9.2 Administration and governance
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The Ministry of Education and Science is responsible for youth policy development in Latvia.
The Agency for International Programs for Youth is a governmental institution subordinated to the Ministry of Education and Science. The goal of the Agency is to promote youth voluntary service, activities and mobility. The Agency implements non-formal learning and information programmes and projects targeted at youth and those working with youth, as well as supports the link between non-formal learning and lifelong education. It is responsible for the administration of the programmes „Erasmus+: Youth in Action“ and “European Solidarity Corps”. These programmes support youth exchanges, voluntary work and youth participation initiatives at the national and international level. More information on “Erasmus+ Youth in Action” and “European Solidarity Corps” projects can be found in 2.5. Cross-border mobility programmes and 4.7. Youth work to foster social inclusion.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is responsible for foreign policy development and implementation. The main responsibilities of the Ministry are:
- regional policy, building relations with the member states of the European Union (EU);
- coordination of the EU policies, development of relations with the third countries;
- representation of Latvia’s interests in international organisations e.g., United Nations (UN), Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Council of Europe, etc.
- implementation of the development cooperation policy;
- informing the public about the EU and Latvia’s membership in the EU;
- supporting the Latvian diaspora abroad.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs supports the development of the UN Youth Delegates Programme in Latvia, as co-operation with Latvian youth diaspora.
General distribution of responsibilities
Local governments play a crucial role in achieving the SDGs - in Latvia, at least 53% of municipal functions are related to the SDGs. Internationally, it is recognized that local governments are the level of governance best suited to connecting global goals with local communities.
The Consultative Council on Development Cooperation Policyis an advisory institution established to strengthen Latvia's bilateral development cooperation, promote public understanding of development cooperation policy, provide support for its implementation, and facilitate Latvia's active involvement in shaping and implementing EU and global development cooperation policies. Council meetings are held as necessary, but not less than twice a year. The Council consists of representatives from both governmental and non-governmental institutions, ensuring a wide representation of viewpoints.
To ensure coordination of youth policy the Youth Advisory Council has been set up, which replaces the Youth Policy Coordination Council as of January 1, 2009.The Youth Advisory Council is an advisory body that aims to ensure a coherent development and implementation of youth policy at different levels (municipal, national and European Union), as well as to support youth participation in decision-making. The tasks of the Youth Advisory Council are:
- to participate in the development of youth policy planning documents and regulatory enactments;
- to assess whether the implementation of youth policy complies with the provisions of youth policy development planning documents and the National Youth Policy Programme, and to provide recommendations to the Ministry of Education and Science on the youth policy priorities and measures for the next year;
- to make recommendations to the state administration body in order to ensure the effective implementation of youth policy, including:
- on the need to implement measures, projects and programmes and to carry out research on youth, while implementing the youth policy;
- on the need to make amendments to regulatory enactments and policy planning documents or to develop new regulatory enactments and policy planning documents related to the implementation of youth policy;
- to make recommendations to local government institutions for the implementation of youth policy at municipal level;
- to make recommendations to non-governmental organisations targeting young people and develop recommendations for youth work.
To develop recommendations, the Youth Advisory Council may set up working groups, request the necessary information from the Ministry of Education and Science, and invite experts and officials with advisory rights to the meetings.
Representatives of the Ministry of Education and Science, Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Health, Agency for International Programs for Youth, National Centre for Education, associations – Latvian Youth Council, Latvian Student Union, Latvian Free Trade Union Confederation, Latvian Employer’s Confederation, Latvian Union of Local Governments, Latvian Association of Large Cities and youth organisations are represented in the Council. According to the Youth Advisory Council provisions, not less than 10 youth organisations should be represented in the Council.