1.7 Funding youth policy
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National youth policy is funded within the central government budget.
Local youth policy is funded by respective municipality. Sweden has 290 municipalities with local governments. The municipalities have a considerable degree of autonomy and finance largely their own activities, due to independent powers of taxation. The municipalities are responsible (partly in some policy areas) for youth policy issues such as schools, employment and training, health care, social care and services, culture and leisure.
It is important to note that in Sweden municipalities have considerable autonomy on how different policies, including youth policy, is implemented. The national youth policy is compulsory for ministries and central government agencies, but only advisory at the local level.
Of the year 2021 central government budget for the youth policy area, 28.4 million euros (284 million Swedish kronor) were targeted to national and international youth activities. Of the totally 28.4 million euros, about 400 000 euros were deposited to international youth activities including the National Agency for Erasmus+, and 28 million euros were deposited as a state grant to youth organisations.
Above that, the Swedish Agency for Youth and Civil Society (MUCF) got for its disposal 5.34 million euros (53 million Swedish kronor, of which 1 million Swedish kronor are for special contributions within the youth policy field and 52 million Swedish kronor are for administrative expenditures and duties according to the ordinance.
Besides that, the situation of young people is affected by a wide range of policy areas in the government’s budget, such as education, employment, culture, health, social care and services etc.
The activities and results of all government agencies are annually followed up and evaluated. Each agency submits an annual report to the Government containing information about, inter alia, expenses, revenue and results. On the basis of the reports the Government can follow up and evaluate agencies' operations, for instance in the youth policy field. The annual reports together with budget data submitted by agencies are also the basis for work on next year's national budget and appropriation directives.
The Swedish ESF Council finances projects focusing on skills development, employment measures and integration initiatives. Of the totally three programme areas, both programme area 2 and 3 are targeting young people.
Program area 2 - Increased transitions to work The target groups are young people (15-24 years), long-term unemployed (more than 12 months), those who are or have been on sick leave and need support for returning to work, and new arrivals, mainly women. In 2020, the highest support for the program area was granted during the entire program period for a total of 92 projects. The program area is affected by the economy and the uncertainty in the labor market. In 2020, unemployment continued to rise, largely as an effect of the pandemic. In general, most of the new calls have focused on the effects of the pandemic, which has captured the need for various initiatives to mitigate its effects on the labor market (ESF Council's Annual Report 2020).
Programme area 3 - Employment for young people
Programme area 3 is a special initiative of the Commission targeting regions in Europe with the highest unemployment among young people (15-24 years). In Sweden, funding within programme area 3 is limited to Central Norrland, Northern Central Sweden and Southern Sweden. In 2020, just as in 2019, no new support was granted. Only one project is ongoing (ESF Council's Annual Report 2020).