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What are the Priorities of Youth Policy in Ukraine? Opinions of MPs & Experts

Why is the legislation of the 1990s still in force in Ukraine in the field of youth policy? How should youth organizations be funded? How should the future Ukrainian Youth Foundation function? These and other issues were discussed by participants of the online event “Regional Discussion of Reforms: Youth Policy“, organized by the Reanimation Package of Reforms Coalition on September 14.

The central aspect of youth policy in Ukraine in the next five years is its institutionalization. During this period, a youth movement should be formed: Ukrainian youth organizations should reach the European youth coverage rate of 40-50%. Currently, this figure is only 1%. This was pointed out by Yurii Yuzych, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Plast and co-author of the sectoral brief “Youth Policy” during the presentation of the document.

“To do this, we need to invest in the institutional support of youth organizations: the development of regional representation, staff training, etc.,” says Yuzych.

Another important aspect is the development of infrastructure: the creation of youth centers of regional status as training to increase the mobility of young people. Olena Podobed-Frankivska, Chairwoman of the Board of the National Youth Association, Chairwoman of the Board of the Association of Youth Centers of Ukraine and co-author of the analytical brief, spoke about this.

“If these institutions were in each regional center, there would be no need for separate funds for the youth mobility program,” explains the expert.

She stressed the need to train people who will work with young people in the regions. After all, there is a critical shortage of staff to work with young people at the regional level.

In the next five years, in the field of youth policy, significant attention will be paid to the development of infrastructure, predicts Oleksandr Sanchenko, MP, member of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Freedom of Speech.

According to him, the issue of institutional support for youth organizations is currently being discussed on the need for positive discrimination, when funding preferences are given to specialized youth organizations.

Legislation in the field of youth policy has not changed since the 1990s, as youth policy has always been considered on a residual basis. Ivan Krulko, MP, First Deputy Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Budget, spoke about this.

He called the creation of the Ukrainian Youth Fund (UYF) a pivotal point in the draft law “On the Basic Principles of Youth Policy” adopted in the first reading in July this year.

“Before the second reading, it is necessary to prescribe clear tools for its functioning,” the MP said.

International donors can join the funding of the UYF, and the fund can become a platform for funding youth organizations, Alexander Sanchenko predicts.

But then the fund must be completely independent, because the Ministry of Youth and Sports can consider it as its executive body, warns Yurii Yuzych.

“The fund should manage the money on its own, not through the treasury,” he added.

Anna Ostrikova, Youth Worker Program Coordinator, drew attention to global changes in the lives of today’s youth.

“Young people no longer need to form large organizations to delegate their vote. After all, in today’s world, a lot can be done online, for example, to vote for the public budget,” said the expert.

Read also: “Regional Discussion of Reforms: On the Road to Vilnius” on the topic of national security.

Read all sectoral policy briefs.

“Regional Discussion of Reforms” is organized by the RPR Coalition in partnership with the Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania. The event is supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania and “Civil Society for Enhanced Democracy and Human Rights in Ukraine” project implemented by UNDP Ukraine under financial support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark.

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