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The Public Interest in the Youth Sector Act identifies that the responsibility for governing the youth sector lies with the State, self-governing local communities and the self-governing national communities, where relevant (see Article 6).
The Government of the Republic of Slovenia proposes a National Programme for Youth for adoption by the National Assembly. This is the main document that forms youth policy agenda and specific policy measures in the field of youth work. Main national public authority is the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport and it’s autonomous body The Office of theRepublic of Slovenia for Youth (Urad Republike Slovenije za mladino).
National public authorities/actors are:
- The Office for Youth is an administrative body responsible for youth (see Article 6 and 7 of the Public Interest in the Youth Sector Act). Operating since 1991, it champions the interests of the youth and the youth sector. The Office for Youth is a state authority in the field of youth work, shaping youth policies in a relatively independent manner, including by providing financial support for youth programmes and promoting research on youth. It mainly focuses on promoting youth work, coordinating measures within youth policy and ensuring adequate social dialogue with young people. The Office has been co-funding youth work programmes since its beginnings.
- The Council of the Government of the Republic of Slovenia for Youth (Svet VladeRepublike Slovenije za mladino) was established in 2009 by the Slovenian government to serve as a consultative body. Article 8 of the Public Interest in Youth Sector Act states, that the Council for Youth “shall offer assistance in making decisions on matters in the field of youth and the youth sector”. It also considers proposed laws and other regulations and measures of the Government relating to the area of youth work. The Office for Youth coordinates works for Council (for more information on the Council, see Youth Wiki section 5.3 Youth representation bodies).
Other actors involved:
- Institute for the development of youth mobility (Zavod MOVIT), performs tasks of the national agency for the European Union programme Erasmus+: Youth in Action. MOVIT manages indirectly centralized EU budget funds and provides support for various forms of learning mobility in youth work and enhances solidarity at local, national and European level, while carrying out activities for the general development of youth work and non- formal learning. An important part of MOVIT's activity is also the publicity, through which some of the basic works for the development of youth work, especially learning mobility in youth work, were created.
- The National Youth Council of Slovenia (Mladinski svet Slovenije) is an umbrella organisation of national youth organisations operating at the national level. The mission of the Youth Council of Slovenia and local community youth councils is to represent the interests of member youth organisations. Their main activities are creating youth policies, conducting dialogue throughout the non-governmental youth field, encouraging the development of youth work and non-formal education, and other youth activities that support the development of youth initiatives and youth organisations. The National Youth Council of Slovenia has 11 full member organisations and two associated memberorganisations (September 2021).
- Youth Network MaMa (Mladinska mreža MaMa) combines and represents organisations that run youth centres or are active in youth work in Slovenia in order to support the youth, their spending of quality free time and a better life in society. MaMa also provides non- formal education for youth and youth workers. Currently it has 50 members with the status of a youth centre. At local level, youth centres are important agents in promoting youth work.
- Youth organisations and organisations for youth: the entities of public interest in the youth sector are youth organisations and organisations for youth. In order to obtain the status of an organisation in the public interest in the youth sector, organisations in the youth sector must meet the following conditions, one of which is to meet important achievements in the development and integration of youth work (see the Public Interest in Youth Sector Act, Article 9 and Article 11).
- Institute Nefiks (Zavod Nefiks) promotes non-formal learning and the recognition of skills gained through non-formal learning activities.
- The Institute of the Republic of Slovenia for Vocational Education and Training (Center RS za poklicno izobraževanje) is the central Slovenian institution dealing with development, research and counselling regarding vocational and technical education. The qualification standard for a youth worker (national vocational qualification) was adopted by the Expert Council of the Republic of Slovenia for Vocational Education and Training (for more information see Youth Wiki section 10.5 Youth workers).
Distribution of responsibilities
There is no regional public authority in Slovenia. The bodies of self- governing local communities are responsible for implementing the public interest in the youth sector at a local level (see Article 6 of the Public Interest in the Youth Sector Act). The Constitution of the Republic of Slovenia defines municipalities as local self-governed communities.
Youth councils of local communities are holders of youth work and youth policy, and furthermore are the entities of public interest in the youth sector at the local level. Youth centres are seen as the main drivers of youth work at the local level. Level of support for youth work varies from municipality to municipality: in some local communities, there is a very high level of recognition and support for youth work (see also report on youth work in Slovenia). Since most local communities do not have a youth office, the cooperation with local authorities and youth centres is very important. Main actors on the local level are:
- The Youth Council of Local Communities (Mladinski sveti lokalnih skupnosti) is the umbrella association of youth organisations at the local level, which represents the interests of young people and youth organisations relation to municipal authorities and all other institutions. The Youth Council of Local Communities also organizes trainings and other community events for young people or youth organisations.
- Youth departments within the city administrations, for example the municipality of Ljubljana (Urad za mladino) and the municipality of Maribor (Urad za kulturo in mladino) have their own offices for youth. The departments usually coordinate leisure activities in the field of youth work, promote activities and opportunities offered by public institutes operating in the youth sector. However, most local communities do not have specific youth office nor person for youth issues.
A range of public authorities hold overall responsibility for youth policy and governance. The Council of the Government of the Republic of Slovenia for Youth is governmentally designated consultative body, where ministries cooperate on a wide range of issues, depending on the subject matter. In this way, cross-sectoral and inter-ministerial cooperation is the responsibility of and coordinated by the Council of the Government for Youth. The Council has a president and 19 members, appointed by the principle of bipartite composition (balance between the government and the youth sector). The representatives of the Government are: Minister of Education, Science and Sport as the President, and one representative from the following ministries: the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food, the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of
Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, the Ministry of Public Administration, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of the Environment and Spatial Planning, the Office of the Prime Minister, the Government Office for Development and European Cohesion Policy, and the Office of the Republic of Slovenia for Youth.
Cross-sectoral cooperation is essential to address the challenges young people face. The co- operation of major actors across sectors is usually project-based, as systemic cooperation would require continuous funding. The Ministry of Education, Science and Sport (and its body The Office for Youth) is not covering all youth issues. It cooperates with other ministries on the topics of:
- youth work that increases the employability of young people; social youth work: with the Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities;
- youth work and culture in the youth centres: with the Ministry of Culture; youth work and volunteering: with the Ministry of Public Administration;
- youth work and youth cooperatives with the status of social enterprises: with the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology;
- youth work and young farmers: with the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food.