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EACEA National Policies Platform: Youthwiki


1. Youth Policy Governance

1.7 Funding youth policy

On this page
  1. How Youth policy is funded
  2. What is funded?
  3. Financial accountability
  4. Use of EU Funds

How Youth policy is funded

There is a specific budget for youth policy and youth work development. Different policy areas and measures are funded from different sources and responsible ministries, which include: 

  • national budget;
  • municipal budgets (municipalities are responsible for youth work, social work, formal education system, local transport, hobby education);
  • different taxes and funds (e.g. the Council of the Gambling Tax);
  • private initiatives (e.g. entrepreneurship development programme ENTRUM in 2014/2015);
  • European funds (e.g. European Social Fund);
  • other foreign funds (e.g. EEA Grants and Norway Grants);
  • other funds. 

What is funded?

Usually, all of the sources are for funding the capacity building of service providers in youth work, including training, implementing of concrete measures and provision of the youth work services, analysis, and monitoring. There is no all-included overview of the funds spent on policy measures targeting young people in all areas of youth policy.

For 2019, the whole amount in the budget for the Ministry of Education and Research, dedicated to the whole youth field program was 31.6 million euros. For the year 2021, the prognosis is that the whole program of education and youth will have more than 557 million euros. Specifically to the youth field development, there is an amount of 9.8 million euros dedicated.

Financial accountability

The financial accountability for public spending is the responsibility of the Ministry responsible for the policy area. Private legal entities like youth NGOs receive public funding based on contracts and the contract includes an obligation to report both spending and results. Generally, the contracts do not include policy level indicators, however, this trend is increasing. Evaluation of the reports is mostly done in comparison to the agreements in the contract and plans usually defined in the application.

Funding from specific sources can have specific demand in terms of reporting (e.g. EU structural assistance, EEA Grants, etc. have detailed schemes of reporting and accountability.

In general, all recipients of public funding have financial accountability. Not all reporting activities have formal regulations.

According to the Youth Work Act, the general state or administrative supervision of the state funding in the field of youth is the task of the Ministry of Education and Research. As the main funding of organizing youth work comes from the local municipalities, the recipients of their funding (youth associations, youth programmes, and youth projects) have to report of the usage of the funds to the municipalities by the legislation set by the municipalities themselves.

The funding of state programmes, youth research, and youth work organizations is set by the Minister of Education and Research. Each recipient of the funding will have a contract and will have to present a report (including a financial report) by the date set in the contract.

The Ministry of Education and Research has annual grants for youth associations. The associations will have to report back to the ministry for both activities and funding. 

Use of EU Funds

In order to support the implementation of the Youth Field Development Plan 2014-2020, EU and EEA funds are being used. The measures funded are the following: 

  • Increasing the availability of youth work services and involving young people at risk - the support for the regional cooperation in providing youth work services (primarily open youth work, hobby education, and activities, youth camps, different forms of joint activities, including the activities of youth organizations). The priority areas are the ones with a higher risk of youth exclusion.
  • Increasing the exposure of young people to the working life, including youth initiative support, creation of occupational laboratories ("kutselaborid"), organizing working brigades and community work practice, and ensuring the availability of youth information - continued support to the actions, that help young people (including youth at risk) to enter the labor market, get working experience, and acknowledge and use the things learnt in youth work. There is support for undertakings that offer young people working opportunities, voluntary activities in the community, and raising awareness of the world of work. The opportunities to experiment with different professions and jobs in the occupational laboratories will be created. Raising the awareness of young people will be implemented through the youth information service.
  • Services for NEETs (Young People Not in Education, Employment or Training) - the creation of services that offer additional support for young people, who do not study nor work (NEETs), that would support their return to studies or labor market. The NEETs are searched for, motivated and involved in active activities, they will be offered individual support. Long-term individual support activities are offered for young people in the most difficult conditions.
  • Information regarding the situation of the young people will be collected and assembled, and the status of the youth at risk of exclusion will be analyzed.
  • Assessment of the quality and impact of the activities - different evaluation and analyzing forms will be developed in order to assess the effectiveness of the work of youth workers. 
  • Trainings targeted to the people working in the youth field - in cooperation with different stakeholders of youth field and with the support of the Europan Social fund it is planned and initiated comprehensive training plans in four main groups:
  1. long-term development programmes to obtain the impact in a certain work field;
  2. thematic trainings, which are based on the priorities of the Youth Field Development Plan 2014-2020 and the changes in the status of young people;
  3. regional trainings for supporting the cooperation and increasing the capabilities of different stakeholders in the municipalities;
  4. training that support international cooperation.
  • Supporting the development and quality of the training system - with the support of the European Social Fund the training needs are assessed, the impact and results of the trainings are analyzed. New youth work methods are brought to use. The availability of the information connected to trainings will be increased and the information regarding the training results will be distributed.
  • Improvement of the well-being of the children and young people through prevention and cross-sectorial cooperation.