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Youth Volunteering in Republic of North Macedonia is not strictly regulated. There is a Law on Volunteering but it’s general and it doesn’t emphasize youth as target group. Three local municipalities from Tetovo, Bitola and Kavadarci in cooperation with the non-governmental sector, have adopted Local Strategies on Volunteerism 2015-2018. The processes of adopting of Local Strategies on Volunteerism, were initiated by civil society sector (Youth Cultural Center- Bitola) and funded by International Foundations. Local Strategies expired at the end of 2018 and they are not renewed. The previous Local Strategies aimed to provide sustainable development, promotion and strengthen of the volunteerism at local level. They also provided analysis and detail action plan, adopted measures for all key stakeholders. However, they didn’t delegate key staff on monitoring and evaluation of the implementation. Main responsibility for implementation of the Local Strategies remained on Local Self-Government.
On October 9, 2018 in the municipality of Bitola a Local Volunteering Council (Локален совет за волонтерство) was established. The Volunteering Council consists of 9 members and it was established in order to work on increasing the number of youth participation in the local community through volunteering and to work on the recognition of volunteer work at the local level. Even though the Local Strategies on Volunteerism already expired, the Local Volunteering Council is still active in the Municipality of Bitola.
Volunteering as a subject in Republic of North Macedonia has a general focus and the Government does not target young people with tailor-made approaches, thus all legal documents are based equal inclusive opportunities, regardless of gender, ethnicity, social status, age and does not target specifically young people. Therefore, the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy is responsible for volunteerism in general, not the Agency of Youth and Sport. However, all legal bindings connected with young people and volunteering are exclusive and provide greater focus on young people and their process of development.
Nationwide, the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy is responsible for youth volunteering. More concrete, after the expiration of the Strategy for Promotion and Development of Volunteering 2010-2015 (Стратегија за промовирање и развој на волонтерството 2010-2015), the policies for volunteering in North Macedonia are under the responsibility of the State Labor Inspectorate. To date, a revision of the previous Strategy that has expired in 2015 has not yet been made, but MLSP is planning to adopt new Strategy for Volunteerism soon.
In direction of the fulfillment of the institutional support in the process of volunteering, Ministry of Labor and Social Policy formed National Council for Volunteering Development (Национален совет за развој на волонтерството) where 9 representatives were nominated from, The Ministry for Labor and Social Policy, Ministry for Education and Science, Agency of Youth and Sport, the General Secretariat – department for cooperation with non-governmental organizations, Association of Local Self – Government and 4 representatives of the Civil sector. But since the mandate of the Council has expired (in 2016), it does not currently function.
Ministry for Education and Science initiated the opening of the National Agency for European Educational Programs and Mobility that has the leading role in providing international volunteering opportunities for youngsters from North Macedonia and volunteering assignments in N. Macedonia for young citizens from EU member states, with its sub programs adopted by European Commission. The Law on establishing the National Agency for European Education Programmes and Mobility (Закон за основање на Национална агенција за европски образовни програми и мобилност) was adopted in 2007.
Non-state actors such as civil society organizations and non-formal groups, mainly have the role of initiators and contributors towards implementing the measures set by the government. Civil society organizations are the main organizers of voluntary job. Given that volunteers work for a common good and not for someone's own interest, business organizations must not conclude voluntary agreements.