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Existence of a national strategy to increase young people's political and civil society participation
In Spain, the National Strategy to increase the political participation of Spanish youth is contained within the Youth Strategy 2020 (Estrategia Juventud 2020), whose reference period refers to the Europe 2020 Strategy. This Strategy, approved in September 2014, covers the different actions of different ministerial departments that affect young people in education and training, employment and entrepreneurship, housing, health, leisure and sports, participation, volunteering, coexistence and inclusion, as stated in previous chapters (see 1.3).
The action plans of the Youth Strategy 2020 (Estrategia Juventud 2020) which cover the period 2014-2020, are public policy programmes that contain a wide range of legislative actions that may affect different types of ministerial laws and regulations, depending on their objectives.
The objectives of the Youth Strategy 2020 (Estrategia Juventud 2020) with regard to the political participation of young people are raised in Strategic Axis 5, responsible for developing the points regarding participation, volunteering, inclusion and equality. In this respect, the objectives to be achieved are summarized in the following points:
- Strengthening the channels and tools to increase the participation and voluntary work of young associates and non-partners, especially those linked to ICT.
- Fighting against social exclusion among the most disadvantaged sectors of the youth population.
- Promotion of equality.
In the framework of promotion of participation, measures to finance the structure and maintenance of youth and third sector entities stand out. This objective is also linked to the granting of the Youth Institute General Scheme Grants, those destined for youth associations or entities that provide services to the youth, as a result of the call for IRPF grants.
The Youth Strategy 2020 (Estrategia Juventud 2020) was approved by the Inter-Ministerial Youth Commission (Comisión Interministerial para la Juventud), which is chaired by the Ministry of Social Rights and 2030 Agenda (Ministerio de Derechos Sociales y Agenda 2030). All Ministries, as well as the Spanish Youth Council (Consejo de la Juventud de España, CJE), have participated in the preparation of the Action Plan.
Given the complexity of territorial division of power in Spain, the authorities responsible for the implementation of the Strategy are multiple, either directly or subsidiarily. On one hand, at state level we have the Youth Institute (INJUVE), which coordinates the activity, and the different ministries that are affected by the measures implemented. On the other, at the regional level, we have the different autonomous youth agencies and ministries obliged to implement the actions contained in the Strategy's design.
Finally, municipalities are also obliged to coordinate within the framework of intergovernmental relations, completing the implementation of the Strategy at all territorial levels. They are considered especially important because they are the territorial level closest to the citizen. Given the wide variety in size and resources of the different municipalities, the larger ones will develop their own activities and provide their own services. But the smaller ones resort to seeking the provision of services in higher entities, such as provincial councils, including the insular councils called Cabildos (in Canary Islands) and Consells (in Balearic Islands).
At the end of each year, it is the Youth Institute (INJUVE) who carries out a follow-up report on the actions performed, which serves as a basis for partially evaluating each Action Plan and stimulates the development of new measures. From this annual report, the Inter-Ministerial Youth Commission (Comisión Interministerial para la Juventud) will determine the incorporation of new actions proposed by the different Ministries.
In addition to these annual reports, the INJUVE releases numerous publications and reports with a large academic and scientific base that serve to improve the redesign of new public policy programmes in the youth field. Equally important are the reports and evaluations carried out by the various autonomous agencies for youth.
The Youth Strategy 2020 (Estrategia Juventud 2020) is in force and pending review and updating.