1. Youth Policy Governance
1.4 Youth policy decision-making
Last update: 30 March 2022
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The institutional framework of national youth policy in Serbia is composed of the Government, the Ministry of Youth and Sport, line ministries and other government insitutions, Youth Council with Local Youth Councils, Fund for Young Talents “Dositeja”, Local Youth Offices and civil society organisations (KOMS, NAPOR, National Associations of Local Youth Offices) as presented in the Figure 1 below.
Figure 1.4.1.: Institutional framework of national youth policy. Source: the Report of the Council of Europe on Youth Policy in Serbia,2016.
The Government of the Republic of Serbia proposes a national youth strategy for adoption by the National Assembly. This is the main document that forms Youth Agenda (see Glossary). It outlines the priority objectives to which implementation should contribute.
The Ministry of Youth and Sport is responsible for the coordination of youth policy, but the youth policy is implemented by all youth policy actors.
Besides the Ministry of Youth and Sport, other public authorities active in youth consultation processes are:
- Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development;
- Ministry of Health;
- Ministry of Labour, Employment, Social and Veteran Affairs;
- Ministry of Finances;
- Ministry of Culture and Information;
- Ministry of Interior;
- Provincial Secretariat for Youth and Sports.
Institutional actors involved in the youth policy making
National institutional actors
The Youth Sector within the Ministry of Youth and Sport performs the tasks related to:
- The system, development and improvement of youth policy;
- The implementation of national policies and the preparation and implementation of a national youth strategy, action plans and programs;
- The work of the Fund for Young Talents;
- Encouraging young people to organize themselves and to join and participate in social activities;
- Protecting the interests of young people and helping young people to realize these interests;
- Encouraging non-formal education of young people;
- Cooperation with youth organizations and associations in organizing international youth events and gatherings in the Republic of Serbia;
- Monitoring and evaluation of the place and role of young people in the Republic of Serbia;
- Creating conditions for the establishment and operation of youth offices;
- Encouraging the development of youth policy and the work of youth offices at the local level;
- Monitoring the implementation of youth policy at all levels of government.
The Youth Council (see Glossary) was established in January 2014 as the advisory body of the Government. The main task of the Council is to coordinate intersectoral coordination at the national level. It is responsible to stimulate and harmonize activities related to the development and implementation of youth policy. It proposes measures for its improvement and coordinating the activities of the line ministries and other bodies in charge of specific areas in the youth sector and all other youth policy actors.
Institutional actors at the level of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina of the Republic of Serbia
Provincial Secretariat for Sports and Youth of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina (APV) performs the following activities:
- Implementation and monitoring of the implementation of the Youth Policy Action Plan in APV;
- Implementation and monitoring of the Action Plan for the fight against drugs in APV;
- Implementation of the projects in the field of youth policy;
- Financing and co-financing projects for youth organisations and youth;
- Support to the establishment and operation of local youth offices;
- Support the development and implementation of Local Action Plans for Youth;
- Cooperation with local self-governments from the territory of AP Vojvodina and local youth organizations and youth;
- Support to the work of the Vojvodina Youth Center (See Glossary)
- Active cooperation with the Ministry of Youth and Sport and the Provincial Secretariats in the field of youth policy;
- Research, monitoring and evaluation of programs.
Provincial Youth Council was established in 2012 on the initiative of the Provincial Secretariat for Sports and Youth. Its main goal is to stimulate and coordinate activities related to the development and implementation of youth policy and to propose measures for their improvement at the level of APV. Provincial Youth Council is established and coordinated by the Provincial Secretariat for Sports and Youth.
Local institutional actors
Youth office is a unit of the city/municipal government responsible for the coordination of local youth policies in all areas relevant to young people, and in accordance with the specific needs of their local communities. It is a part of the local self-government and carries out tasks related to:
- planning, implementation and monitoring of the youth policy at the local level,
- initiating and monitoring the implementation of the Local Action Plan for Youth (see Glossary),
- establishing cooperation with all relevant partners,
- networking, communication and mutual coordination, as well as informing youth.
Local Youth Councils
In accordance with the Law on Youth, the Local Youth Council is an advisory body of the Municipal Assembly/City Assembly that encourages, coordinates and monitors activities related to the development and implementation of youth policy at the local level and proposes measures for its improvement.
The Local Youth Council has two important roles:
- It is a body that allows young people to participate actively in decision-making;
- It is a body for networking and cross-sectoral cooperation with various institutions involved in the field of youth (schools, Ministry of Interior, National Employment Service, Health Centers, etc.).
Civil Society Organisations
Civil society organisations have an important role in youth policy development in Serbia.
National Youth Council of Serbia - KOMS is the umbrella association of 104 youth organizations and it is the highest representative body of the young population.
National Association of Youth Work Practitioners - NAPOR is a vocational association of youth organisations whose mission is to create and develop conditions for quality assurance and recognition of youth work with the aim of developing the potential of youth and youth workers, who contribute to the welfare of the community and society.
National Association of Local Youth Offices mediates between local Youth Offices on one side and public authorities and civil society on the other.
According to the Law on Youth, the youth policy includes all measures and activities of government bodies, institutions, associations and other actors directed at the improvement and promotion of the position and status of young people. Youth sector include the areas in which youth activities are performed, specified in the general goals of the National Youth Strategy.
The central document that provides guidelines and national objectives is the National Youth Strategy together with the Law on Youth (see Youth Wiki/Serbia 1.3 National Youth Strategy and 1.2 Law on Youth). In preparation of the National Youth Strategy, and the priority areas of youth policy in Serbia, numerous studies and available research were used. The following documents served as a basis for the preparation of the Strategy:
- Report on the implementation of the National Youth Strategy and Action Plan 2008 – 2014,
- The Youth - Our Present,
- Youth and Public Policy in Serbia,
- A study on indicators of youth policy in the Republic of Serbia,
- Analysis of the situation of young people in the strategies of the Government of the Republic of Serbia and the recent sociological research,
- Indicators for monitoring the population of young people in Serbia,
- Research on Position and Needs of Youth in Serbia.
As a result of the overall preparatory activities, following priority areas have been identified in the National Youth Strategy 2015-2025:
- Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship,
- Education, Pedagogical Work with and Training of Youth,
- Youth Activism and Active Participation,
- Health and Well-Being of Young People,
- Youth Safety,
- Social Inclusion of Youth,
- Youth Mobility,
- Informing Youth,
- Youth Culture and Creativity.
The youth policy in general targets young population aged between 15 and 30 but it also includes vulnerable social groups of young people, especially young people from the NEET group and young migrants. Furthermore, the priority area of a Youth Mobility strategic goal is directly aiming to support young migrants. The first planned step was to support projects aimed at collecting data about irregular youth migration. Next, the identification of needs and priorities of young migrants is planned together with defining policies based on the obtained data. The main goal of these activities is to improve prevention and fight against irregular migration of young women and men ad support young migrants.
Furthermore, the priority area of Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship with its strategic goal of Improved employability and employment of young women and men aims to improve the position and work opportunities of young people in NEET. More precisely, the Strategy aims to ensure the improvement of existing and creation of new programmes that encourage the activity of young women as well as young people from vulnerable social groups and young people from the NEET group.
Тhe Law on Youth states that an agency for youth may be established for the purposes of implementing youth programmes, in accordance with the European Union youth programmes. A distinct national agency dedicated only to youth programmes has not been formed yet. However, the Foundation Tempus is the National Erasmus+ agency in RS responsible for the implementation of both the education and youth components of the Erasmus+ Programme.
The Ministry of Youth and Sport is in charge of monitoring and evaluating policy results defined by the National Strategy for Youth 2015-2025. The monitoring of the implementation of the National Youth Strategy and its Action Plans is planned to be conducted at regular intervals (monthly, quarterly and annually), depending on the type of activity, and on the deadlines set for their implementation. Likewise, the evaluation should be conducted regularly, once a year, using different sources of information, on the basis of the indicators set in the Strategy and its Action Plan.
The evaluation of the previous Strategy for the period 2009-2015 has been conducted as well as an evaluation of the Strategy 2015-2025 for the period 2015-2017, followed by the evaluation for the period 2015-2020. The summary of results of these evaluations can be found in 1.3 National Strategy for Youth/Responsible authority for the implementation of the youth.
Furthermore, the Ministry of Youth and Sport publishes an analysis on youth-related subjects such as youth employment, health, activism, etc., among them Survey on position and needs of youth in the Republic of Serbia that has been conducted annually since 2010. The annual survey mentioned above aims to evaluate the current situation in the areas of strategic interest for young adults as defined in the National Youth Strategy and according to the Eurostat youth policy indicators.