1.4 Youth policy decision-making
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Structure of Decision-making
The National Agency for Youth
Policy monitoring and evaluation
Structure of Decision-making
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.
The coordination of youth policy is delegated to the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport (Office for Youth), but the implementation of various measures is a responsibility of competent ministries, namely:
- Ministry of Culture,
- Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities
- Ministry of Health,
- Ministry of Finance,
- Ministry of Economic Development and Technology,
- Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food,
- Ministry of the Environment and Spatial Planning,
- Ministry of Defence,
- Ministry of the Interior,
- Ministry of Public Administration,
- Ministry of Infrastructure,
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs and
- Ministry of Justice.
Within the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport and in line with the Act on Public Interest in the Youth Sector, the Office of the Republic of Slovenia for Youth as an independent body performs the following tasks:
- prepares the regulations and measures in the field of the youth sector;
- provides financial support for youth programmes and programmes for youth;
- provides for and execute supervision for the implementation of regulations and measures in the youth sector;
- monitors the situation of youth and the impact of measures in the youth sector;
- cooperates with the responsible bodies and other subjects in the youth sector;
- participates in representing the State in the bodies of the European Union and the Council of Europe and at an international level in the matter relating to youth, and
- performs other tasks in accordance with the law.
The National Assembly adopts national youth policies and controls the implementing institutions. The National Assembly adopted the Public Interest in the Youth Sector Act and, based on this Act, also the Resolution on the National Programme for Youth 2013-2022 (national youth strategy). It monitors the implementation of the resolution by revising evaluation reports.
The National Assembly has also established a committee that is among others also in charge of youth issues. The committee discusses legislation proposals and issues related to pre-school, primary, secondary and higher education, adult education, science and research, information society, electronic communications, sport, youth and its role and position in society, promotion of active citizenship among young people and questions related to sustainable and stable financing of youth policy and other issues addressed by the relevant ministry in this area.
The Constitution defines municipalities as local self-governed communities which are in principle financed from their own resources (collected taxes, benefits, income from property), whereby economically weak municipalities are supported by government subventions. The compliance of municipality bodies is controlled by national bodies.
Act on the Public Interest in Youth Sector defines that local communities implement the youth policy at a local level in accordance with its own interests, needs, capabilities and circumstances, such as the number and structure of inhabitants, its economic power, and spatial and personnel capacities in the youth sector. Local communities may implement the youth policy at a local level by adopting a local programme for youth, establishing a working or consulting body for youth issues, financially supporting the programmes in the youth sector, and implementing other measures in the youth sector.
The role of local communities in developing youth polices varies and depends on the size of each local community. The municipality of Ljubljana, the capital, has a structure within the city administration (youth department) that provides public tenders (for youth programmes, projects, information network, international activities), youth research, networking NGO in youth sector, information network for young people, educational programmes and trainings for youth workers, empowerment of youth NGO structures. In 2015, the Council of Municipality of Ljubljana adopted a youth strategy for the period 2016-2025.
Smaller communities cooperate closely with youth centres that take over part of the tasks that local community should provide. Because most of the local communities do not have a youth office, the cooperation with local authorities and youth centres is of essential importance.
According to the Act on the Public Interest in Youth Sector, the youth policy is a harmonised set of measures of various sectoral public policies with the purpose of promoting and facilitating the integration of youth in the economic, cultural and political life of the community and appropriate support mechanisms for developing youth work and operation of youth organisations, which is carried out in cooperation with autonomous and democratic representatives of youth organisations and professional and other organisations.
Youth policy is implemented in the following fields:
- autonomy of the youth,
- informal learning and training and increasing the competences of the youth,
- access of the youth to the labour market and enterprise development of the youth,
- care for the young with fewer opportunities in society,
- volunteering, solidarity and intergenerational participation of the youth,
- mobility of the youth and international integration,
- promoting a healthy lifestyle and preventing various forms of youth dependencies,
- access of the youth to cultural goods and promoting creativity and innovation among the young,
- and participation of the youth in managing public affairs in society.
Resolution on the National Programme for Youth 2013–2022 has the following principles:
- To provide better opportunities for young people in education and training, both formal and informal.
- To develop employment policy which will ensure the economic and social security as well as autonomy of young people.
- To ensure the participation of young people and influence on decision-making concerning policies affecting them.
- To ensure equal opportunities between men and women and the prevention of discrimination.
- To prevent risk factors that cause poverty and social exclusion of young people.
- To follow the principles of sustainable development.
- To follow the principle of intergenerational cooperation and ensure greater solidarity among generations.
- To pay special attention to the health and welfare of young people and health inequalities.
- To provide young people with a safe start of their careers.
The Resolution on the National Programme for Youth also defines the key guidelines of the youth policy in Slovenia:
- Targeted and continuous investment of resources and attention to young people and their autonomy.
- Ensuring that young people are a priority social groups in all sectoral public policies.
- Establishing cross-sectoral cooperation for implementation of youth policy.
- Unifying concept of the target group which is young people aged 15 to 29 that need to be defined as a underprivileged group in all public policies.
- Participation of young people in strategic planning, evaluation and implementation of youth policy at local and national levels.
- Ensuring conditions for learning and opportunities of young people to develop skills and competencies to fully integrate into the labour market and civil society and increase their capabilities to resist any potential social, economic or environmental risks as well as ensure conditions for formal, non-formal and informal learning through enhanced mechanisms for recognition and validation of such learning within national qualifications frameworks.
- Ensure effective monitoring of the youth policy provisions and address its weaknesses.
- Promote development of youth strategies and programmes on local level.
For the effective implementation of the youth policy in Slovenia and the provisions of the National Programme for Youth, the Council of the Government of the Republic of Slovenia for Youth has set up 4 different working groups to discuss the most relevant topics for the development of youth policy in Slovenia:
- the preparation and the amendments of the Public interest in the Youth Sector Act;
- monitoring of the National Youth Programme;
- cohesion policy and use of EU fund for youth policy measures;
- policies promoting the quality apprenticeship and internship of young people.
The choice of themes for the Resolution on the National Youth Programme is also guided by the study Youth 2010 (Mladina 2010), which focuses on the role of young people in Slovenia and was published in 2011.
Article 4 of the Act on the Public Interest in Youth Sector identifies youth with fewer opportunities in society as a special target group in relation to care. Likewise, the Resolution on the National Programme for Youth 2013–2022 identifies the need to attend to youth with fewer opportunities in relation to scholarships, youth work and social inclusion. When defining its priorities, the Resolution, under the heading social inclusion (Chapter 6), particularly accentuates the position of youth with fewer opportunities facing social exclusion where individuals with disabilities and Roma youth are explicitly mentioned.
The National Agency for Youth
There is no national agency for youth in Slovenia.
Policy monitoring and evaluation
The Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities and the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport provide monitoring and evaluation of policy results defined by the National Programme for Youth 2013–2022. The success of the Implementation plan of the National Programme for Youth is measured using the (impact) indicators, which are designed for each measure to be implemented. The Public Interest in Youth Sector Act (Zakon o javnem interesu v mladinskem sektorju) states in Article 16, paragraph 6: ‘Every three years the Government shall submit to the National Assembly a partial report on implementing the National Programme for Youth with evaluated results, and a final report after the expiry of the validity of the National Programme for Youth. The National Assembly shall consider the report and prepare its position relating thereto’.
The Office of the Republic of Slovenia for Youth also monitors the implementation of the National Programme for Youth.
After the study titled 'Youth 2000' (Mladina 2000), there was no in-depth research systematically and comprehensively exploring youths and their situation until ‘Youth 2010: The Social Profile of Young People in Slovenia’ (Mladina 2010). In 2021, the new 'Youth 2020: The position of young people in Slovenia' (Mladina 2020: Položaj mladih v Sloveniji) was published. A few similar studies were published in between: 'The Matrix of Measures Implemented in the Youth Policy Field by the National Authorities' (Matrika ukrepov državnih organov na področju mladinske politke) and ‘Slovenian YOUTH 2013’. The studies covered all areas that are important to young people.
The ESS published an analysis of statistical data, ‘Youth and the labour market’ (Mladi in trg dela), in 2015. In 2013, it published the Annex to the Implementation Plan of the YG 2014/2015. Along with the ESS, the Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia and the MDDSZ regularly perform analyses and research. These organisations are helping to keep data on (youth) employment up to date. In 2019, the ‘Slovenian Youth 2018/2019’ (Slovenska mladina 2018/2019) document was published based on a research funded by the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Foundation. The document presents results of the analysis of different aspects of young people’s life, including employment and compares Slovenian data with EU average. In 2021, the results of 'Youth 2020' (Mladina 2020), a national survey on the position of young people in Slovenian society, were published. One of its key study areas studied was youth employment (and entrepreneurship).
The National Youth Council of Slovenia monitors the implementation of the National Programme for Youth 2013–2022 and measures in line with the YG. The implementation of the National Programme for Youth 2013–2022 should, in principle, be very easy to monitor because of well-defined indicators. The National Assembly Committee, which is responsible for youth, decided that the Office for Youth (or the competent Ministry) should report twice a year regarding the implementation of the Programme. The report is tied to the specific implementation plan of the National Programme for Youth.
Reports on the implementation of the YG 2014/2015, which were requested by the Slovenian government in May 2016, summarise the key statistics, which show changes during the implementation of the YG and include both technical and financial views of the performance of each individual measure. A special chapter of the report was prepared by representatives of young people to present their views on the implementation of the YG. Youth advisers working at the ESS also presented their views. They are in daily contact with unemployed young people and constantly try overcome challenges related to employment with them. The last section provides conclusions and recommendations regarding further action.
In 2021, the Social Protection Institute of the Republic of Slovenia published the Final Report on the Implementation of the Objectives of the Resolution on the National Social Assistance Programme 2013-2020 (Zaključno poročilo o izvajanju in doseganju ciljev Resolucije o Nacionalnem programu socialnega varstva za obdobje 2013–2020). The report notes, among other things, that the labour force participation rate among young people (aged 25-29) has risen from 45.9% in 2015 to 52.3% in 2019. However, young people are largely precariously employed, which has implications for risky life trajectories. The report concludes that the Resolution did not sufficiently address these risks in order to ensure adequate social security of young people. In 2016, the Social Protection Institute published the report 'Monitoring implementation and achievement of the objectives of the Resolution on the National Social Assistance Programme for the period 2013–2020’ (Spremljanje uresničevanja in doseganja ciljev Resolucije o nacionalnem programu socialnega varstva za obdobje 2013–2020). The report comprises a census of activities carried out in 2015. In the youth sector, these were mainly programmes for children and adolescents deprived of a normal family life, and for children and adolescents with developmental issues, during the period 2012–2014. Furthermore, in 2017, the Social Protection Institute published the report ‘Monitoring implementation and achievement of the objectives of the Resolution on the National Social Assistance Programme for the period 2013-2020: Report for the period 2016-2017’ (Spremljanje uresničevanja in doseganja ciljev Resolucije o nacionalnem programu socialnega varstva za obdobje 2013-2020: Poročilo za obdobje 2016-2017); in 2018 the report ‘Monitoring implementation and achievement of the objectives of the Resolution on the National Social Assistance Programme for the period 2013-2020: Report for the period 2017-2018’ (Spremljanje uresničevanja in doseganja ciljev Resolucije o nacionalnem programu socialnega varstva za obdobje 2013-2020: Poročilo za obdobje 2017-2018); in 2019 the report 'Monitoring implementation and achievement of the objectives of the Resolution on the National Social Assistance Programme for the period 2013-2020: Report for the period 2018-2019’ (Spremljanje uresničevanja in doseganja ciljev Resolucije o nacionalnem programu socialnega varstva za obdobje 2013-2020: Poročilo za obdobje 2018-2019); in 2020 the report 'Monitoring implementation and achievement of the objectives of the Resolution on the National Social Assistance Programme for the period 2013-2020: Report for the period 2019-2020’ (Spremljanje uresničevanja in doseganja ciljev Resolucije o nacionalnem programu socialnega varstva za obdobje 2013-2020. Poročilo za obdobje 2019-2020).
The Office for Equal Opportunities (Sektor za enake možnosti) also co-financed a research project entitled ‘Effects of Discrimination on Societal, Political and Social Inclusion of Young People in Slovenia: An Analysis on the Basis of Gender, Sexual Orientation and Ethnicity’ (Posledice diskriminacije na družbeno, politično in socialno vključenost mladih v Sloveniji: analiza glede na spol, spolno usmerjenost ter etnično pripadnost), which was completed in 2008. The objective was to use this analysis as a basis for ‘proposals for formulating and improving anti-discrimination policies in the field of social protection, reducing social exclusion and social deprivation, and preventing discrimination on the basis of analysed personal circumstances’.
In 2011, the Office of the Republic of Slovenia for Youth funded two analyses of the situation, which were carried out by the Youth Network MaMa and Pohorski Bataljon; they examined the functioning and impacts of the youth centres and youth field organisations in Slovenia: 'Youth Centres in Slovenia' and 'Analysis of the Situation and Potentials of Non-Governmental Youth Field in Slovenia'. In 2012, the Youth Council of Slovenia published its analysis of the functioning and impacts of national youth organisations. The Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia (Statistični urad RS) has also conducted research (e.g. on risk of social exclusion in relation to income and poverty).