Youth policy in Serbia
The institutional framework of national youth policy in the Republic of Serbia is composed of:
- The Government,
- The Ministry of Youth and Sport,
- Line ministries and other government institutions,
- Youth Council with Local Youth Councils,
- Fund for Young Talents “Dositeja”,
- Local Youth Offices and
- Civil society organisations (National Youth Council of Serbia - KOMS, National Association of Youth Work Practitioners- NAPOR, National Associations of Local Youth Offices).
The overall responsibility for coordination, development and improvement of youth policy falls under the Ministry of Youth and Sport established in 2007.
The foundations of national youth policy in Serbia are defined by three core documents: the National Youth Strategy, the National Action Plan, and the Law on Youth.
The National Youth Strategy (Nacionalna strategija za mlade) was adopted for the period 2015-2025. It represents a comprehensive document outlining the priority objectives aiming to contribute to an active and equal participation of young people in various areas of social life. It lays down the basic principles of action, directions and expected results of all youth policy actors’ activities and defines 9 strategic goals.
The Law on Youth (Zakon o mladima), was adopted in 2011 and in line with the recommendations from the National Youth Strategy and its Action Plan. It is the binding official document that addresses youth/young people, Youth Policy actors, youth activity, youth work aiming to support young people in organisations, social activism, development and fulfilment of their potential for their own and for the benefit of the society.
Even though there are several definitions of “young people” within intersectoral legislation, the Law on Youth define young people as persons from 15 to and including 30 years of age. According to the last consensus in 2011 Young people between ages of 15 and 29 make up about 18 percent of the total population in Serbia.
The most important national initiative that promotes youth activism and volunteerism is the programme Youth Rules (Mladi su zakon). This programme financially supports youth projects, but also promotes them and disseminates relevant information through its network of local authorities, local youth offices, youth organisations, organisations for youth, etc.
Serbia has a long tradition of volunteerism and the Law on Volunteering (Zakon o volontiranju) was adopted in 2010. The law among others specifies the principles of volunteering, volunteering contracts, the rights and obligations of volunteers and organisers of volunteering.
In recent years, youth employment and entrepreneurship have become a topic of public interest. As youth unemployment rate remains high, different top-level measures are active and annually revised to overcome youth unemployment and alleviate brain drain.
Ratio of young people in the total population on 1 January by age groups 15-29, 15-19, 20-24, 25-29Eurostat data code: [yth_demo_020], 2020