9.2 Administration and governance
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The main governmental authority responsible for youth policy, including the youth contribution to global processes of policy-making, implementation and follow-up, including youth cooperation at the global level, is the Ministry of Education and Research, the Youth Affairs Department (starting from 01.01.2021 the Youth and Talent Department). The main function of the Ministry of Education and Research is to ensure targeted and effective development of education, research, youth and language policy.
The main other Governmental authorities are:
- the Government Office: responsible for the coordination of cooperation in the area of sustainable development,
- the Ministry of Environment: responsible for the environment and sustainable development issues,
- the Ministry of Foreign Affairs: responsible for global cooperation,
- the Ministry of Social Affairs: responsible for labour market policy, but also for social protection and services including child and family policy,
- the Environmental Board: responsible for fostering a sense of responsibility and economy in the people of Estonia – particularly young people – in regard to nature.
Main public actors and foundations:
- The Foundation Environmental Investments Centre (EIC) is an independent body established by the government under the Ministry of Finance, responsible for mediating state budget funds, EU funds, funds from foreign aid programmes and the Green Investment Scheme, and granting loans for the implementation of environmental projects,
- Education and Youth Board, a governmental body responsible for implementing youth and education policy,
- education institutions of Estonia.
The main non-public actors
- Estonian Roundtable for Development Cooperation, the umbrella organisation for organisations active in the field of development co-operation and global education;
- Mondo, a non-governmental organisation, devoted to development cooperation, global education and humanitarian aid;
- National Youth Council, the umbrella organization of youth associations and youth organisations;
- the Estonian Green Movement: a non-profit organisation for environmental protection, the aim of which is to improve the environmental situation in Estonia and guide our society towards sustainable, green thinking.
The general distribution of responsibilities
Responsibility for the youth contribution to global processes of policy-making, implementation and follow-up, including youth cooperation at the global level, is divided between central government and non-governmental organizations.
Local governments are vested with the primary responsibility for youth work provision, which might include activities on global issues; however, it is not obligatory. The regional (county) governments were abolished on 1 January 2018.
There is a mechanism established to ensure harmonized policy-making and implementation, which also covers the area of youth and global issues. The central position in this mechanism - approving the propositions to develop a policy document or to change the existing one, monitoring the implementation through approving the action plans and their reports, monitoring the cooperation and in case of need initiating the cooperation - is granted to the Government and the Government Office.