1.3 National youth strategy
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Existence of a national youth strategy
The Strategic Plan for Vocational Education Training, Lifelong Learning and Youth 2022-2024, issued by the Hellenic Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs (ΜοΕ) in January 2022, states the basic principles of the Policy Strategy for Youth.
The issues of national youth policy, concern areas of activity and governmental initiatives that respond to the interests and problems exclusively of young people, with a target group aged 15 to 29. Youth policies must be addressed by the Hellenic State as separate and beyond the issues that fall within the framework of the formal Vocational Education and Training (VET) of all levels.
Every issue that concerns and interests young people, outside this strict framework, but inside and outside the school environment, is the subject of this policy. Policies and actions for young people are also part of non-formal learning, but the qualifications and skills acquired by young people in non-formal learning activities, as opposed to non-formal learning, can be measurable, recognizable and necessary for their integration into the social, cultural and economic life of the country. Youth policy is an area based on the principles of active participation and equal access to opportunities, in synergy with other policies concerning young people, such as those in the fields of education, training and employment.
Youth policy measures promote and facilitate the participation of young people in democratic life, support their active social participation, and aim to ensure that all young people have the necessary resources to achieve the above and and enjoy quality in life and work.
Τhe Hellenic Government is also in the course of adoption of the first National Action Plan for Youth, binding for young people aged 15-29, with the participation of all Ministries, and specific policy measures of interest. For a more detailed description, please advise section 1.9 ‘Current debates and reforms’.
Scope and contents
The Strategic Plan for Vocational Education Training, Lifelong Learning and Youth 2022-2024, issued by the Hellenic Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs (ΜοΕ), covers policies based on the current needs and interests of young people according to international and European standards, as young people represent a potential catalyst for development through their knowledge and capabilities. Planning is essential, in order to provide opportunities for young people to become champions of their rights and to be actively involved in decision-making processes. It is pointed out that the provision of education is an obligation of the state and according to the Hellenic Constitution, it must contribute to the formation of free and responsible citizens. Youth policies go beyond the education system, as young people should be able to acquire knowledge, skills and qualifications, necessary for their integration into society and the labor market, as well as for their personal and professional development and financial autonomy. The Youth Strategy goes further, apart from the first two pillars of the Strategic Plan (Vocational Education and Training / Lifelong Learning) to other areas as well, on the basis of a trans-sectoral approach of the most important issues affecting young peoples’ lives and highlighting new challenges. For example, digital transformation and policies that help young people to actively participate in the digital age, which requires high qualifications and skills. Investing in Youth should also serve educational, social and cultural values without exclusions, for the empowerment and formation of an active Youth, with an awareness of its identity. In this light, the National Youth Strategy puts young people in focus, with the belief that youth policies and initiatives can only be effective, provided that young people themselves are involved in the decision-making process.
The main principles of the Strategic Plan are as follows:
- Recognition of the specific role of young people in society.
- Obligation of the State to respond to the specific challenges, which young people face today.
- Cross - sectoral approach to the strategy (both at central government level and at local and regional level).
- Cooperation based on mechanisms and Inter-ministerial cooperation.
- Synergy with other policies that concern and interest young people, such as Education, Training, Employment and Social Policy.
- Equal access for all young people (policy measures that promote and facilitate the participation of young people in democratic life without discrimination and exclusion; support and assurance of their active participation in public life, so that young people can enjoy quality of life and work).
- Setting priorities for young people with fewer opportunities, as socio-economic exclusion leads to democratic exclusion (disadvantaged people are less active citizens and have less confidence).
- Policies and measures to facilitate youth mobility (learning, educational, etc.).
Responsible authority for the implementation of the youth strategy
According to Law 4763/2020, the National Authority that forms and supervises the implementation of the youth strategy in the country, is exclusively the General Secretariat for Vocational Education, Training, Lifelong Learning and Youth (GSVETLL&Y), part of the Hellenic Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs (ΜοΕ).