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EACEA National Policies Platform


10. Youth work

10.2 Administration and governance of youth work

Last update: 29 March 2021
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  1. Governance
  2. Cross-sectoral cooperation


Youth policies -also those concerning youth work- are designed and implemented, mostly, at a regional level, as from the 1980s onwards. As it is stated in Youth Policies in the Democratic Spain “all the autonomous regions had already assumed their competences in the matter of youth in their respective Statutes of Autonomy that entered into force between 1979 (the Basque Country was the first) and 1983 (Castilla y León was the last one)”.  Thus, the central government has limited competences in this matter.


As said, Youth Policies and youth work takes place mainly at a regional level, usually through the regional youth institutes, regional youth councils and town halls, although the central administration retains limited competences and responsibilities in the field of youth work.

The main youth work public actors are:


In Spain there are different NGOs and associations supporting the social and personal development of the youth through non formal or informal learning. Some of them are the following:

  • FAD Foundation (Fundación FAD): The FAD Foundation intends to enhance the social development of the youth. This organization aims to achieve this goal through education and the development of critical thinking, to prevent the youth from risky behaviours. It works under the Objectives of Sustainable Development of the United Nations, therefore contributes substantially to the development of the youth and social justice.
  • Exit Foundation (Fundación Exit): It was created in 2000 in Spain. It works with young people at risk of social exclusion. This organization intends to prevent the early school dropout ensuring a better integration in the labour market.
  • YMCA (Asociación YMCA): created in 1980, it is a non-profit, non-denominational and non-political organisation, run by volunteers, which aims to improve society through the integral development of young people, creating opportunities, reducing their vulnerability and strengthening their environment.

Cross-sectoral cooperation

Political decision making related with youth work is done mostly at the regional level. Nevertheless, some regional governments outsource their competences to the local ones. Therefore, this sectoral cooperation happens between these two levels. Some of the most important institutions involved are:

Interministerial Committee for the Youth (La comisión interministerial para la juventud).

This commission was created by the Royal Decree 658/1986 (Real Decreto 658/1986). In 1989 it changed its name to the Interministerial Commission for the Youth and the Childhood. Some of the functions of the commission were also modified.

In 2008, following the Royal Decree 1923/2008 (Real Decreto 1923/2008), some of the ministerial departments were restructured and the commission was again renamed to the Interministerial Commission for the Youth. From that moment, the functions related with the childhood, were transferred to the Observatory of the Childhood.

Originally attached to the Ministry of Culture, in 2008, this commission became part of the Ministry of Equality, now extinct. It was chaired by the Minister of Equality. From then on, its functions, composition and operation were regulated by the ministry. The General Director of the Youth Institute served as vice-president. The members-at-large represented the different departments. An official from the Youth Institute, named by the Commission President, served as the secretary. Additionally, the Chair of the Spain Council of the Youth was also named member-at-large. The last meeting of this commission took place in 2010 in the form of a plenary session.


Inter-regional Council of the Youth (El Consejo Interterritorial de la Juventud)

The Inter-regional Council of the Youth promotes dialogue and cooperation among the youth institutes of the Autonomous Regions and the Autonomous Cities of Ceuta and Melilla for the development of joint actions on the youth.

This council, organized by the INJUVE, meets twice per year and the representatives of the Autonomous Communities and the FEMP (Federación Española de Municipios y Provincias) also take part in it. The first Inter-regional Council of Youth took place in March 2018 in Granada and all the Regional Communities’ General Directors of the Youth assisted. The aim of this meeting was to evaluate the existing youth policies in order to improve them for the benefit of the youth. 

Among the different topics addressed during that meeting of the Council an original and innovative programme related to a course that will be given to youth organizations and youth workers under the framework of the National Strategy against radicalisation of youth is worth mentioning. This course will take place in the Euro-Latin-American Centre of the Youth, CEULAJ (Centro Eurolatinoamericano de la Juventud) and youth workers will perform a key role.

During that meeting, protocols and programmes to prevent youth radicalization were assessed with the Interior Ministry and the Autonomous Communities. In addition, Autonomous Communities’ participation in the Youth Talent (Talento Joven) programme was discussed. Furthermore, the situation and perspectives for the launching of a recognition system of non-formal youth training was also raised as an important issue.

The last meeting of the Council took place in October 2020 in Madrid, the capital of Spain. The main topic was the Shock Plan for Young Employment 2019-2021 (Plan de Choque de Empleo Joven 2019-2021) and the RED SIJ-INJUVE programme for youth vulnerability (Programa de atención a jóvenes vulnerables).