1.4 Youth policy decision-making
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Core legislative documents defining goals, principles, values, system of implementation, monitoring and evaluation have been adopted at national level. These documents are binding for relevant bodies active at all levels, including regional and local level, still the measures chosen in order to reach the objectives may vary.
Documents regulating youth policy at the national level:
Youth Strategy 2014 - 2020 introduced Interministerial working group for the state policy in the field of youth (thereinafter referred to as IMGY). See section 1.5 Cross-sectorial approach with other ministries.
Regional Authority Offices (Úrady samosprávnych krajov) in seven Slovak regions take decisions on regional youth policy. As provided in the Act on Youth Work Support, it is their obligation to elaborate regional concepts of youth work support (e.g. Hlohovec, 2021, Žiar nad Hronom, 2021, Zvolen, 2020). Although it’s thematic fields are identical to the national strategy, planned measures differ from region to region.
Special survey conducted by MESRS in 2015 on the youth policy implementation at regional and local level showed that 91% of local authorities did not establish any separate department for youth or youth policy. Youth policy issues are mostly integrated into agenda of their employees responsible for education or social affairs.
Parliamentary Committee in charge of youth issues
Committee on Education, Science, Youth and Sports
Chairman: Mr. Richard Vašečka
Committee on Education, Science, Youth and Sports is obliged to discuss issues related to state policy in the field of education, training, state policy in relation to child and youth care and sport and state science and technology policy.
It also participates in supervision of the EU funds use in the field of education
As far as the thematic priorities are concerned, the Youth Strategy 2014 – 2020 followed the structure and the themes of the EU Youth Strategy: education, employability, social inclusion, creativity and entrepreneurship, participation, youth and the world, participation, health and healthy life-style, volunteering and youth work. Previous document on the national youth policy (Key Areas and Action Plans of the State Policy,2008) included 16 different areas, which were difficult to follow and evaluate.
One-year-long preparation process preceded elaboration of current Youth Strategy 2014 - 2020. It included issuing of Youth Report 2014, which collected all accessible information sources from research and contemporary studies, as well as consulting with young people and youth workers living in all seven regions of Slovakia. Specific thematic groups were established, involving experts (including young experts) and representatives of the relevant youth NGOs. The consultation’s results were considered in the final content of Slovak Youth Report 2014 and presented to the public on National Conference on Youth 2014, both organised by MESRS and in cooperation with IUVENTA – Slovak Youth Institute.
Youth Strategy 2014 - 2020 has been adopted with a vision to support all young people, no specific groups have been highlighted. Social Inclusion section underlines the basic principle of Youth Policy to reflect the needs of young people in vulnerable life situation and to develop and implement specific measures, tools and approaches for these specific groups.
IUVENTA – Slovak Youth Institute is an independent governmental organisation managed and financed by MESRS. It belongs to the oldest institutions responsible for youth policy implementation since the fifties of the 20th century. During the last decade of the 20th century IUVENTA has completely changed its original agenda which was mainly methodical support provided to one mass children and youth organisation – Socialist Union of Youth.
- manages administration of national grant programmes for youth and Erasmus+ (Youth Chapter);
- coordinates research activities connected to youth policy preparation;
- prepares Youth Reports (2010, 2014, 2018);
- provides services to the Youth Department of MESRS (e.g. coordinates working groups during preparation of various documents, such as Youth Strategy 2014 - 2020, Act on Youth Work Support, Conception of Youth Work Development, etc.);
- supervises youth consultations;
- is a seat of EURODESK;
- nominates experts to various expert groups of European Commission and Council of Europe (e.g. European Knowledge Centre on Youth Policy);
- coordinates national and international rounds of traditional school subjects’ competitions.
Cooperation of IUVENTA and MESRS is regulated by contract:
- on activities in the field of national youth policy implementation (including activities of the National agency Erasmus+ for youth and EURODESK and other tasks decided by MESRS, e.g. expert groups, preparation of new legislation, consultations with young people, publications and methodical guides, etc.) and
- on activities connected to school subjects’ competitions for pupils attending primary schools and students of secondary schools.
Yearly financial allocation for IUVENTA, resulting from the above contract is approx. 1.5 million EUR; the amount of finances is slightly increasing every year.
Policy monitoring and evaluation
The Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic (MESRS) is responsible for co-ordination of the youth policy preparation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation.
MESRS monitors and evaluates mainly programmes in its area of responsibilities;
key documents of current Slovak youth policy such as Strategy for Youth 2014 -2020 and Programmes for Youth were based on evaluation of previous ones: Key Areas and Action Plans of the State Policy in Relation to Children and Youth in the Slovak Republic for 2008 – 2014 and financial programmes ADAM (Activities of Children and Youth, 2008 -2014).
IUVENTA – Slovak Youth Institute commissioned external independent evaluation consisting of analyses of final reports, consultations with youth workers, different experts and youth people themselves.
mid-evaluation of financial programmes 2008-2014 and discussion about new generation of funding programmes took place at public consultation in 2012.
The results of evaluation of former youth policy document (2008 -2014) were presented in the form of Youth Report 2014 during National conference.
Monitoring of Youth Strategy implementation is made under coordination of IMGY and presented on the web site of the Ministry (2015, 2016, 2017). Evaluation of Youth Strategy 2014 - 2020 in the second third of its validity was delivered in the Youth Report 2018 and presented in the National Confference in June 2018.