9.1 General context
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The official government authority that sets policies for young people in Greece is the General Secretariat of Vocational Education, Training, Lifelong Learning and Youth, of the Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs.
As stated in the Strategic Plan for Vocational Education, Training, Lifelong Learning and Youth 2022-2024 "in Youth policies it is imperative to have a special strategy based on the contemporary needs and interests of young people, international and European data, as theyoung people represent a potential catalyst for developments through their knowledge and skills.Planning is needed to provide opportunities for young people to become champions of their rights and participate actively in decision-making processes".
Investing in Youth is critical to serve inclusive educational, social and cultural values, to lay the foundation for empowering and shaping an active and self-aware Youth. The National Youth Strategy should put young people at the center of policy, with the belief that youth policies and initiatives can only be effective if young people themselves are involved in decision-making processes.
Youth policy can be considered a field of cross-sectoral cooperation among ministries and cooperating national and international bodies. According to the Ministerial Desicion 30964/2022, an inter-ministerial working group has been set up with the aim of planning, coordinating, monitoring, promoting and formulating the policy proposals implemented for the young people. The inter-ministerial working group has the purpose of recording the existing policies of each Ministry concerning young people aged 15-29, its continuous updating and the recording of the implementation of policies to achieve sustainable development goals in the areas related to the youth of the country.
Global Issues, which concern issues of international and universal interest, include, among others:
The protection and promotion of democracy, Human Rights and individual freedoms constitute the basic principles of the Greek Constitution and are an integral part of our national legislation. Greece considers that the respect of Human Rights, the promotion of democracy and the rule of law are intertwined with peace, justice, security, stability, the elimination of poverty and coherent socio-economic development.
Greece participates in multilateral meetings to improve global environmental governance on issues related to:
- Sustainable Development
- Climate Change
- The Convention of Barcelona
- Circular Economy
- Green Diplomacy Network of the European Union
The main focus of attention of the Youth strategic framework ’17-’27 is the young people living in Greece with the aim of empowering them and ensuring their active participation in policy-making issues. Goal 5 of Youth ’17-’27, refers to strengthening the participation of young people in democratic life.
Specifically, participation in democratic life includes four dimensions:
- Participation in electoral processes, political parties, local and national parliaments and councils
- Participation in social movements, campaigns for individual issues
- Participation in civil society organizations and volunteering activities
- Participation through social networks in political discussions and consultations (Online participation)
At the same time, Goal 6 targets at reducing inequalities among young people. In this context, the mitigation of inequalities between young people and their social integration constitute one of the main policy pillars both from the European Union and the Council of Europe. In particular, the European Union defines social inclusion as the process that ensures that young people at risk of poverty and social exclusion obtain opportunities and resources in order to fully participate in economic, social and cultural life and enjoy a decent standard of living and well-being. This specific objective is linked to a number of the Sustainable Development Goals, and in particular to Goal 10 which concerns the reduction of inequality within and among countries.
Youth interest in global issues
As stated in the European Barometer 2017 study, environmental protection is an issue that concerns 55% of young people in Greece.
In the Youth Barometer 2022 study, a large percentage of young people (72%) want their voices to be heard by the relevant policy-making bodies and to take appropriate measures to solve their needs. At the same time, the need of young people to be supported on a personal, social and professional level is recorded (percentage of 71%).
Young people in Greece, according to a study carried out from 22/02-04/03/2022, in the target group (15-30 years old), seem to be informed about a multitude of issues that concern them. The main topics that the European Year of Youth should focus on are:
- At a rate of 33%, the protection of the environment and the fight against climate change
- At 41%, the improvement of education and the free movement of students
- At a rate of 45%, the fight against poverty and economic and social inequalities
- At 27%, the promotion of human rights, democracy and common European values
- At 24%, the promotion of inclusive societies and gender equality
To the question "what do they expect from the European Union for their generation", young people in Greece answer:
- At 42%, maintaining peace, strengthening international security and promoting international cooperation
- At a rate of 45%, an increase in employment opportunities for young people
- At a rate of 46%, fighting poverty and inequalities
- At a rate of 34%, environmental protection and combating climate change
As recorded in this study, 30% of young people in Greece, compared to 19% in the European Union, believe that their voice will be heard if they voluntarily participate in charity organizations and organize campaigns.
Regarding the Green Transition, based on the Special Barometer 527, in Greece 94% agree that such a transition should include them all. On the contrary, a small percentage (33%) believes that sustainable products and services will concern the majority and especially destitute people. To the question "Is it important for you personally to do a job that contributes to the promotion of the green transition" 85% of young people (15-24) answer positively, a percentage higher than the European Union average percentage (64%).