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There is no single document that could be considered a national strategy on creativity and culture for young people, but a set of official documents integrating major directions to be followed in the organization of policymaking and implementation in relation to creativity and culture for young people.
The following strategies are most relevant forming a national policy of creativity and culture for young people:
- The general principles of the cultural policy up to 2020 (Kultuuripoliitika põhialused aastani 2020, approved by Parliament 12. February 2014).
- The Youth Field Development Plan 2014-2020 (Noortevaldkonna arengukava 2014-2020, approved by the Government 19. December 2013).
- The Youth Field Development Plan 2021-2035 (Noortevaldkonna arengukava 2021-2035 eelnõu), which by November 2020 was not confirmed by the Parliament yet, but will be by the end of the year.
As the general principles of the cultural policy will end with 2020, the implementation will be continued under the culture programme up to 2023 (Kultuuriprogramm 2020-2023).
The general principles of the cultural policy up to 2020
The general principles of the cultural policy adopted by the Riigikogu (the parliament) are the basis for the state’s decisions in the field of culture up until 2020.
The document defines the main objective, the principles of shaping and realizing the cultural policy and the priorities in specific areas such as architecture, design, performing arts, filmmaking, music, literature, and publishing, visual arts, cultural journalism and media, cultural diversity, heritage conservation, museums, libraries, folk culture.
The main objective of the cultural policy is to form a society that values creativity by maintaining and improving the national identity of Estonia, researching, storing, and transferring cultural memory, and creating favorable conditions for the development of a vital, open, and versatile cultural space and for participating in culture.
The target group of the policy document is the whole population; children and young people are only highlighted under some of the priorities in specific areas. Within the youth population, no specific target groups are identified.
The general objective of the plan is to establish a coherent and creative society through the development and self-realization possibilities provided for young people.
The sub-objectives of the Development Plan are:
- Young people have more choices to discover their own creative and developmental potential. The planned policy measures under this objective are aimed to increase opportunities for young people to develop their creativity, show initiative and act together.
- Young people are at lower risk to be excluded. The planned policy measures under this objective are aimed to increase the inclusion of young people and improve their employability.
- There is more support for the participation of young people in decision-making. The planned policy measures under this objective are aimed to support the active participation of young people in community life and in decision-making.
- The youth field operates more efficiently. The policy measures aim to ensure the development of high-quality youth policy and youth work.
The plan is aimed at all young people from 7 to 26 years old.
The new youth field development plan for the years 2021-2035 (Noortevaldkonna arengukava 2021-2035 eelnõu) has 4 strategic goals:
- Young people are the creative and constructive power of the society - they are the leaders of education, culture, economy, environment, and other fields.
- The protection of the rights of young people is consistent and the young people's active citizenship is supported.
- Quality youth work (including Hobby Education) is available all over Estonia and creates the possibilities to all young people to develop, success experiences, enrichment of experience baggage and being independent.
- Young people's loneliness and withdrawal are noticed and prevented through a support network that increases confidence.
The responsible authority for the coordination of the implementation of the general principles of the cultural policy up to 2020 is the Government of Estonia, specifically the Ministry of Culture.
No evidence-based assessment or evaluation of the implementation of both policy documents has been conducted.
The general principles of the cultural policy up to 2020 were not preceded by other policy documents since 2000 as the earlier version of the general principles of the cultural policy was adopted in 1998. There have been no revisions or updates to this document.
The Youth Field Development Plan was preceded by other policy documents since 2000. At the state level, the development of the youth field is being planned for the third time. The “Estonian Youth Work Concept” and the “Estonian Youth Work Development Plan 2001-2004” were drafted in 2001, these were followed by the "Youth Work Strategy 2006-2013" which was approved in 2006. What differentiates the current development plan from the previous documents is its approach to focus on goals and measures that will help to achieve positive change in the most significant challenges – the plan does not describe measures in all areas of youth work and youth policy. Also, the aims and objectives based on and formulated in accordance with youth perspective as opposed to a perspective of the sector or services used in earlier documents – the analysis and the policy objectives were about young people not about the system and services of youth work or youth policy.
The Youth Field Development Plan 2014-2020 will have a follow-up as the development plan ends in 2020. The process of a new development plan started in 2018 with the VI Youth Work Forum NOORUM and the consultation process with stakeholders continued during several events. By May 2020, the consultation for the new Youth Field Development Plan 2035 was ended. The new development plan is a part of the Education and Research Strategy for the years 2021-2035 managed by the Ministry of Education and Research. In November 2020, the Government sent the development plan to the Parliament to be confirmed, which will happen by the end of the year.