1.7 Funding youth policy
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Youth Policy does not have a specific budget line in the Governmental Budget.
In 2023 the total budget of the Agency of Youth and Sports is 321.002.970 MKD (app 5.223.214 EUR), of which 300.001.220 MKD are intended for the sport sector and 21.000.750 MKD for the youth sector and it is the smallest budget the AYS has had in recent years. In comparison to 2022, the total budget of the Agency of Youth and Sport was 385.001.890 MKD (app 6.264.576 EUR), in 2021, the total budget of the Agency of Youth and Sport was 1.084.142.966 MKD (app. 17.626.789 EUR).
According to the National Youth Strategy 2016-2025, 9 priorities are defined and each includes set of measures. Specific ministry or institution is responsible to implement the measures under each priority. Thus, the budget for the measures falls under the budget for those specific institutions/ministries.
No disaggregated data on budget for youth measures exists for the institutions except the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy, responsible for youth employment.
According to The Action Plan for Youth Employment 2016 – 2020 (Акциски план за вработување на млади 2016-2020), total planned amount for realization of the Action plan was 30.950.000,00 EUR. Since the Action Plan’s expiration, a new Action Plan for Youth Employment has not been adopted.
In the beginning of 2018, the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy together with the Employment Service Agency and the National Youth Council of Macedonia started the realization of the pilot project Youth Guarantee which measures are funded through the Operational plan for active programs and measures for employment and services on the labor market. The total cost of implementing the Plan for the implementation of the Youth Guarantee 2023-2026 is estimated to be 3,807,449,000 MKD (app 55,710,570 EUR), with approximately 89% being financed from the national budget. The measures that are part of the third phase of Youth Guarantee are described in Operational Plan for employment 2023 (Оперативен план за активни програми и мерки за вработување и услуги на пазарот на трудот за 2023 година). The plan has a total of 1.972.045.915 MKD for funding, which is an increase in comparison with previous year, when the budget for implementation of the measures was 1.856.923.390.
The new Law on Youth Participation and Youth Policies envisages that: (1) For the implementation of this law, funds in the amount of at least 0.3% shall be allocated annually from the Budget of the Republic of North Macedonia. (2) From the budgets of the municipalities, the municipalities in the City of Skopje and the City of Skopje, funds in the amount of at least 0.1% on annual level shall be allocated.
 Government of the Republic of Macedonia. Ministry of Labor and Social Policy “Action plan for Youth Employment 2016-2020”, p.45 http://dit.gov.mk/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/2016_Akciski-plan-za-vrabotuvanje-mladi-2016-2020-godina_MK-pv-.pdf (Accessed October 30, 2018)
Employment measures for young people were funded in Action Plan for Youth Employment 2016 – 2020 (Ревидиран акциски план за вработување на млади 2016-2020). Since the Action Plan’s expiration, a new Action Plan for Youth Employment has not been adopted. In the Operational Plan for Active Labor Market Programs and Measures 2023 several employment measures are outlined. The measures are not exclusively provided for young people, but young people up to 34.
Additionally, the Law on Youth Participation and Youth Policies, as mentioned in the previous section, allocates national and municipal budgetary funds for the implementation of the Law. Based on the Law itself, those funds will go towards creation of mechanisms for youth participation (Local Youth Councils), youth policies (National Youth Strategy and Local Youth Strategies) and youth services (Youth Centers, Youth Officers, Youth Offices).
By priority, IPA funds are used for the implementation of the Youth Employment measures, administered by the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy. No other data on usage of EU funds are available.
In addition, it’s worth mentioning the Western Balkans Youth Lab Project, a three-year EU funded (1,5 million EUR) and RCC implemented project that kicked-off in January 2020, which aims to provide opportunities for youth to participate in decision-making. The project is covering the Western Balkans six economies (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo*, Montenegro, Serbia and North Macedonia). The Western Balkans Youth Lab (WBYL) Project strives to create a longer-term structured regional dialogue between youth organizations and national administrations focused on jointly devising policies which will increase youth participation in decision-making, to improve the overall socio-economic environment for and mobility of youth in the Western Balkans economies through different types of activities, with focus of policies.