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The “State Strategy for Youth for 2003-2012” (Strategia Państwa dla Młodzieży na lata 2003-2012) (Strategy) prepared before Poland’s accession to the EU remains the only document determining the development and directions of Polish youth policy. Currently, there is no strategy in Poland directly relating to young people. The Strategy emphasises the links that exist between youth policy and legal regulations concerning education, social welfare, national defence, employment and combating unemployment, children’s living conditions in families, healthcare, as well as prevention of crime, drug addiction and alcohol abuse.
When the “State Strategy for Youth for 2003-2012” ceased to apply, no new national strategy regulating Polish youth policy issues was created. The authors of the “Governmental Programme for Young People’s Social Engagement for 2015-2016 Active Youth” (Rządowy Program Aktywności Społecznej Młodzieży na lata 2015-2016. Aktywna Młodzież) emphasised the importance of preparing a governmental document defining youth policy. “Laying down the strategic foundation for the implementation of youth policy” seems of paramount importance.
The Children and Youth Council of the Republic of Poland established in 2016 and operating under the authority of the Minister of National Education (Rada Dzieci i Młodzieży Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej) during its first term (2016-2017) worked on the draft provisions of the Act on the Youth Council of the Republic of Poland (Rada Młodzieży Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej). The Associacion for Establishing the Youth Council of the Republic of Poland operating by the Minister of National Education in 2018 worked on the key aspects of the National Youth Strategy. As a result of these works, in February 2019 a document “The Assumptions for the National Youth Strategy for 2020-2030”was published. 600 young Poles worked on it. It describes six strategic areas important for young people:
- labor market,
- civic activity,
- sport, health, tourism,
- innovation, internet, digitization,
- education and higher education.
It is worth emphasising that despite the absence of a youth act, youth policy is more and more frequently regulated at regional and local levels. Local strategies (or other documents) targeting young people are present at various levels of local governments (province, district, commune). Examples of programs and strategies for youth adopted at the local government level include:
- the Program “Young Warsaw” (Program Młoda Warszawa), valid for 2016-2020, adopted on 28 January 2016),
- “Policy for Young People of the City of Poznań for 2019-2025” (Polityka dla Ludzi Młodych Miasta Poznania na lata 2019-2025), adopted on 16 October 2018),
- “Leszno's Strategy for youth” (Strategia Leszna dla młodzieży), adopted on 30 May 2018),
- The Stategy “Świętokrzyskie Province for Youth. Directions in supporting the social engagement of the youth of Świętokrzyskie Province 2017-2020” (Strategia Świętokrzyskie dla młodych. Kierunki wspierania aktywności społecznej młodzieży województwa świętokrzyskiego na lata 2017-2020),
In other regions work is underway to develop local strategies for young people, eg. in the Opolskie Voivodeship were developed assumptions for the “Youth strategy in the Opolskie Voivodeship” (Opolska strategia dla młodzieży).
The introduction of unified legislation or guidelines on the development of youth strategies would probably facilitate a regional comparison of activities undertaken for young people as well as the implementation of individual objectives and policies concerning young people.