4. Social Inclusion
According to the Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia (2020/2021), the number of young people in Slovenia had been rapidly decreasing until 2019. Since then, the number of young people has remained roughly the same. These demographic changes and characteristics imply that in terms of long-term stability and development of Slovenian society the importance of full social inclusion and activation of the potential of every young person is and will be greater than ever before. Despite lower expenditure on social protection (as a share of GDP) compared to the EU average, the Republic of Slovenia has so far managed to maintain a relatively low level of risk of poverty or social exclusion. According to Eurostat (2020), Slovenia has the second lowest level of young people at risk of poverty or social exclusion across the EU, with only Czech Republic having a lower level. Youth social inclusion is not separately defined in the Slovenian legislation. The main agent of social inclusion in Slovenia is the Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, which is responsible for implementing relevant programmes and appointing programme providers. Slovene municipalities are also involved in youth social inclusion.
To date, no specific national strategy or programme for youth social inclusion has been adopted in Slovenia. The National Programme for Youth 2013–2022 (Resolucija o Nacionalnem programu za mladino 2013–2022) addresses poverty reduction and social inclusion of young people across a number of policy areas, including employment and the labour market, education, housing and health. The Programme has several measures/instruments and indicators for its implementation. The largest proportion of funding comes from government and municipal sources or from NGOs’ own assets. The Office of the Republic of Slovenia for Youth and other competent supervisory authorities monitor the targeted use of funds.
Access to housing for young people in Slovenia is limited by a number of structural factors that include limited supply and affordability of housing for sale or rent. Another limiting factor is young people’s financial situation, which is linked to their employment; as they are at the beginning of their employment career, they have lower incomes and are often employed on fixed term contracts.