10.8 Current debates and reforms
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Subject to public debate will soon become the new National Programme for Youth, as the current ends in 2022. The Office of the Republic of Slovenia, with the consultation of the youth and youth sector, prepares the Programme. In 2022 twelve regional consultations were implemented, and there were special meetings with the representatives of the youth sector and all ministries of the Republic of Slovenia. Renewed EU Youth Strategy will (according to the interviewees) most likely influence the content of the new Programme. The new Programme, expected to start in 2023, will set future guidelines for the measures in the field of youth work.
The National conference of the youth sector (Nacionalni posvet mladinskega sektorja 2019) in 2019, organized by the Office for Youth in cooperation with the Youth Council of Slovenia, focused on the quality of youth work. It addressed quality issues in youth work, and raised questions related to monitoring and quality assurance in youth work. The 2020 National conference (Nacionalni posvet mladinskega sektorja 2020) took place online, thematically around the topics of space and participation for all. The 2021 National conference (Nacionalni posvet mladinskega sektorja 2021), which will take place in December 2021, will aim to take stock of the current state of the youth sector and develop strategic orientations. The conclusions of the discussions at the last consultation are likely to influence the new National Programme for Youth, which is expected to be ready by 2023 (the current programme expires in 2022).
Youth 2020 (Mladina 2020), the in-depth research on the situation of young people in Slovenia, was conducted by the Faculty of Arts (University of Maribor) together with the Faculty of Social Sciences (University of Ljubljana). A monograph with the findings was published in 2021. The research (funded by the Office for Youth) was largely designed as a follow-up to Youth 2010 and Youth 2000 researches, which enables an insight into long-term trends in the field of youth. The research provides a fundamental starting point for the new National Programme for Youth. In the preparation phase of the research youth organisations were invited to submit substantive proposals.
Debates about digital youth work as well as testing good practices in this field are especially relevant since the emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic. Youth Network MaMa is collecting examples of good practices of digital youth work (Prakse mladinskih centrov v času epidemije COVID-19 and Prakse mladinskih centrov v času 2. vala epidemije COVID-19). Rapid development of digitisation, which has recently also taken place in youth work, is expected to have an impact also on the new calls for proposals for the co-funding of youth work programmes.
In December 2021, the strategic partnership 'Supporting Evidence-based Education of Youth Workers (SEEYW)' of the Erasmus+ partners IDIZ (Zagreb), University of Ljubljana and University of Rijeka, which aims at strengthening the capacity of youth workers, will come to an end with a conference on the future and quality of youth work. The project also concludes the pilot study programme 'Youth in Contemporary Society'. In addition to discussing the recent developments in youth work, the conference will also address the need for the establishment of a youth work study programme.
Currently, ‘local youth work’ is recognized as an important topic in the youth sector. In September 2021, Consultation of representatives of municipalities and youth centres "Together for local youth work" (Posvet predstavnikov občin in mladinskih centrov “Skupaj za lokalno mladinsko delo”) took place in the Youth center Koper (Center mladih Koper). The aim of the Consultation was to deepen relations between municipalities and youth centres, and exchange experiences in supporting youth work in local communities.