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EACEA National Policies Platform: Youthwiki
Cyprus

Cyprus

1. Youth Policy Governance

1.4 Youth policy decision-making

On this page
  1. Structure of Decision-making
  2. Main Themes
  3. The National Agency for Youth
  4. Policy monitoring and evaluation

Structure of Decision-making

Youth policymaking in Cyprus takes place at central government level.

The top-level authority responsible for youth policy is the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sport and Youth.

However, the Ministry itself does not manage youth issues. Instead, it has under its auspices the Youth Board of Cyprus which constitutes the national agency dealing with youth issues in the country.

Many more institutional actors are involved in youth policy issues and have been formally involved in developing the National Youth Strategy, as members of the Cross-Sectoral Working Group for Youth. These include the following:

The Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment which aims at promoting sustainable development for agriculture and fishing, while contributing to environmental protection and sustainable management of both the environment and Cyprus natural resources through projects, initiatives and actions.. With regards to social inclusion, the ministry aims to ensure a better quality of life for current and future generations.

The Ministry of Justice and Public Order which is responsible for the close review and consideration of the need to reform existing legislation in the wide field of public and private law, such as criminal law, legislation that falls within the general concept of the administration of justice, family law, legislation in the fields of equality, human rights, the treatment of offenders and others. Its activities furthermore include the promotion, in collaboration with the Supreme Court, of legislative and administrative measures for the unhampered administration of justice and the smooth functioning of the courts and criminological research for the formation of policies for the prevention and suppression of crime. It has also the responsibility, through the Police Force that the Minister of Justice and Public Order politically heads, of the maintenance of law and order, the preservation of peace and the prevention and detection of crime.

The Ministry of Energy, Commerce and Industry aims to secure Cyprus’ energy supplies in order to meet the needs of the country with the least burden on the economy and the environment. In order to achieve the above objective, it implements activities related to the creation of necessary energy infrastructure, the integration and supervision of the internal energy market, the promotion of energy saving, the exploitation of indigenous renewable energy sources and the protection of sensitive consumers.

The Ministry of Interior whose mission is to formulate and implement human-centred policies. The anthropocentric action of the Ministry of the Interior is based on the following policy pillars:

  • A qualitative upgrading of the services provided to the citizen
  • Answering to the new housing plans put into effect on 1 January 2007
  • Upgrading the role and restructuring of local government
  • The intensification of efforts to reconstruct and simplify the processes that prove inadequate to meet the modern needs and needs of the citizens

The Ministry of Finance whose mission is to ensure conditions of macroeconomic stability and the sound management of resources and of the financial obligations of the State, in order to improve the quality of life of every citizen of the Republic.

The Ministry of Health whose mission is the continuous improvement of the health of the population of Cyprus, through the prevention of disease, and the provision to every citizen of high level health care, respecting the rights of every patient to high quality medical care delivered with dignity.

The Ministry of Labour, Welfare and Social Insurance whose mission is the promotion of social justice within a free democratic system based on the pillars of social cohesion and social inclusion. The maintenance and continuous improvement of the standard of living and the quality of life of the working population and of society in general.

The Ministry of Transport Communications and Works whose mission is the design and implementation of policies for the continuous improvement of transport (air, maritime and land) and of communications, as well as the continuous upgrading of the quality of projects implemented by the Ministry. In addition, the better promotion and exploitation of archaeological wealth as well as other resources of the country is pursued.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs which aims to maintain good relations with other countries, to have an active involvement in processes that aim to promote international co-operation, peace, stability and sustainable development.

The Ministry of Defence which is responsible for putting into effect Government Policy regarding the security and territorial integrity of Cyprus. In the framework of this policy, the Ministry of Defence has promoted and is promoting a series of measures which aim at strengthening the defence forces and the capability of the Republic to thwart any foreign threat and at the same time boost our negotiating ability. With consistency and high feeling of responsibility, the Ministry of Defence promotes the application of this policy.

Apart from these, the following institutions are involved:

The Cyprus Sports Organization which is under the auspices of the Ministry of Education,Culture, Sport and Youth and takes care of sports in the country.

The Theatrical Organization which is again under the auspices of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sport and Youth and is responsible for the theatre in the country.

The Deputy Ministry of Tourism which is the institution responsible for the tourism in the country.

The Deputy Ministry of Research, Innovation and Digital Strategy whose mission is to develop a modern and efficient state, competitive at European and international level, and a dynamic digital economy, where every citizen and every business will be able to grow and prosper.

The Directorate General for European Programmes, Coordination and Development  which is responsible for handling issues related to:

(a) the European Funds and Programmes, such as the European Investment and Structural Funds, the EU Competitive Programmes and the grants provided by the countries of the European Economic Area and Switzerland.

(b) development and horizontal issues, such as Research, Technological Development and Innovation, Lifelong Learning, Corporate Social Responsibility and the ‘Europe 2020’ Strategy.

The Commissioner for Children’s Rights whose mission is to protect and promote the rights of the child. Her role is to represent children and their interest at all levels, to promote public awareness and sensitivity so that children’s rights in the family, at school, in the community are safeguarded and to identify and promote the views of children where they themselves cannot be heard, to monitor legislation relating to children and to submit proposals aiming at their harmonization with the Convention on the Rights of the Child, to carry out public awareness campaigns, to appoint a representative of the child in judicial proceedings affecting him/her and to represent children in procedures affecting them.

The Commissioner for Volunteering and Non-Governmental Organizations who implement policies to encourage active citizenship for active participation at all levels.

The Commissioner to the Presidency for Humanitarian Affairs and Overseas Affairs who is responsible for Cypriots living abroad or in the occupied part of the country, missing people and religious minorities.

The Commissioner for Environment whose role is to propose suggestions and put in place policies for the environment.

The Cyprus Agricultural Payments Organization whose main responsibility is the payment and the management of funds, which Cyprus is entitled to for the agricultural sector, after its entry to the European Union, as well as the management of all other aid granted from national funds to support farming and rural areas.

The Human Resource Development Authority which aims at creating the prerequisites for planned and systematic training and development of the human resources of Cyprus at all levels and in all areas to meet the needs of the economy within the framework of the social and economic policy of the state.

The Cyprus National Addictions Authority which is the responsible coordinating body of Cyprus in the field of legal and illegal use of substances and gambling.

The Foundation for the Management of European Lifelong Learning Programmes whose mission is to manage the funds allocated to Cyprus by the European Commission, to promote the targets and policies of the European Union in the fields of Education and Vocational Training, and also to promote the targets and policies of the Republic of Cyprus in the same fields.

Main Themes

The themes addressed by the National Youth Strategy were chosen based on the themes addressed by the EU Youth Strategy 2010-2018 as described in Section 1.3.

In order to gain adequate understanding of the actual needs of young people, the Youth Board of Cyprus has commissioned research on the current situation of young people in Cyprus (available only in Greek). The research was conducted in 2015 and covers the 8 themes of the National and EU Youth Strategy. Additionally, the Youth Board of Cyprus, when preparing the National Youth Strategy has gathered additional data about the situation of young people in Cyprus from the Statistical Service of the Republic of Cyprus, Eurostat and the European Youth Report.

As in the National Youth Strategy, the target group addressed by youth policy in Cyprus is young people aged between 14-35 years old. Youth policy does not identify any specific target groups within the youth population, although some policy priorities (included in the area of Social Inclusion) target mainly young people with fewer opportunities. 

The National Agency for Youth

The Youth Board of Cyprus is the government agency established to address youth issues, design and manage youth related programmes and initiatives, support both individuals and entities in availing themselves of funding opportunities, as well as produce and disseminate information on youth policies and opportunities. It should be also noted that the Youth Board operates as the National Agency for the European Programmes “Erasmus+” in the field of youth and the “European Solidarity Corps”.

 The Youth Board of Cyprus was established in 1994 as  a legal entity of public law. It operates under the auspices of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sport and Youth which is the top-level authority primarily responsible for youth in Cyprus.

With regards to the role and responsibilities of  the Youth Board of Cyprus, according to the Youth Board Law (available in Greek), its administrative board shall advise, through the Minister of Education, Culture, Sport and Youth, the Council of Ministers about the configuration of a comprehensive and specialized policy on youth matters, which should promote the following aims of the Board:

  1. The progress and welfare of all young people of Cyprus, regardless of nationality or religion;
  2. The provision of equal opportunities to all young people and youth organizations for the participation and the assumption of responsibility in the social, economic and cultural development and progress of their community and the country in general
  3. The engagement and recreation of young people of Cyprus
  4. The immediate and effective confrontation of the problems of the young people.

Moreover, the administrative board of the Youth Board of Cyprus shall (among other aims):

  1. Study, work out and suggest to the Council of Ministers a unified policy or specialized projects regarding youth matters;
  2. Undertake the implementation of programmes regarding youth upon the approval of the Council of Ministers
  3. Be informed on youth matters by the competent services of the Ministries concerned and set out to the government its views in relation to these matters
  4. Participate in international youth organizations’ meetings and develop bilateral contacts with respective youth bodies of other countries in order to be informed regarding the international development youth matters;
  5. Stipulate protocols/programmes of cooperation with corresponding youth bodies of other countries for the achievement of the Board’s aims
  6. Suggest, in consultation with other state agencies, the conduction of scientific studies concerning the needs of young people and measures for their fulfilment.

The Minister of Education, Culture, Sport and Youth has the authority:

  1. To issue and provide the Administrative Board of the Youth Board of Cyprus with directives, general in nature, regarding the exercising of its functions, that are necessary for the general interest of the Republic of Cyprus;
  2. To ask the Administrative Board to submit reports, accounts and any other information relative to the Youth Board’s assets and activities. By virtue of this paragraph, the Administrative Board is obliged to provide the Minister of Education, Culture, Sport and Youth anything he asks for, as well as the relevant books, documents and any other facility necessary for their check.
  3. The Minister shall be the contact person between the Administrative Board and the Council of Ministers and any document intended for the Council of Ministers shall be submitted for this purpose to the Minister.

With regard to the established lines of accountability, the Youth Board, as a legal entity of public law, is subject to annual checks of the Audit Office of the Republic of Cyprus. Moreover, according to the Youth Board Law, the Administrative Board shall prepare in the form of a bill the Youth Board’s budget, which is subject to the approval of the Council of Ministers and is submitted to the House of Representatives to be voted as a law. The Youth Board shall keep suitable books and accounts as defined by the Minister of Finance.

The budget of the Youth Board of Cyprus for 2020 is published in the Cyprus Government Gazette. The approved budget for 2020 is €14.275.814,00, while the 2019 budget was €11.093.381,00, showcasing an increase of approximately 33%.

The responsibilities of the Youth Board of Cyprus remained the same, however its actions and services have been enriched and reinforced.

Policy monitoring and evaluation

The Youth Board of Cyprus recognized the need for setting up a monitoring mechanism for the National Youth Strategy. This mechanism aims at ensuring the policy monitoring and evaluation. It is based on a cross-sectoral cooperation which includes all partners mentioned in the section 1.4 ‘Structure of the decision-making’ and the Cyprus Youth Council. The Youth Board of Cyprus is coordinating this mechanism.

Two 3-year Action Plans were drafted for the implementation of the NYS (2017-2019 and 2020-2022). The Action Plans consist of the specific actions, as well as their budget, and provide a detailed outline of the NYS implementation mechanism, in order for the targets and priorities that have been set to be achieved within six years. The Action Plans also identify the necessary indicators that will measure the impact of the Strategy.

The monitoring of the policy takes place through progress reports and consultations with young people. The Youth Board of Cyprus, based on the contribution received by all government actors involved in the Strategy, prepared the 1st Progress report regarding the implementation results of the first Action Plan 2017-2019. In addition to that, the Youth Board of Cyprus, organized in total 9 consultations with young people living in urban and rural areas with an aim to evaluate the first Action Plan, provide feedback and suggest new programmes or modifications to the existing ones so that they can be included in the second Action Plan.

The new Action Plan (2020-2022) and the first Progress Report were submitted to the Council of Ministers via the Minister of Education, Culture, Sport and Youth.