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EACEA National Policies Platform: Youthwiki
Czech-Republic

Czech-Republic

1. Youth Policy Governance

1.3 National youth strategy

In this page
  1. Existence of a National Youth Strategy
  2. Scope and contents
  3. Responsible authority for the implementation of the Youth Strategy
  4. Revisions/updates
  5. Other relevant national strategies and programmes on Youth

Existence of a National Youth Strategy

 

Since 2021, there is NO National Youth Strategy anymore.

 

Partial aspects of supporting Youth Work and non-formal education are mentioned in the new Education Strategy 2030+

There were four Youth Policy Strategies of the Czech Republic between years 1999 to 2020. The first governmental Youth Policy Strategy was introduced in 1999 - 2002. The second strategy was valid in 2002-2007, the third between the years 2007-2013 and the last was a National Youth Strategy for years 2014-2020 (Koncepce podpory mládeže na období 2014 – 2020, Governmental Decree no. 342 of 12 May 2014).

Every new strategy was based on the evaluation of the previous document and its implementation, with involvement of new needs, except the last 2014 - 2020 Strategy, which was evaluated only in the mid-term 2017 and no final evaluation was made as it was expected.

In 2020 OECD Report "Governance for Youth, Trust and Intergenerational Justice. Fit for All Generations?" (OECD 2020) marked the last Czech Youth Strategy as the 6th most successful in the extent to which national youth strategies are inclusive, budgeted, monitored and evaluated.

Scope and contents

Youth Strategy 2014-2020 consisted of:

  1. Pillars determining the set principles upon which the expected impact of Strategy 2020 on young people is based.
  2. Horizontal priorities taking into account the priority areas of intervention across all strategic and operational goals.
  3. Strategic goals referring to a defined idea of how Youth Strategy 2020 should contribute to specific areas of youth policy in the long term, until 2020.
  4. Operational goals are breaking down this vision in terms of the short, medium and long-term fulfilment of the strategic objectives.
  5. Measures defining specific directions to take to achieve the desired operational goals.
 
 1. Youth Strategy 2020 - pillars:

Pillars reflected the reality of prolonging the transitional period during which young people test out life before they fully enter the adult world. This reality was also reflected in the three pillars of Strategy 2020:

  1. Facilitating the transition of young people into independent individuals responsible for their own lives, their family, community and society;
  2. A focus on the realistic needs and opportunities of young people;
  3. Promoting young people’s potential for societal development.
 
 2. Youth Strategy 2020 - horizontal priorities:

Youth strategy 2020 consisted of 5 horizontal priorities:

  1. Equal opportunities
  2. An inter-ministerial and cross-sectoral approach
  3. Support for non-formal education (including leisure-based education) and quality youth work
  4. Involving young people in the decision-making process and participation
  5. Intergenerational solidarity
First horizontal priority: Equal opportunities

Youth Strategy 2020 guaranteed the right of every young person to respect, support from the state, and equal treatment.

Youth Strategy 2020 facilitated the full integration of young people into society and gives support young people both in organisations and not, and to those who work with them, following the principle of equal opportunities so that they were ensured the same opportunities in everyday life, regardless of gender, ability, race, nationality, religious belief or other discriminating factors.

The strategy worked with the terms 'organised' and 'non-organised' youth (for definitions see Glossary).

Second horizontal priority: Inter-ministerial and cross-sectoral approach

Government policy in relation to the younger generation covered areas of lives of young people that falled under the agendas of different state authorities.

Creation and implementation of an effective youth policy therefore inevitably required cooperation between ministries and other state administration bodies, whose areas of responsibility included measures affecting young people.

In Youth Strategy 2020 this inter-ministerial approach was ensured by the Youth Chamber - an advisory body to the minister responsible for the youth field, and the activity of the cross-sectoral thematic groups coordinated by the Youth Department of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports.

Fulfilment of goals required cooperation with regional and municipal authorities and the National Network of Local Action Groups (LAGs) in their application of Youth Strategy 2020 through their own plans, strategies and measures for the benefit of the younger generation.

Third horizontal priority: Support for non-formal education (including leisure-based education) and quality youth work

The implementation of Youth Strategy 2020 was based on the support for non-formal education (including leisure-based education) and quality youth work. Youth Strategy 2020 reinforced, in particular, the form of non-formal education which allowed equal opportunities for young people to learn skills that could be used in employment or society through activities, during which young people were guided by professional youth workers to develop, in particular, the so-called 'soft skills'.

Emphasis was also placed on recognition of the results of non-formal education during work with children and youth, in particular by employers, representatives of state and local authorities, formal education and organisations working with youth.

Equally important was the promotion of leisure-based education pursuant to the Education Act, No. 561/2004 Sb. Education took place on the basis of school curricula under the guidance of qualified educators. Although it did not provide a formal level of education, it dealt with activities that were necessary for the development of children and youth and helped to fill leisure time in a meaningful way.

The goal of Youth Strategy 2020 in the field of youth work was to create conditions for systematic support of quality youth work across the entire primary target group of young people, including support for effective tools for youth work in the whole range of various events and activities.

Essential tools for this priority were based on the results of the individual national projects:

 

 

Fourth horizontal priority: Involving young people in the decision-making process and participation

Effective youth-related policy was based on active cooperation between all interested participants and thorough consultation with young people.

Strategic and operational goals of Youth Strategy 2020 were developed on the basis of broad consultation with experts in the form of round tables (2011-2013), and on discussions with experts and youth at the National Conference on Youth (November 2013). The goals took into account the outcomes of the structured dialogue with young people through the Czech Council of Children and Youth project 'Have your say'.

Effective involvement of young people in the decision-making process in the areas of implementation and evaluation of Youth Strategy 2020 should have been ensured by the National Working Group for Structured Dialogue with Youth established in January 2014, whose leadership was entrusted to the Czech Council of Children and Youth. Structured dialogue with Youth thus became a vital part of the Czech National Youth Policy and covers not only the processes within the EU but also national processes and agendas.

Another priority in this area included support for youth volunteering, which stimulates active and responsible citizenship and contributes to social cohesion by creating bonds of trust and solidarity.

Fifth horizontal priority: Intergenerational solidarity

Youth Strategy 2020 was primarily focused on young people, but it fully respects the need for intergenerational solidarity and dialogue across generations in the interest of sustainable development and to meet the needs of various age groups of citizens.

It used the principle of intergenerational dialogue and emphasises the role of empathy and the ability to listen to one another in intergenerational relations, especially in areas of employment, and the mutual sharing of cultural and societal norms.

 3. Youth Strategy 2020 – overview of the strategic goals (SG) of the Youth Strategy 2020
  1. To facilitate equal access of children and youth to rights
  2. To facilitate equal access of children and youth to information
  3. To create favourable and sustainable conditions for the participation of children and youth in leisure-based and non-formal education
  4. To expand and make more attractive the offer of leisure activities and to motivate children and youth to make active use of them
  5. To support the increase of cross-border mobility of young people
  6. To improve conditions for employment and employability of youth
  7. To promote comprehensive and harmonious development of children and youth with emphasis on their physical and mental health and moral responsibility
  8. To promote active involvement of children and young people in decision-making processes and in influencing social and democratic life
  9. To create favourable conditions for volunteering for young people including valuation and recognition of voluntary activities
  10. To facilitate inclusion of children and young people with fewer opportunities
  11. To motivate children and youth towards a life based on the principles of sustainable development and to develop their environmental literacy
  12. To encourage the development of competencies in children and young people for safe and creative use of media
  13. To offer children and young people a variety of paths to culture, art and traditions 

 

Responsible authority for the implementation of the Youth Strategy

The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports was responsible for implementing, coordinating and monitoring of the Youth Strategy 2020. The main coordinating body until the end of 2019 was the Youth Department at the Ministry and the Youth Chamber (see details in Chapter 1.4). Since 2020 it was Children and Youth Development Unit within the Department of primary education and youth. (Within the first part of 2020 the unit was within the department for further education and youth).

This administrative and governance order could be influenced by a lower level of competences in the formal manner of coordination and policy management across various sectors and policy levels (see analyses e.g. Bárta, Boček, Husák 2014). However, in general, an integrated cross-sectoral Youth Policy was in play. It was targeted and was working with its competence to implement decentralisation.

There is thus a huge variety of other National Strategies tackling particular Youth issues and more specific policies (listed below together with the authority responsible).

Responsibility for any Youth programme always lies with the initiating authority unless it is transferred to another authority.

Responsible authorities range from ministries and their directly controlled agencies to the Office of the Government and its sections by various subtopics and by some issues to regional or local Authorities.

Since the end of 2013 there has been no state agency directly focused on Youth. Until the end of 2013 there was the National Institute for Children and Youth, which had been in operation since the 1950s with different competences and names. Most of the tasks of the Institute were transferred to other state agencies before its end. 

The Erasmus+ Youth Program and the European Solidarity Corps Program are managed by the Czech National Agency for International Education and Research

The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports is responsible for finalising the reports and the draft of a new strategic document to cover the period after 2020 and for presenting them at the meetings of the Government of the Czech Republic. 

Partial aspects of supporting Youth Work and non-formal education are mentioned in the new Education Strategy 2030+

Revisions/updates

 

The evaluation of the impact of the Youth Strategy 2020 on the target group was carried out through national youth reports at the mid-term in 2017 and was supposed to be done at the end of the period covered by Youth Strategy 2020. The mid-term youth report was presented at a meeting of the Government of the Czech Republic for information on 3rd of May 2017. The Mid-term Report is not publicly accessible. 

On 12th of February 2018 the Supreme Audit Office of the Czech Republic published its audit report about the finances in the Youth sector which was very critical to the Youth Policy and the Youth Strategy implementation and evaluation. It also concludes that the Strategy does not have real indicators, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports did not have an outline of the implementation tools of other sectors and that the Mid-term evaluation from May 2017 was with mistakes and misleading information.

Further, the Supreme Office thinks that the Youth Strategy could not be evaluated according to the Governmental decision about the impact on the target population of young people because of the missing indicators. The Youth department opposed the Report in some aspects, however, the argumentation is not publically available. 

Thematically oriented inter-ministerial working groups should have participate in the drafting of the national youth reports (preparation of background materials), as should a cross-sectional working group of researchers (data collection, report processing). Since closing the National Institute for Children and Youth, the groups merged in 2015 in one expert group on connecting youth work and the social work. An inter-ministerial working group for the evaluation of the strategy and drafting the new one was created in 2019. With the abolishing of the Youth Department, the group stopped to work as well.  

During the preparation of the national youth reports, the periodic Youth reports of the European Commission should be taken into account, using indicators for the youth field at the European level (the so-called EU youth indicators).

An overall evaluation of the impact of Youth Strategy 2020, in the form of a final youth report and the draft of a new strategic document on youth policy in the Czech Republic since 2021 was supposed to be presented at a meeting of the Government of the Czech Republic latest by 30th of November 2020. 

Other relevant national strategies and programmes on Youth

National Programmes on youth - Youth welfare services (comprising public and/or non-public actors)

Entities providing social and legal protection of children:

The authorities providing social and legal protection to children are:

  1. Municipal authorities of municipalities with extended competences (city authorities, in chartered towns metropolitan and town district authorities, in Prague authorities of charged metropolitan districts),
  2. Municipal authorities,
  3. Regional authorities,
  4. Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs 
  5. Office for International Legal Protection of Children.

Since municipal authorities are able to monitor the protection of children’s rights protection and to adopt timely measures with a knowledge of the relevant issues and local circumstances, they are charged with most of the obligations in the sphere of protection of children and assistance to parents and other persons responsible for bringing up children.

The powers of regional authorities include, in addition to control and methodological tasks, almost the entire process of mediation of substitute family care, deciding on authorisation for exercise of social and legal protection of children by natural and legal persons and deciding on state subsidies to promoters of facilities for children requiring immediate help.

In relation to municipal authorities and the municipal authorities of municipalities with extended competences, regional authorities act as a superior control body and an appellate body authorised to review the decisions of municipal authorities and municipal authorities of municipalities with extended competences in administrative procedure.

The scope of powers of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs includes care for family and children at risk.

The Ministry provides for due legislative regulation in this sphere and within the statutory framework manages execution of state administration in the sphere of social and legal protection of children by issuing legal regulations and guidelines (s. 92, Act No. 129/2000 Sb., on Regions). The Ministry also acts as a control and appellate body in relation to regional authorities, executes the second instance agenda of substitute family care, and keeps a national register of natural and legal entities charged with exercising social and legal protection of children.

The Office for International Legal Protection of Children (hereinafter referred to as 'Office') is an administrative agency with statewide powers authorised to address the issues of children protection in international affairs. The Office is subordinated to the Ministry and has its residence in Brno.

 

Further national Strategies on youth related aspects