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A National Youth Policy Strategy 2015-2020 (Strategia Națională în domeniul politicii de tineret 2015-2020) was adopted by the Romanian government, by government decision, in 2015. The Youth Strategy covers the timeframe 2015-2020.
The Strategy aims at supporting youth to participate to the economic, social, cultural and political life, ensuring equal opportunities to education, employment and decent life conditions to all youth, including vulnerable youth groups.
The Strategy integrates several policy domains in 5 main pillars/key areas of intervention:
- culture and non-formal education;
- health, sports and leisure;
- participation and volunteering;
- employment and entrepreneurship;
- the social inclusion of young people.
In the Strategy text, the situation of Romanian youth in 2014 and the years before the approval of strategy is fairly detailed presented. Consultation of young people took place in the form of debates before the adaptation of the strategy.
Although the Ministry of Youth and Sports has to monitor and evaluate the strategy implementation, a monitoring plan has not been formulated until December 2018. The Youth Strategy is closely interrelated with the national strategies on employment, social inclusion, health, administration and education. However, none of these strategies is directly referring to an overall national development policy.
Under each of the 5 key areas of intervention of the strategy, specific objectives and lines of actions are established. However, an action plan allowing systematic implementation of the strategy, monitoring and evaluation the strategy, was not adopted until December 2016.
1. Under the pillar culture and non-formal education the specific objectives of the strategy are:
- Ensure access to quality formal and non-formal training and education for all adolescents and young people;
- Improve the non-formal education offer;
- Raise young people’s interest in participating in non-formal education activities;
- Ensure more practical relevance of the skills acquired through formal and non-formal education;
- Facilitate youth access to quality culture and cultural creation;
- Improve funding of cultural activities;
- Support youth health and quality of life and prevent injuries, eating disorders, substance use and addiction.
2. Under the pillar health, sports and leisure the specific objectives of the strategy are:
- Support youth health and quality of life and prevent injuries, eating disorders, substance use and addiction
- Deliver education through sports and physical activity with the aim of fostering a healthy lifestyle and development as active and responsible citizens, and encourage young people to engage in sports and exercise in their spare time
- Improve leisure time opportunities for young people through both organised and informal means
3. Under the pillar participation and volunteering the specific objectives of the strategy are:
- Increase youth participation in community life, in all its social, educational, cultural, economic and health aspects
- Increase youth participation in political life
- Increase participation of youth-led and youth-serving non-governmental organisations in the structured dialogue
- Create an environment that fosters volunteering in Romania
- Improve the system of volunteer work certification and public recognition
- Raise public awareness of the importance of volunteer engagement
4. Under the pillar employment and entrepreneurship the specific objectives of the strategy are:
4.1. For employment
- Increase youth employment, with a focus on the 15-24 and 25-29 age groups
- Promote existing legal measures in favour of youth to ensure a smooth transition from education to the labour market.
- Promote and support work-life balance for youth
- Stimulate youth mobility on the domestic labour market
- Foster Romanian young people’s mobility on the European labour market, including through programmes that combine work and training and through integration programmes, in the post-pilot phase of the ‘Your first EURES job’ Programme
- Ensure better opportunities for youth access to and retention on the labour market through acquisition and development of skills and competences
- Develop social economy and increase youth participation in this area
4.2. For entrepreneurship
- Increase self-employment among young people
- Increase self-employment among young people in rural area
- Promote entrepreneurship at all youth education and training levels
- Help young entrepreneurs adjust to European integration and globalisation processes
5. Specific objectives for the strategy contribution to social inclusion are:
- Promote inclusive measures for youth with the aim of facilitating access to the formal labour market
- Direct non-formal education at the social reintegration of socially excluded youth, maintain or restore access to formal education while effectively promoting non-formal and informal learning and the recognition of acquired competences
- Promote equal access to health for young people, maintain free access to the basic healthcare package, and improve the quality of medical procedures benefiting children and youth in difficulty
- Promote the ‘voice’ of and empower the poor communities with high shares of children and young people, as well as the socially excluded youth
- Re-launch policies that combat poverty and promote social inclusion in Romania, with a focus on youth and children, to reduce any gaps accumulated in the early life stages which can adversely affect an individual’s entire future course and be difficult to offset later on
- Develop new programmes aimed at building or retrofitting social housing so as to enable the implementation of the legal provisions that entitle disadvantaged young people to a dwelling
- Create and implement special support measures for socially vulnerable youth groups, in partnership with all the competent institutions from all sectors
The target group of the strategy are young people in general defined accordingly to the Youth Law in Romania, between 14 and 35. Moreover, the Strategy defines clearly specific target groups within each of the 5 key areas of intervention.
1. The target groups of the lines of actions under the key area of intervention: culture and nonformal education are:
- students and pupils
- young people who left school early
- graduates of general education forms (middle school, high school) without a qualification
- young people with problems of access to education
- NEET young people
- young people with educational deficits
2. The target groups of the lines of actions under the key area of intervention: health, sports and leisure are:
- young people with drug and / or alcohol addictions
- young people with unhealthy diet habits
- young people with disabilities
- mothers at the age of 15-19
- young people with HIV / AIDS
- young people affected by various mental illnesses
- young people with a lifestyle that does not include sports or cultural activities
3. The target groups of the lines of actions under the key area of intervention: participation and volunteering are:
- young people involved in the NGO sector
- volunteers and young people who developed skills outside recognised forms of education and need a recognition of their skills
- young people with low levels of participation in associative , social and political life
4. The target groups of the lines of actions under the key area of intervention: employment and entrepreneurship are:
- unemployed and long term unemployed young people and
- young people trapped in forms of subsistence self-employment
- NEET young people
- young people involuntarily employed in forms of temporary employment or part-time employment
- young people employees with low and very low wage earners
- young people in forms of informal employment
- young people who are overqualified or underqualified for the job and young people working in other areas than those for which they have been trained
- young people wanting to start a business , but without the resources
5. The target groups of the lines of actions under the key area of intervention: social inclusion are:
- young homeless
- young people leaving social protection institutions
- young people from poor areas
- Roma youth
- teens with at least one parent working abroad
- young people with HIV / AIDS
- victims of exploitation
- teenage mothers
- young victims of discrimination
- young people with disabilities
- young people without access to housing and no prospect of one
The Ministry of Youth and Sports is the main government authority responsible for the implementation, coordination and monitoring of the national Youth Strategy. It is in charge with:
- drafting the Action Plan of the Strategy
- drafting and implementing a monitoring and evaluation plan of the Strategy
- designing and implementing the actions under the key area of intervention on participation and volunteering
- designing and implementing the actions under specific objectives related to non-formal education, sport and leisure
However, an action plan allowing systematic implementation of the strategy, monitoring and evaluation the strategy, was not adopted until December 2016. For the development and adopting of the action plan and for monitoring the Youth Strategy implementation the Ministry of Youth and Sport needs cooperation and support from other sectorial ministries (Education, Employment, Health, Economy etc.).
No updates have been made to the present Youth Strategy.
The present Youth Strategy have been preceded by the National Action Plan for Youth (PNA-T) 2001 and its revised version for 2005-2008. Their evaluation have been done by the Institute for Educational Sciences in 2011.
The PNA-T 2001 was designed in order to stimulate youth participation to the economic and social life as well as to come up with a set of measures aiming to reduce marginalization and social exclusion. The Plan starts with a socio-economic analysis of the situation and concludes that the main risk factors when it comes to the youth group are the following: the regional disparities, the quality of life, poverty, youth unemployment, lack of access to education, delinquency and corruption. The main groups affected by these factors are: rural youth, unemployed youth, young girls, early school drop outs. It is highlighted the need to stimulate youth participation to the economic, civil, political and cultural life and, in order to follow up the implementation process, the creation of a monitoring and coordination unit for the Plan – through the Inter-Ministries Committee on Youth Matters and a Management Unit to follow up the Plan as well as an info unit is put in place. More than this it is also mentioned a financial allocation of 900 000 Euro to implement the action plan.
The main actions following up the Plan were the following:
- For 2001:
- Facilitating the the participation of young people in economic life
- Establishing and developing of a network of youth centres
- Preventing and combating the risk of marginalization and social exclusion of young people
- Capitalizing and stimulating the creative potential of young people in the technical-scientific field
- Stimulating the civic participation and youth associativity
- Reorganising the National Youth Council
- Designing a programme to encourage youth participation to the cultural life
- Creating a programme to encourage nonformal education
- Developing a territorial network of information and counselling centres
- Creating a social research program in the youth field
- Supporting youth initiatives
- Creating a youth information programme
- Boosting up the international cooperation in the youth field.
- For 2002:
- Developing the youth centres’ network
- stimulating and capitalizing on the creative potential of young people in the technical-scientific field
- Designing a program to support the actions of the County Departments for Youth and
- Developing the social research program in the youth field
- Providing information, consultancy and documentation program for youth
- Supporting the initiatives of the associative youth structures
- Developing the international relations in the youth field.
None of the programmes and measures had clear results in implementation and few of the measures were put in place. In 2005-2008 the Plan was reorganised, according to the cited study, and a new set of specific objectives and measures were set:
- Increased youth participation to the social, economic, political and cultural life and developing the learning mobility opportunities
- Reducing the risk factors that determine the exclusion of youth people
- Developing the institutional framework through investing in youth policy development and updating the existing legislative framework.
- Compared to the 2001’s Plan, the new Youth Action Plan was not stating any financial allocation for the proposed actions and the implementation mechanisms as well as the monitoring and evaluation processes were not mentioned.
In 2020 the Ministry of Youth and Sports started preparing the youth strategy 2021-2027. In December 2020 a needs assessment has been provided by the Life Quality Institute to support the elaboration of the strategy in 2021.