1.8 Cross-border cooperation
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The Ministry of Education and Research has cooperation agreements in the youth field with the Flemish Community in Belgium (including multilateral cooperation with Latvia and Lithuania), Finland, and Ukraine. All agreements are primarily targeted at the exchange of experience between youth policymakers, youth workers, youth work organizations, and youth.
In addition, bilateral agreements in the areas of education and culture include notions that support cooperation in the youth field (e.g. with Georgia, Moldova, Czech Republic, Canada etc.).
Estonia is a member of different networks, for example, the European Youth Information and Counselling Agency - ERYICA.
Estonia takes part in several youth field activities of the Council of Europe. Estonia is participating in the “No Hate Speech” campaign, and the youth centers’ quality management and quality sign programme. Estonia also participates in other Council of Europe activities that the European Steering Committee for Youth (CDEJ) foresees to be carried out. Estonia annually contributes its share to the European Youth Foundation.
Starting from 01.01.2021, the Foundation Archimedes Youth Agency was joint with the Education and Youth Board, and it became the Department of Youth Programs of the Agency of Erasmus+ and European Solidarity Corps (NA for the Erasmus+ programme - cooperation regarding the financial support to youth projects from Erasmus+ programme; increasing the possibilities of international cooperation and the usage of its results; increasing the professionalization of youth workers, including through the development of level education and trainings and monitoring the competences; supporting the activities and sustainable development of the NA). Estonia hosts a SALTO Resource Center for Youth Participation and Information.
At the stage of implementation, an important mechanism of cross-border cooperation is the implementation of the policy programmes which have proved successful in other countries and have passed the test of being evidence-based. The list of such programmes includes:
- „Local Development Programme“ (EEA and Norway);
- programme “Veel parem mina” (VEPA - short version in Estonian) / “Even better me” (North-America);
- programme “Kiusamisest vaba” (KIVA - short version in Estonian) / “KiVa Anti-Bullying Program” (Finland);
- programme Multidimensional Family Therapy (US);
- programme SPIN (UK);
In addition, Estonia is actively cooperating with many countries on specific programmes, projects and/or cooperation agreements with Germany, Georgia, Japan, Moldova and other countries.
In order to advance international cooperation, exchange of best practices and knowledge transfer, Estonian Government has launched an innovative initiative – Education Nation - to share its digital education solutions, services and best practices worldwide. In the area of non-formal education and youth examples include edtech solutions but also the youth work quality assessment model, practices of school youth work and hobby education etc.