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EACEA National Policies Platform: Youthwiki


1. Youth Policy Governance

1.4 Youth policy decision-making

Structure of Decision-making

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: Institutional framework of national youth policy

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 to. 

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

Youth Sector within the Ministry of Youth and Sport has a that 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 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 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 offices

Youth office is a unit of the city/municipal government responsible for 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 important role in youth policy development in Serbia.

National Youth Council of Serbia - KOMS 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 potential of youth and youth workers, who contribute to welfare of 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.

Main Themes

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. Following documents served as a basis for the preparation of the Strategy: 

As a result of the overall preparatory activities, following priority areas have been identified in the National Youth Strategy 2015-2025: 

  1. Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship, 
  2. Education, Pedagogical Work with and Training of Youth, 
  3. Youth Activism and Active Participation, 
  4. Health and Well-Being of Young People, 
  5. Youth Safety, 
  6. Social Inclusion of Youth, 
  7. Youth Mobility, 
  8. Informing Youth, 
  9. Youth Culture and Creativity.

The youth policy in general targets the young population aged between 15 and 30 but it also includes vulnerable social groups of young people as well, especially young people from NEET group and young migrants. Furthermore, the priority area Youth Mobility one strategic goal is directly aiming to support young migrants. First planned step was to support projects aimed at collecting data about irregular youth migration. Next, 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 Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship with its strategic goal 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 ensuring 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 NEET group. 

The National Agency for Youth

National agency for youth does not exist in the Republic of Serbia, although the Law on Youth provides such an opportunity.

Policy Monitoring and Evaluation

The Ministry of Youth and Sport is in charge of monitoring and evaluation of 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. 

Evaluation of the previous Strategy for period 2009-2015 and evaluation of the Strategy 2015-2025 for the period 2015-2018 have been conducted. 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 conducts numerous analysis on youth related subjects and published 20 research papers in period 2009-2017 regarding youth policy, youth employment, health, activism, needs, problems, youth mobility, mental health, public opinion, etc.