5.3 Youth representation bodies
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In the Chartered Community of Navarre there is the Youth Parliament of Navarre, a pioneering participation project for young people that was created by the Youth Council of Navarre and the Parliament of Navarre.
It works in the following way: 30 representatives are elected through elections in which any young person between 14 and 30 years of age residing in the Chartered Community of Navarre can vote. In order to take decisions, the Youth Parliament meets in plenary session at least once a month to deal with different issues:
- Proposals, which when approved are automatically transferred to the Parliament of Navarre
- Statements or opinions, for the opinion of the Youth Parliament of Navarre
- Ordinary discussions, which may evolve into a proposal, or an opinion
The Youth Parliament of Navarre uses the methodology of the Structured Dialogue making it possible to use an instrument of co-decision between the Parliament of Navarre and the youth of the region using a totally different format to that of the Structured Dialogue Cycle.
In Spain, the organization responsible for promoting the participation of youth in the political, social, economic and cultural development of the State in a global environment is the Spanish Youth Council (Consejo de la Juventud de España, CJE). Its objective is to transfer the proposals, claims and complaints that arise within the Council to the Administration, social agents and the media in order to respond to the problems, concerns and aspirations of youth, with a view to improving their quality of life.
The Spanish Youth Council has a General Assembly that gathers together representatives of all the member entities every two years to establish lines of action for reviewing the work carried out during the period between Assemblies, approval of the economic balance and the budget, study and discussion of documents prepared by the Specialized Commissions and the election of members of the Permanent Commission.
The Executive Assembly is the body responsible for developing the agreements of the Assembly. It meets on an ordinary basis twice a year and on an extraordinary basis when requested by a third of the member entities or at the proposal of the Permanent Commission.
The Permanent Commission is the body responsible for executing the agreements of the General Assembly and of the Executive Assembly, assuming the representation of the Council. Among its functions, it is worth mentioning its work in tandem with the Specialized Commissions and the working groups established by the Assembly, as well as the representation of the Spanish Youth Council in the institutions and organizations with which they maintain or initiate relations. The Permanent Commission is composed of nine youth representatives from various entities of the Council. All members of the Permanent Commission must be under 31 years of age when taking office.
The six Specialized Commissions (Socio-economics, Participation and Associative Promotion, Integral Education, Rights and Equal Opportunities, External Relations and Institutional Development and International Relations) are responsible for preparing the documents and proposals for concrete actions that serve as the basis for the decisions of the Council.
The CJE is an autonomous agency attached to the Ministry of Social Rights and 2030 Agenda, and it is financed by the State budgets. The budget for 2021 of around 45 million Euros.
In Spain the existence of student unions is not regarded by law as separate from that of other type of associations, which is the reason why its juridical situation is similar to any other union ororganisation that acts in defence of certain collective interests. However, there are various dedicated associations that are responsible for student representation and organization.
The Coordinator of Representatives of Students of Public Universities (Coordinadora de Representantes de Estudiantes de Universidades Públicas, CREUP), is the main association of this type. It brings together 21 student organizations representing public universities. Through its members, it represents more than 900,000 students, constituting a forum for discussion between representatives. The main regulation on which it bases its activities is the Statute of the University Student (Estatuto del Estudiante Universitario).
The Coordinator of Representatives works for the defence of the rights of university students, promoting their participation in decision-making, as well as being the main link between students and academic decision-making bodies such as the Conference of Rectors of Spanish Universities (Conferencia de Rectores de Universidades Españolas, CRUE), the University Network of Student Affairs (Red Universitaria de Asuntos Estudiantiles (RUNAE)), the Universia Foundation (Fundación Universia) or the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities
The funding of student organizations is carried out through different types of public aid granted by the different administrations in all the territorial areas.
The Student Union (Sindicato de Estudiantes) is the student organization in charge of the representation and defence of students of secondary education, baccalaureate, professional training and university; both public and private or concerted centres. Founded in 1986, it maintains a representation in the School Council of the State (Consejo Escolar del Estado) with three out of eight student delegates.
Its legal situation is completely informal, since a student union is not regulated. However, this organization bases its existence on the modification made by the First Final Provision in the Organic Law 2/2006, of May 3, on Education (Ley Orgánica 2/2006, de 3 de mayo, de Educación) ) and the article 7 of the Organic Law 8/1985 (Ley Orgánica 8/1985), which established the freedom of associations as a students’ right. It has a State Executive Commission and various local structures. Their demands are centred on improving the quality of public education, recognizing the right to strike of middle school students, defending the secularity of education and abolishing university entrance examinations.
As in the case of university student organizations, financing is made through different types of public aid.
There are no other organisations that can be highlighted because of their limited capacity to act and support citizens.