2024
On this page
  1. Youth parliament
  2. Youth councils and/or youth advisory boards
  3. Higher education student union(s)
  4. School student union(s)
  5. Other bodies

Youth parliament

In Croatia, there is no National Youth Parliament.


Youth councils and/or youth advisory boards

The Youth Council (Council) is an interdepartmental advisory body of the Croatian Government, tasked with participating in the development of youth public policies.

Following the Croatian Government’s Decision on Establishing the Youth Council in March 2021), the number of the Council members has increased, now with increased representation from youth and for youth associations and organisations.

In pursuing its mission, the Council especially:

  • participates in continuous monitoring and analysis of public policies related to and/or influencing youth in the Republic of Croatia
  • participates in providing opinion to the Croatian Government on draft regulations of particular significance for improving the status of youth
  • monitors the work of ministries and other public administration bodies in implementing, monitoring, and evaluating youth policies within their jurisdiction, providing opinions and recommendations in that regard
  • monitors the development of youth and for youth associations and provides recommendations for the improvement of their work and support system
  • provides recommendations for the development of youth policies and the inclusion of youth at the local, regional, national, and international levels in implementing these policies
  • monitors societal phenomena important for youth and recommends related measures
  • ensures continuous dialogue among state bodies, public administration bodies, civil society organisations, youth councils, the academic community, media, and other representatives of the interested public, focusing on the improvement of the status of youth in the Republic of Croatia
  • executes missions to achieve the primary purpose of the Council's agency, aiming to create a stimulating environment for the improvement of the status of youth

The Council comprises of 33 members, including representatives from public administration bodies and offices of the Government of the Republic of Croatia, the Association of Cities in the Republic of Croatia, the Croatian Municipality Association, and the Croatian County Association. It also includes representatives from scientific and educational institutions, the Croatian Students’ Council, and the National Student Council of the Republic of Croatia. A total of eight representatives of youth and for youth associations are appointed based on a proposal from the Central State Office for Demography and Youth (CSODY). This appointment is made through a conducted selection procedure, following the Criteria for Membership in the Youth Council. The President of the Council is elected from the representatives of youth and for youth associations, following their proposal. The President of the Council must be an individual below 30 years of age. The President, Council members, and their deputies are appointed for a two-year term and may be re-appointed. The Council was established based on the Decision on Establishing the Youth Council of 2012, the Decision on the Amendments to the Decision on Establishing the Youth Council of 2015, and the Decision on the Amendments and Addition to the Decision on Establishing the Youth Council of 2017. The agency of the Council is regulated by the Rulebook. The Council receives professional and administrative support from the CSODY

In 2023, the Croatian Parliament adopted the Decision on the Proclamation of the Act on Amendments and Additions to the Act on Youth Advisory Boards. As a new initiative, the proposal suggests establishing the Youth Council of the Republic of Croatia as a coordinating body of youth councils. This body would coordinate the activities of all youth councils, monitor and promote the interests of young people at the national level, and manage activities related to international cooperation, in collaboration with the state administration body responsible for youth. To simplify the formation, the Decision suggests eliminating the position of deputy member of the Youth Council and reducing the minimum number of members required for the establishment of the Youth Council. The number of young people constituting an informal group eligible to propose a candidacy for the Youth Council member is also reduced.


Higher education student union(s)

According to the Students' Council and Other Students Organisations Act, the Students' Council is a student representative body that safeguards students’ interests, participates in the university decision-making, and represents students in higher education structures. Every university and university of applied sciences is required to have a Students' Council, collectively constituting the Croatian Students' Council (CSC).

The CSC is an umbrella organisation representing all Croatian students. It strives to address the interests of over 200 000 students across Croatian faculties, academies, as well as professional and vocational colleges. Established in 1996, the CSC is recognised by the Ministry of Education and Science as the primary student organisation in Croatia. It is regarded as a partner of the Ministry in higher education reform, enhancing student welfare, shaping educational policies, and fostering student participation in the decision-making process. The CSC became a full member of the European Student Association in 2001. Additionally, the CSC is one of the founders of the South-East Initiatives (SEI), a network of student unions in the South-East Europe, and is affiliated with the MedNet – the Mediterranean Network of Student Representatives.

Student representatives (members of student councils) are elected through student elections, allowing every student to cast a vote and stand as a candidate. The higher education student union is funded from the university’s budget.


School student union(s)

Student school councils are defined by the Act on Primary and Secondary School Education. According to this Act, every primary and secondary school should have a student council. The representative of the Student Council participate in school bodies, albeit without decision-making rights. Primary and Secondary Student Councils aim to encourage students at school, city, county, and national levels to express their interest and address issues by participating in real school or community life. This involvement is supported by teachers, parents, local community authorities, and national school authorities. Student Councils are legally organised through:

• students' county councils

• students' city councils

• National students' council of the Republic of Croatia


Other bodies

There is no documentation indicating the existence of other bodies in Croatia.