5.3 Youth representation bodies
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Youth parliament in the Republic of Serbia does not exist.
The existence of the Youth Council is established by the Law on Youth (Zakon o mladima). According to the Law on Youth, the Government forms a Youth Council as an advisory body initiating and harmonising activities related to the development and implementation of Youth Policy and proposing measures for its improvement.
In 2014 the Government issued a decision on the establishment of Youth Council (Savet za mlade), which was a significant step forward in the monitoring and further development of the National Youth Policy.
The Youth Council is a public body whose members are the representatives of:
- state administration,
- the province of Vojvodina administrative body,
- youth organizations and associations,
- youth offices,
- national minority councils,
Youth Council consists of 40 members as follows:
- nineteen representatives of state bodies,
- a representative of the province of Vojvodina administrative body,
- a representative of national minority councils,
- two representatives of youth offices,
- two experts and
- fifteen youth representatives.
Additionally, representatives of different public institutions and youth and for youth organisations (such as state secretaries, special adviser of the minister, additional representatives of the Ministry of Youth and Sports, National Youth Council of Serbia- KOMS, etc.) can attend Youth Council meetings.
Ministry of Youth and Sports announces public call for nomination/application of members for the Youth Council (Javni poziv za predlaganje/prijavljivanje kandidata za članstvo u Savetu za mlade). The Ministry establishes the Commission that deals with the evaluation and selection of members. Public institutions active in the field of youth separately nominate representatives for the membership in the Youth Council.
Youth Council meetings are held at least twice a year.
Role and responsibilities
The role of the Youth Council is defined by the Law on Youth (Zakon o mladima), as an advisory body that is initiating and harmonizing activities related to the development and implementation of Youth Policy and proposing measures for its improvement.
The Youth Council responsibilities are to:
- propose measures for Youth Policy improvement,
- propose measures for harmonizing and coordinating the activities of different ministries and other bodies active in the youth sector in accordance with strategic and legal acts in this field,
- as the advisory body of the Government, ensure that the voice of young people is being heard and respected, enabling young people to participate in the design, implementation and monitoring of the public policies.
The Youth Council is an advisory public body financed from the state budget.
Student Conference of Serbian Universities (SKONUS) is the highest representative body of students at Serbian universities, established by the Law on Higher Education and regulated by the Law on Student Organizing. It was established for reaching mutual interests of students as partners in higher education process in Serbia, coordinating work and establishing a common policy of the Student Parliaments of Serbian Universities, and running operations stipulated by the law. SKONUS’s members are student representatives from all the Student Parliaments of the accredited universities in Serbia.
SKONUS acts through several branches. Those organs are the following:
- Parliamentary Committee
- Presidential Council
- Alumni Club
The Assembly consists of student representatives delegated by the Student Parliaments of the Serbian University. The Assembly have the President, the Vice-Presidents and the Secretary of the Assembly. The President, Vice-President and the Secretary of the Assembly are elected from the ranks of the Assembly.
The President is elected by the Assembly for a period of two years.
Presidency is the highest decision-making body between the two sessions of the Assembly. The quorum for the work of the Presidency is the presence of 7 (seven) members of the Presidency. The Presidency adopts regulations, decisions and resolutions.
The Parliamentary committee has a president, deputy president and board members. Board members are verified by the Presidency. Rulebook on the work of the board is made by the Presidency. Each board has its own Rules of Procedure developed by the Presidency. SKONUS has 11 boards:
- Reform and Development of Higher Education Board
- International Co-operation Board
- Cooperation with the Economy Board
- Student Standard Board
- Science Board
- Environment Protection Board
- Sports and Public Health Promotion Board
- International Projects Accession Board
- Volunteering and Humanitarian Affairs Board
- Culture Board
- Students Professional Development Board
The Presidential Council coordinates the work of student universities in Serbia. The Presidency Council gives opinions and recommendations regarding issues under SKONUS’ jurisdiction. The Presidential Council meets at least once during the semester. Members of the Council are the President, the Deputy President, the Presidents or the Vice-Rectors of the Member Universities. The Council has its Rules of Procedure.
The work of the Secretariat is managed and coordinated by the Secretary General. Coordinators and Sector Members are appointed by the Presidency. The Secretary General is elected by the procedure and in the manner determined by the Statute. The Secretariat has 7 sectors:
- Finance Sector
- Public Relations Sector
- Sector for Projects
- Information Technology Sector
- Sector for Legal Affairs
- Training and Education Sector
- Sector for Logistics
The Alumni Club is an honorary Advisory Body of SKONUS. The alumni club consists of all members of the SKONUS Presidency since its inception. The sessions of the Alumni Club are held at least once a year. The sessions are called by the Alumni Club and are chaired by the President. The sessions of the Alumni Club may be attended by members of the Presidency and other interested parties. The Alumni Club connects the prominent members of SKONUS with the aim of establishing their continuous co-operation. The alumni provide advice and opinions to SKONUS members. The Alumni Club issues its own Rules of Procedure.
Role and responsibilities
The objectives of the Conference are:
- Consider issues of mutual interest for the promotion of higher education in the Republic of Serbia
- Harmonizes attitudes and coordinates the activities of student university parliaments, particularly in the area of enrollment policy, as well as in the field of studies quality improvement
- Cooperation with the Conference of Serbian Universities
- Providing an opinion to the Ministry of Education, science and technological development, the National Council for Higher Education and the Conference of Serbian University on providing, controlling and promoting educational-scientific activities at universities.
- Proposing measures to improve student standard
- Considering the issues and reports provided by the Ministry, the National Council for Higher Education
- Selecting and dissolving student representatives at the National Council for Higher Education
- Representing the students’ interests of at the international level
- Delivering student representatives to all bodies at the national level
- Considering other issues of common interest to students
The funds for the work of student conferences are provided in the budget of the Republic of Serbia.
School student union as a part of national system structure does not exist.
However, the Union of Secondary School Students of Serbia (UNSS) exists as a non-governmental organisation founded in 2003.
The Union is independent in its work.
The Union is represented at the Ministry of youth and sport and Ministry of education and science, UNICEF, National Democratic Institute, Umbrella Youth Organisation of Serbia etc.
The main organs running the Union are:
- Steering Committee;
- Alumni Council;
- Supervising Committee.
There are two types of membership in the Union. Members can be School Student Councils from upper secondary schools and team membership for school students.
In the Union, there are approximately 110,000 school students and 196 student councils from 76 cities/municipalities.
For the membership in the Union, applicants fill in the form which is later evaluated by the Steering Committee.
Steering Committee Mandate lasts for 2 years, while mandate of the rest of the Union’s bodies last for 1 year.
Assembly is in session once a year, while Supervising Committee meets at least 3 times per year. Meeting of the Steering Committee and Alumni Council are not regulated.
There are no public measures or guidelines facilitating greater inclusiveness and diversity.
Role and responsibilities
The Union of Secondary School Students of Serbia is founded with the aim to represent and advocate secondary school students on national and European level.
UNSS is one of the eight European organisations to run a Social Day – a day when school students are volunteering in order to earn money for improving their school environment and cultural life.
Main aims of the Union are:
- Democratisation of school student councils;
- Making an institutional frame for student participation in the process of decision making in schools;
- Empowering and strengthening the capacities of student councils;
- Informal education of school students;
- Encouragement of activism among students;
- Giving a chance to school students to implement their own projects;
- Promotion of creative values and cultural life;
- Affirmation of young artists;
- Making an open, inclusive and safe school community.
The main domains of the Union’s activity are inclusion, voluntarism, activism and participation.
The Union does not have a direct role in policy-making, however, the Union is a member of the Organising Bureau of European School Student Unions which participates in the European youth and education policy-making with regards to high-school students.
The funds are obtained from:
- Voluntary contributions from members;
- Voluntary contributions of other natural and legal persons;
- Donations or sponsorships;
- Other sources in accordance with the law.
The Ministry of Youth and Sport supported the establishment of the National Youth Council of Serbia (Krovna organizacija mladih Srbije, KOMS), as well as the work and development of the National Association of Youth Work Practitioners (Nacionalna asocijacija praktičara/ki omladinskog rada, NAPOR) and the National Association of Local Youth Offices (Nacionalna asocijacija Kancelarija za mlade).
KOMS is the biggest representative youth body in Serbia gathering over 100 youth and for youth organisations. KOMS member can be youth or for youth organisations or association of organisations that is registered in Serbia, but only if it is not already a member of any of the organisations that are members of KOMS.
The main responsibilities of KOMS are divided among:
- the Assembly;
- the Steering Committee;
- the Supervisor Committee;
- the Secretary General.
Roles of KOMS are:
- formulating policies, values and professional opinions in the field of youth work and in relation to youth work;
- participating in public hearings regarding Youth Policy,
- participating in Youth Council and monitoring implementation of the National Youth Strategy 2015-2025,
- organizing events, seminars, counseling in the field of Youth Policy and other policies important for youth,
- cooperating with public institutions, different national and international organisations,
- capacity building of its members,
- collecting and processing youth policy documentation and publications.
KOMS receives funds from membership fees, donations, gifts, financial subsidies and other.
NAPOR is the National Association of Youth Work Practitioners gathering 47 youth organisations and organisations for youth. It 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 the welfare of the community and society. Any organization active in the field of youth work registered in Serbia can be amember of NAPOR.
The main responsibilities of NAPOR are divided among:
- the Assembly;
- the Steering Committee;
- the Executive Director;
- the Supervisor Committee;
- the Council for Ethical Questions.
The roles of NAPOR are to:
- formulate policies, values and professional opinions in the field of youth work and in relation to youth work;
- collect and process scientific and professional literature in the field of youth work and related areas;
- organize, alone or together with other organizations, professional meetings, counseling, seminars and other forms of education in the field of youth work;
- publish books and other publications on issues related to youth work;
- conduct research on topics and issues of relevance for the development of youth work;
- create educational programs that respond to the needs of youth, youth workers and communities;
- cooperate with universities and faculties, institutions, professional associations and their associations, or other relevant organizations (and individuals) in country and abroad;
- promote equality of opportunity, access to education and encourage continuous learning and improvement;
- advocates respect for human and minority rights and to actively involve young people in every sphere of public life;
- ensure the inclusion of vulnerable groups and promote equality among youth and youth workers.
NAPOR receives funds from membership fees, donations, gifts, financial subsidies and other. Additionally, NAPOR generates income through consulting activities.