1.8 Cross-border cooperation
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European dimension of youth policy - European Union
The Czech Republic has been a full member of the European Union since 2004, and the majority of existing European Union legislation and jurisdiction has been introduced into the Czech legal system and is being applied.
The most notable exception might be the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union: the Czech Republic, Poland and the United Kingdom all managed to negotiate exceptions from implementing the Charter in full.
The Czech Government takes EU-wide cooperation and coordination in the youth sector very seriously.
The Renewed Framework for European cooperation in the youth field (2010-2018) has played a pivotal role in informing and supporting youth policy and the youth sector in the country. All the strategic goals of the National Youth Strategy 2014 - 2020 were linked to the implementation of the EU Youth Strategy and followed the recommendations of the adopted Council of EU documents in the youth field.
On 26 November 2018 EU Youth Strategy 2019-2027 was approved by the Council. It builds on the previous The Renewed Framework for European cooperation in the youth field (2010-2018). It aims to create a stronger link between the EU and young people through inclusive dialogue, an effective structure for sharing ideas and providing information on actions taken for young people, and to achieve results through targeted priorities and actions.
European dimension of youth policy - Council of Europe
The Czech Republic is an active member of the Youth Policy cooperation within the Council of Europe. For the mandate 2016-2017, the Czech Council of Children and Youth also had its own youth delegate for the Advisory Council on Youth by the Council of Europe (elected via European Youth Forum as one of the 7 representatives of National Youth Councils) for term 2016 - 2017.
The Czech Republic was until 2020 participating in the European Knowledge Centre for Youth Policy (EKCYP) within the Council of Europe. There are no partial agreements between the Council of Europe and the Czech Republic in the Youth field.
European cooperation in the field of youth policy
The main consulting partners for the preparation and development of the National Youth Strategy for 2014-2020 at the international level, within the framework of Czech – Slovak bilateral cooperation, were IUVENTA (The Slovak Youth Institute) and the Department of Youth and Community Programmes of the Slovak Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport.
The National Youth Strategy for 2014-2020 also took into account the results of the analysis of national policies of the Visegrad Group countries and the outcomes of the Czech Republic's involvement in an international peer-learning project between the years 2011-2013, coordinated by Germany with the participation of the Czech Republic, France, Belgium, Lithuania, the Netherlands and Sweden (3 working seminars in Berlin, Rotterdam, and Prague were organised within this project).
The Czech Republic was one of the participants in the international peer-learning project on cross-sectoral youth policies initiated by Luxemburg and Latvia (2015). Two seminars in Luxembourg and Riga were organised in 2015.
Cooperation of the Visegrad Group and Eastern Partnership countries in the field of youth
Visegrad Group V4: Czech and Slovak Republics, Poland, Hungary
Eastern Partnership EaP: Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Moldova, Ukraine, Belarus
In June 2015, a Memorandum of Cooperation between the Ministries of the Visegrad Group Countries responsible for Youth and the Ministries of the Eastern Partnership Countries responsible for Youth in the Youth Field was officially signed.
In Autumn 2015, the Framework Action Plan of this cooperation for years 2015-2017 was set up. New Action Plan after 2017 is not available as of November 2018.
Visegrad Cooperation in the Youth Field has been re-established in 2010. Under the Czech Visegrad Group Presidency (V4 PRES: 1 July 2011 until 30 June 2012) in May 2012, the representatives of EaP countries were for the first time invited to join the annual Visegrad Group (V4) meeting in the field of youth in Prague.
Participants agreed on developing cooperation between the V4 countries (CZ, PL, HU, SK) and EaP countries in the field of youth on 3 levels:
1. Ministries responsible for youth;
2. Youth in Action national agencies;
3. National youth councils.
The youth delegates were encouraged to participate actively in the programme including in its decision-making parts. The agreed Action Plan of V4 and EaP cooperation within youth national councils and NGOs includes youth mobility issues.
Since that time, annual meetings of V4 and EaP countries in the same format and under the respective V4 Presidencies have been held.
Cooperation between the V4 and EaP countries in the field of youth is implemented within the official programme of the V4 country taking the Presidency of the Visegrad Group (it is a one-year rotating presidency which starts on the 1st July and finishes on the 30th June of the subsequent year).
The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports organised two working seminars for the V4 and EaP participants:
- Working Seminar on Youth Volunteering for the Visegrad Group and Eastern Partnership Countries (8-10 September 2014, in Prague)
- Working seminar on Health and Well-being of Young People for the Visegrad Group and Eastern Partnership Countries (5-7 October 2015, in Prague)
- Another Working Seminar on Social Inclusion was held in June 2016 in Prague.
Czech-Slovak cooperation in the Youth field
- This is enhanced by the Protocol between the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic and the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic on cooperation (actually last version for years 2012-2016, 24/2012 Sbm.).
Czech-German cooperation in the Youth field
- This is based on the Intergovernmental Treaty on cooperation and Youth Exchange from 1990, effective since 1992. Since then, the common Czech-German Council on cooperation and Youth Exchanges, including both states and also youth representatives, meets every year. In 2013 the common topic of cooperation in the Youth Field was set up. Until 2015 it was Healthy Lifestyle. Since 2016 a new topic has been selected at the meeting in Cologne – Citizenship Education in memorial places.
- During the first Czech-German Youth meeting in Polička in 1996, a common Declaration of both ministers responsible for Youth was signed on the intention to establish a Coordination Centre for Czech-German Youth Exchanges. This centre, also called Tandem has been established the year after, in 1997, and has one office in Pilsen, Czech Republic, and second in Regensburg, Germany.
- In 1997 the common Czech-German Declaration was also signed. Following the Declaration the Czech-German discussion Forum was also established. The Coordination Council of this Forum also established the Czech-German Youth Forum in 2001, which is represented at the annual conferences and also runs its own Czech-German youth projects.
- One semi-regular common activity is the Czech-German Youth Meeting. The eighth edition took place in 2014 in Terezín and was focused on Youth Work in memorial places. In September 2016 the ninth meeting was held again in Polička to commemorate the first meeting after 20 years, to evaluate the common cooperation in Youth field and to make new prospects for the future.
- Since 2015 there is also a Common Protocol on Strategic Partnership between the Foreign affairs ministries of both countries targeting also the Youth field.
- Since 2017, financial support for the systemic development of Czech-German cooperation in the field of education and youth has been provided on the basis of new rules of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports within a special subsidy program. Cooperation was established with Tandem, which was financially supported in providing comprehensive support for Czech-German cooperation in the field of formal and non-formal education.
- In 2018, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports approved the allocation of financial support to Tandem to provide comprehensive support for Czech-German cooperation in the field of formal and non-formal education in 2018.
Czech-French cooperation in the Youth field
- Czech-French cooperation in the Youth Field is established since 1993 when was signed the Treaty on cooperation in Youth Field and Sport and on Youth Exchanges.
- The cooperation is targeted at young people up to 26 years of age and the age limit is not valid for experts and youth workers.
There are intergovernmental Treaties on Working holidays between the Czech Republic and:
- South Korea
- New Zealand
There is also an intergovernmental Treaty with Canada to make work stays for the Youth easier and intergovernmental Treaty with Japan on work holiday visas. Citizens of Japan between the ages of 18 and 30 who obtain a visa for work leave are entitled to reside in the Czech Republic for the period of validity of the visa and may perform work without a work permit.
Every year there is a bilateral exchange of Youth volunteer workers from the Youth NGOs between the Czech Republic and Israel, which is coordinated by the National Youth Councils and supported by state funds.
Youth Policy cooperation within the UN framework
The Czech Republic is active within the UNESCO activities in the Youth field.
Since 2016, the Czech Republic began participating in the UN Youth Delegate programme as a national follow-up activity of the outcomes of the Structured dialogue with Youth on Youth Empowerment and Youth Participation. The UN Youth Delegate Programme in the Czech Republic is linked to the system of the Structured Dialogue with Youth according to the National Youth Strategy 2014-2020.