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How Youth policy is funded
There is not a specific budget for youth policy at the Youth Board of Cyprus. The costs for the youth policy initiatives are funded ad hoc from other budgets. More specifically, the Action Plan of the National Youth Strategy includes only actions taken by the top-level authorities, such as the ministries and the commissioners.What is funded?
The policy priorities receiving funds are the 8 areas included in the National Youth Strategy and they can be found under the section “Scope and contents” of sub-chapter 1.3.
The Youth Board, through the National Funding Scheme “Youth Initiatives” with a budget of around 1million euros – described in section 10.3- provides funds to the National Youth Council, youth centers, youth organisations, municipal and community youth councils in order to carry out projects targeting youth.
With regard to the budget administered by the government agencies- including the Youth Board of Cyprus- the competent authority for the assessment of public financial management and accountability is the Audit Office of the Republic of Cyprus. As an independent authority, the Audit Office of the Republic of Cyprus is responsible for auditing the accounts of the central government, of public law entities, local administration authorities and other public organizations and funds. It conducts financial, performance and compliance audits as well as technical audits of development and other projects.
The main regulation governing, among others, the financial accountability of associations and institutions, is the “The Societies and Institutions and Other Related Matters Law of 2017” (available only in Greek). The 2017 Law introduced, between others, the financial accountability and transparency of NGOs.
The body to which institutions and associations are accountable for the use of public funds is the Administration office of their district. According to the Law, the members of the administration of an association/institution have the obligation to keep accounting files, in which all the transactions of the year are recorded. They also have the obligation to prepare and submit financial statements to the District Officer. Associations with income less than €40.000 per year are not required to have their accounts audited by an auditor.
For the time being, there are no links between external evaluation of programmes and policies and accountability of recipients of public funds.
According to the Directorate General for European Programmes, Coordination and Development and the Second Action Plan (2020-2022) of the National Youth Strategy, the European Structural Funds, the Development and Cohesion Fund and the European Social Fund have been used for the youth policy at top-level.
The main policy initiatives/programmes funded are the National Action Plan for Youth Unemployment (which includes also the Youth Guarantee Scheme) and the Scheme for the Enhancement of Youth Entrepreneurship. Other youth-related initiatives/ programmes receiving EU Funds is the Project “Establishing Non-Formal / Informal Learning Validation Mechanisms and Pilot Implementation"” and the Youth makerspace run by the Youth Board.
There is no available data on the amount of funding earmarked for youth from those EU funds.
There are also no existing evaluations of the youth related programmes receiving EU funds, nor trends in the amount or in the type of activities supported through EU funds.