5.3 Youth representation bodies
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The Law on Youth Participation and Youth policies (Закон за младинско учество и младински политики) adopted in January 2020 envisages establishment of a National Assembly of Youth which is planned to be a body of forms of youth organization that elects youth representatives in the advisory body, creates priorities and policies for youth advocacy and coordinates and follows their work.
The Law also regulates Local Assemblies of Youth.
According to the Law on Youth Participation and Youth Policies "Youth" are people aged 15 to 29 years. The Assembly of Youth is expected to consist of representatives of the youth organizations, organizations for youth and youth umbrella organizations.
The Assembly of Youth is convened by an initiative board of at least two thirds of registered forms of youth organization. The Initiative Board is obliged to obligatorily inform all forms of youth organization from the Register for holding the sessions of the Youth Assembly.
The Assembly of Youth is held at least once a year.
Members of the Local Assembly of Youth can be organizations for youth, political youth wings, student organizations and other forms of youth association. These organizations do not have to be registered in the municipalities, the municipalities in the city of Skopje and the city of Skopje, but have to have activities on the territory of the municipalities, the municipalities in the city of Skopje and the city Skopje in which the Assembly is formed.
Role and responsibilities
The scope of work of the Assembly of Youth consists of:
- election of youth representatives in the advisory body,
- creating policies and priorities,
- monitoring the work of youth representatives,
- reviewing reports from youth representatives and
- other activities in accordance with the Law on Youth Participation and Youth Policies and the Rules of Procedure.
The operating costs for organizing the assemblies after previously submitted financial plan, are financed from the funds provided in the Budget of the Republic of North Macedonia by the competent body of the state administration responsible for the affairs of the youth field – the Agency for Youth and Sport.
The Budget of the Republic of North Macedonia funds the implementation of the Law on Youth Inclusion and Youth Policies in the amount of at least 0.3% of its budget on an annual basis.
The local youth councils are regulated with the Law on youth participation and youth policies (Закон за младинско учество и младински политики) adopted in January 2020. The article 16 of this Law specifies that:
“The municipalities, the municipalities in the city of Skopje and the city of Skopje establish local youth councils in their statutes.”
In order to support the creation of local youth councils, the Agency of Youth and Sports, together with the OSCE - Mission to Skopje developed a Manual for Local Youth Councils. The Manual itself provides different steps for establishment of Local Youth Councils, in the event the municipality has never had a council previously; it has had one before, but it’s no longer active; and in the event it currently has an active youth council, and needs to be adjusted to the Law’s provisions.
According to the same law, the National Advisory Body on Youth Policies, also known as advisory body, is a body for cooperation between youth representatives and representatives of bodies of the state administration which has an advisory and supervisory role in the implementation of youth policies and youth activities.
As of the end of February 2022, the Assembly and the Advisory Body are not yet established.
According to the Law on Youth Participation and Youth Policies (Закон за младинско учество и младински политики), "Youth" are people aged 15 to 29 years.
The municipalities, the municipalities in the city of Skopje and the city of Skopje provide a statutory formation of local youth councils. The number of members of the local youth councils is odd and does not exceed more than one third of the members of the Municipal Council, the municipalities in the city of Skopje and the city of Skopje but can not be less than five people.
The National Advisory Body on Youth Policies shall be established by a decision of the Government of the Republic of North Macedonia. The Advisory Body should be composed of representatives appointed by the government bodies, and youth representatives elected by the National Youth Assembly, one of which is president. The structure of this body will be composed of 9 representatives of the youth sector, and no more than 8 representatives of state institutions, based on articles in the Law. According to a decision of the Government, they appointed the following institutions / ministries to nominate a representative: Agency for Youth and Sports, Ministry of Labor and Social Policy, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Local Self-Government, Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Education and Science, Ministry of Health and Ministry of Finance.
Role and responsibilities
The local youth councils have an advisory and advocacy role in the municipalities, the municipalities in the city of Skopje and the city of Skopje within the scope of youth issues and policies.
The representatives of the local youth council have the right to:
- propose items on the agenda of the Municipal Council, the municipalities in the city Skopje and the city of Skopje that affect young people,
- initiate questions for young people from the scope of work of the municipalities, the municipalities in the city of Skopje and the city of Skopje,
- initiate, participate in and provide feedback on the local process youth strategy and other policies,
- submit information to the municipalities, the municipalities in the city of Skopje and the city of Skopje for issues related to youth and
- perform other advisory and advocacy activities in accordance with this law.
Local Youth Councils have the role of advisory bodies of the Municipal Councils, and their objective is to involve the young people in the public life of the municipality and to ensure participation in the decision making processes related to youth.
The National Advisory Body for Youth Policies, has the following competencies:
-provides opinions and recommendations for implementation of youth regulations and policies,
- provides an opinion on the National Youth Strategy and the action plan for implementation of the National Youth Strategy,
- provides an opinion on the budget funds intended for young people as well as proposals, opinions and recommendations for financing youth-related activities,
- initiates consideration of youth issues to the Government and the Assembly of the Republic of North Macedonia,
- proposes the establishment of mechanisms for evaluation of youth participation and realization of youth interests in social life,
- publishes reports (thematic and periodical) on the rights, opportunities and needs of young people in the Republic of North Macedonia,
- follows the recommendations of the European Union for youth and advocates for improvement of youth policies,
- organizes events and consultations for its work with youth organizations and young and
- performs other activities related to the youth and their interests.
Youth Councils by the statute adopted from the municipalities councils receive public funding from the municipality councils and it depends on the municipalities budgets and the financial plans of the Youth Councils respectfully. As a municipality body it is monitored and accountable to the municipality.
Administrative, financial and logistical support for the work of the National advisory body for Youth policies is provided by the Government of the Republic of North Macedonia.
The Republic of North Macedonia funds the implementation of the Law on Youth Inclusion and Youth Policies in the amount of at least 0.3% of its budget on an annual basis.
For the same purpose, the municipalities, the municipalities in the city of Skopje and the city of Skopje should allocate funds in the amount of at least 0.1% per year.
In the previous years the main student union bodies were the student parliaments. They were established the same way as the civil society organizations according to the Law for CSOs. That means they are independent organization but their offices are in the universities or faculties, therefore they are supervised by the faculty they are having an office. However, the legitimacy of the student parliament of the biggest state university was questioned when former representatives broke the statue of the organization, and they continued their mandate without organizing any elections. This was one of the main reasons for the creation of a parallel representative student body - the Student Plenum. The Student Plenum, unlike the parliament had completely different structure, aiming more towards horizontal management and their main goal was creating changes in the Law on Higher Education (Закон за високо образование). Some of their requirements were addressed in the Law on Higher Education that came in force in May, 2018, especially those for the student unions and representation. According to the new Law on Higher Education, the Student Assemblies should be a structure within the higher education institutions, as for the internal organization of the assemblies they should be regulated by the Statutes of each individual faculty.
The law on higher education foresees Faculty Student Assembly and University Student Assembly.
The Faculty Student Assembly is the body of the Faculty in which representatives of the students are members and they are elected in direct, fair and democratic elections by secret ballot. The right to vote, as well as the right to run, has every student enrolled in the Faculty, studying in the academic year in which the Faculty Student Assembly is elected. The mandate, that is, the right to be a student representative is limited to one year with the possibility of re-election. The election of representatives of the Faculty Student Assembly is announced by the dean of the Faculty within 30 days prior to their holding, where a special election commission is formed whose majority is made up of students. The manner of election and the number of members of the faculty student assembly as well as its organs are regulated by the statute of the Faculty.
Role and responsibilities
The University Student Assembly has the authority to elect student representatives to the Senate and other bodies and bodies of the university, where students, together with professors and other members of the academic community, jointly and equally make decisions. The University Assembly also proposes the Student Ombudsman in front of the University Senate and takes care of the quality of the student and the quality of the process of studying, the student's standard, the achievement of student rights and interests, and student cultural, social and intellectual upgrading. The University Student Assembly may also propose to the governing bodies, such as the rectorate, the dean's administration, etc., to fund student activities. Also, the assembly encourages student activities beyond the teaching process.
As stated in the Article 34 of the Law on Higher Education, the student parliaments are funded by:
(1) The work of the student assembly shall be financed by means of the higher education institution, as well as from: legates, gifts, testament, attachments and other sources.
(2) Student assemblies have the means in a way that is determined by their statute.
(3) Higher education institutions shall be obliged to enable the student assemblies’ autonomous disposal of funds for their work in accordance with this law and the general acts of higher education institutions.
(4) Higher education institutions supervise the targeted spending of the funds allocated to student’s assemblies, in a manner determined by their statute.
https://www.studentskisobranija.mk/fakultetsko-studentsko-sobranie/ (Accessed December 25,2018)
https://www.studentskisobranija.mk/univerzitetsko-studentsko-sobranie/ (Accessed December 25,2018)
The High School Union works to improve the high school status in education and psychological development of students. The organization, based in Tetovo, currently has branches in six cities - Kicevo, Gostivar, Stip, Kumanovo, Skopje and Debar. They are guided by the strategic plan "From us, for us 2019-2022", with the completion of which they plan to expand the Union in all cities in the country.
The union focuses on solving the problems of high school students. The greatest emphasis is placed on the problem of textbooks, peer violence, establishing contacts with high school unions from the Western Balkans and cooperation with the Belgian and Norwegian Union of High School Students. The union is also working to establish contacts with high schools, school communities and youth organizations.
No official available information on this subject.