1.7 Funding youth policy
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The State Program for Youth Policy 2023 – 2025 (hereafter referred to as the "State Youth Program") has been developed to ensure an effective and coordinated implementation of youth policy in Latvia and to ensure the fulfillment of tasks and achievement of result indicators specified in long-term and medium-term development planning documents in the field of youth.
The allocated state budget for the period from 2023 to 2025 is approximately 1.35 million euros each year.
The municipal budget allocation for youth differs according to the availability of funding in each municipality. According to information provided by the municipalities, 42 out of 43 Latvian municipalities ensured annual budget funding for the maintenance of the youth work system in 2022, i.e., salaries for those involved in youth work, infrastructure maintenance, etc. Not all municipalities have been able to calculate the total amount of this funding, as it is not always possible to separate it out. According to the information provided, the total municipal budget funding for the maintenance of the youth work system in 2022 amounted to at least EUR 5,292,255. In 31 municipalities, funding was provided for youth and youth organization initiatives, including project competitions, totaling EUR 785,247. Therefore, the total municipal budget funding for youth work in 2022 amounted to EUR 6,077,502.
The aim of the State Youth Program is to ensure coordination and development of youth work in Latvia with informative, methodological, and financial support from the state, thereby creating a favourable environment to improve the quality of life for young people and help each young person to start an independent life as a responsible member of society. The measures included in the state program are subordinated to the goals, lines of action, and tasks defined in the Guidelines for the Development of Children, Youth, and Family 2022-2027.
The main responsible institution for the annual State Youth Program funding is Ministry of Education and Science.
From the State Youth Program every year is provided support to local authorities, municipalities and youth organizations, the allocation of this money is responsible National Youth Agency.
The funding available to the youth field from other ministries and institutions, is in charge of each institution.
The "European Solidarity Corps" program offers young people aged 18 to 30 the opportunity to engage in solidarity activities and those aged 18 to 35 to participate in humanitarian aid activities. These activities address current societal challenges, enhance the competencies of young people, promote social inclusion, and strengthen European values. The total funding available for the "European Solidarity Corps" project support in 2023 is 1,243,262 euros: 1,165,761 euros for annual grant applications for voluntary work (funding is composed of 957,549 euros from the base program budget and 208,212 euros from the additional funding provided by the "Horizon Europe" program) and 77,501 euros for solidarity projects.
The "Erasmus+" program (2021-2027) by the Agency for International Youth Programs provides young people aged 13 to 30, youth workers, and other individuals involved in youth work the opportunity to gain new competencies and experience. It promotes social inclusion, participation, creativity, and innovative approaches at the organizational and policy level in the field of youth. The total funding available for the "Erasmus+" youth sector project support in the project competition on February 23, 2023, is 1,907,056.73 euros: 940,973.27 euros for mobility projects (youth exchanges and youth worker mobility projects); 661,224.46 euros for "Erasmus+" accreditation funding requests; 245,423.50 euros for youth participation projects; 59,435.50 euros for "DiscoverEU" inclusion projects. The total funding available for the "Erasmus+" youth sector project support in the project competition on March 22, 2023, is 920,993.00 euros: 750,082.50 euros for cooperation partnership projects; 170,910.50 euros for small-scale partnership projects.
The project "PROTI and DARI!" by the Agency for International Youth Programs aims to develop the skills of the target group of young people aged 15 to 29 (inclusive) who are not studying, working, acquiring a trade, and are not registered with the State Employment Agency (NVA) as unemployed. It promotes their involvement in education, including vocational training with a master craftsman, employment, activities of the Youth Guarantee projects implemented by the State Education Development Agency (VIAA), or active employment or preventive unemployment reduction measures implemented by the State Employment Agency (NVA), as well as the activities of non-governmental organizations or youth centers. The total funding for the "PROTI and DARI!" project is 9,960,331 euros (including 1,500,001 euros of REACT-EU funding), including European Social Fund funding of 8,466,280 euros and state budget funding of 1,494,051 euros.