National youth councils (September 2019)
Youth councils are representative bodies contributing, in a consultative role, to the discussion and definition of youth policies. They have the right to formulate opinions and recommendations on youth issues directed to policy-making bodies at all levels of government.
At the national level, youth councils are often umbrella organisations representing youth associations, local and regional youth councils, youth unions as well as individual young people.
In about half of the countries surveyed, the establishment, role and composition of the youth council are defined by law. In some of them, they are under the direct authority of the ministry in charge of youth policy, which provides the necessary logistical and budgetary resources.
In the other half of the countries, youth councils are non-governmental organisations without an official legal basis. They are usually constituted by several associations representing young people or by a network of local or municipal youth councils. However, they are considered as partners to be consulted on issues related to youth policies by the national authorities, and as such entitled to receive funding from public sources.