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The Youth Law recognises two types of youth organisations:
- organisations of young people (youth-led organisations), having the majority of their members and most of the members of their boards between 14 and 35 years old;
- youth serving organisations, having the mission and the majority of their objectives, according to statutory documents, dedicated to young people and youth work.
According to the Youth Law, youth organisations are the most important representatives of young people in consultation processes.
In order to become a youth organisation, an NGO has to be founded according to the NGO specific regulation: the Government Ordinance no. 26/2000.
Youth organisations are eligible for public funding for youth projects if the public authority providing the funds has allocated a budget for youth projects. There is no obligation for public authorities at central or local level to provide funding for youth organisations.
The Ministry of Youth and Sports and its county offices awarded grants for youth projects implemented by youth and students’ organisations. The allocation varied over the years. The amount allocated for 2016 has been about 150 000 Euro, according to the budget published by the Ministry. The budget increased to about 370 000 Euro in 2021.
The source of these funding are two budgetary programmes, having as the only source the state budget, and dedicated to the youth and respectively students’ projects. A very large variety of activities are supported by these grants, according to each youth NGO project design, including seminars, workshops, trainings, consultation, information campaigns, resources centres etc.
Other public funds can be awarded to youth organisations in competition with other NGOs for cultural projects funded by the Ministry of Culture, its subordinated institutions or local authorities.
Local authorities have the obligation to create a youth fund in the local budges, but there are no provisions on the value of the fund and no obligation to provide financial support for youth organisations using these funds.
In this context, the European funds are the most important source of funding for the main youth organisations in Romania, including the members of the National Council for Youth.
There is no information on national or large-scale initiatives aiming to increase the diversity of young people participating in youth organisations. The notable initiatives are the ones of the National Agency, initiatives aligned with the priorities of the European Youth Weeks.