World Programme of Action for Youth – Adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1995, the programme is a comprehensive framework targeting 15 priority areas concerning youth rights and position. The programme sets the goals national and international actors should aspire to in those areas, and proposes specific actions conducive to the attainment of such goals.
UN Security Council Resolution 2250 – The resolution was unanimously adopted at the UN Security Council session held on 9 December 2015. It recognises the key role young people play in building and preserving international peace and security. UN member states are urged to increase inclusive representation of youth n decision-making at all levels. The key five areas that should be in the focus in pursuit of the general goal include participation, protection, prevention, partnerships, and disengagement and reintegration.
UN Youth Strategy 2030 – a strategy paper relying on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which aims to reaffirm UN’s leading role in strengthening the position of youth, full enjoyment of their rights and fostering national, regional and international actions towards their political, economic and social empowerment. The strategy has peace and safety, human rights and sustainable development at its heart.
Amman Youth Declaration – a document adopted at the Global Forum for Youth, Peace and Security, held in Jordan in August 2015, which notes the importance of multi-sectoral youth participation on peace-building efforts. The Declaration identifies 4 action points to guarantee youth participation and leadership in issues of peace and security; preventing violence and building peace; gender equality; young people’s socio-economic empowerment.
SDG 4 – Quality education
– 4.4. By 2030, substantially increase the number of youth and adults who have relevant skills, including technical and vocational skills, for employment, decent jobs and entrepreneurship;
– 4.6. By 2030, ensure that all youth and a substantial proportion of adults, both men and women, achieve literacy and numeracy;
SDG 8 – Decent work and economic growth
– 8.5. By 2030, achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all women and men, including for young people and persons with disabilities, and equal pay for work of equal value;
– 8.6. By 2020, substantially reduce the proportion of youth not in employment, education or training;
– 8.b By 2020, develop and operationalize a global strategy for youth employment and implement the Global Jobs Pact of the International Labour Organization.
SDG 13 – Climate action
– 13.b Promote mechanisms for raising capacity for effective climate change-related planning and management in least developed countries and small island developing States, including focusing on women, youth and local and marginalized communities.
The National Sustainable Development Strategy by 2030, which is the key document nationalising the 2030 Agenda in Montenegro, shows that the policy for improving the rights and position of young people is very wide-ranging, i.e. it is closely linked with many policy areas and transpires through many fields. This umbrella document highlights, first and foremost, the issue of economic and social safety for young people, and thus many measures are so defined to improve the position of young people in the labour market, both directly affecting employment and indirectly through better education and fostering informal learning to make young people better skilled and readier for their professional lives.
Through its goals, measures and sub-measures, the National Sustainable Development Strategy focuses also on youth political empowerment and participation in decision-making and policy planning, and meeting their cultural needs.
Sub-measure 220.127.116.11. Improve the system for national support to youth for professional and scientific specialization abroad.
Sub-measure 18.104.22.168. Ensure that all youth and considerable proportion of adults, both men and women, learn to read and write and acquire numeracy literacy, SDG 4 (4.6).
Sub-measure 22.214.171.124. Harmonize the higher education system with the needs of society and labour market thus continuously influencing reduction of unemployment of youth, SDG 4 (4.4).
Sub-measure 126.96.36.199. Increase participation of youth and adults in formal and informal education in accordance with labour market demand, SDG 4 (4.5).
Sub-measure 188.8.131.52. Increase IT literacy of youth and adults, SDG 4 (4.5).
Sub-measure 184.108.40.206. Stimulate participation of citizens, especially youth, through nongovernmental organizations and informal groups in public policies decision-making at state and local levels.
Sub-measure 220.127.116.11. Ensure support to youth and other social groups in terms of provision of knowledge, skills and tailoring of strategic and other documents to needs of their active participation in decision-making processes.
Sub-measure 18.104.22.168. Encourage civic activism through educational system and teach young generations to values of participative society.
Sub-measure 22.214.171.124. Significantly reduce proportion of young not covered by employment, education and training, SDG 8 (8.6).
Sub-measure 126.96.36.199. Encourage entrepreneurship and self-employment. Encourage and develop new and flexible forms of unemployment of young (by simplifying procedures and creating encouraging and flexible mechanisms) such as social entrepreneurship, star-up, rural tourism, urban gardening, green jobs, creative industries, ICT services, online sale, etc, SDG 1.4, SDG 8 (8.b)
Sub-measure 188.8.131.52. Strengthen and encourage culture of youth by providing spaces for acting of affirmative and incentive measures, especially at local level, SDG 4 (4.7) and 11(11.4).
Sub-measure 184.108.40.206. Encourage development of entrepreneurship competitiveness, as well as of micro, small and medium enterprises in the northern region of Montenegro and less developed municipalities with a specific emphasis on the development of youth entrepreneurship.
Sub-measure 220.127.116.11. Increase investments in rural development and strengthening agricultural holdings, and support innovative approaches which generate jobs, thus keeping people in rural areas, particularly young people, through incentives SDG 8 (8.2), 12 (12.2), 10 (10,2, 10.7).
Youth rights is an essential matter touching upon many fields, and as such transpires through several negotiation chapters with the European Union. The situation of young people is particularly relevant in the context of EU Acquis chapters 19 – Social policy and employment and 26 – Education and culture.
Within Chapter 19, Montenegro is obliged to target skills of young people by improving the education system in order to prepare them for the labour market with a view to creating new business opportunities for young people. Montenegro’s negotiation position for this chapter makes reference to the Professional Training of University Graduates as a good example of a measure that boosts highly qualified youth employment.
In addition to education and culture, Chapter 26 deals also with youth policy and sport. This chapter was opened and provisionally closed on 15 April 2013 at the Inter-governmental Conference in Brussels, without any opening or closing benchmarks.
Montenegro’s priorities and goals for this policy area are articulated in the Youth Strategy 2017-2021, which relies on the European policy and has the issues of employment, social inclusion, health, volunteerism, and youth human rights at its heart.
Montenegro partakes in the Erasmus+ programme through which the European Union offers opportunities for education, training and job mobility for young people who wish to spend some time abroad active in any of the areas. Montenegro also partakes in the EU and the Council of Europe programme Youth Partnership, set up with the aim of ensuring cooperation and partnership between the two organisations around youth policy issues of common interest which require a single European approach.
EU Youth Strategy 2019-2027 – EU Strategic framework for youth policy focuses on three core areas of action around the three words Engage Connect Empower. The Strategy identifies 11 goals: Connecting EU with Youth; Equality of All Genders; Inclusive Societies; Information & Constructive Dialogue; Mental Health & Wellbeing; Moving Rural Youth Forward; Quality Employment for All; Quality Learning; Space and Participation for All; Sustainable Green Europe; Youth Organisations & European Programmes.
The Strategy implementation is greatly facilitated by the EU Youth Strategy Platform, whose aim is to ensure participatory governance and coordination of the implementation of the Strategy involving all stakeholders. The platform enables relevant European institutions to engage in the strategy implementation the representatives of Member States, civil society, youth organisations, and hold regular meetings to share experiences and information and improve the overall policy-making process.
The key to youth engagement and the dialogue with young people is the EU Youth Dialogue, a forum offering opportunities for discussions with decision-makers, experts, researchers and other relevant actors about youth policy priorities, implementation and collaborative development. The dialogues is organised into 18-month work cycles, each focusing on a different thematic priority set by the Council of Youth Ministers.
In the Western Balkans context, relevant for youth policy is the Regional Youth Cooperation Office – RYCO, an international organisation founded by the WB6 with the aim of promoting the spirit of cooperation and reconciliation between the youth in the region through youth exchange programmes, which is an instrument funded by the WB6 and the EU.
Data for all EU Member States and candidate countries about youth population, education, employment, health, social inclusion, culture and creativity, participation, volunteer work and youth in the digital worldWorld Bank Data
Gender-segregated data on literacy of youth aged 15 to 24; gender-segregated youth unemployment dataGlobal Youth Development Index (YDI)
Data on improvements in the situation of young people around 5 key areas: education, health and wellbeing, employment and opportunity, civic participation and political participationYouth Progress Index
Measuring young people’s quality of life in 102 countries based on 3 key dimensions (basic human needs, foundations of wellbeing, opportunity) and 60 indicators
In line with the National Sustainable Development Strategy, where a large number of measures focuses on economic empowerment of young people and improving their situation in the labour market, the Medium-term Government Work Programme also sets a number of key obligations conducive to youth employment, either directly or indirectly. Firstly, Priority 3: Montenegro – a country that fosters the development of science, education and culture for better economic growth includes two goals pertinent to youth employment and work:
– More employed young people, doctoral students and young doctors of science;
– Development of youth work and activism.
The Medium-term Government Work Programme is mostly focused on putting in place the assumptions for smooth and efficient transition of young people from education to the business environment, and thus many measures are aimed at matching the education, i.e. sets of knowledge and skills, with the labour market needs.
The Development Directions for Montenegro 2018-2021 is another overarching document touching upon youth policy primarily through their greater employment; thus, the development direction – Smart Growth and the policy area – Higher Education envisage greater employability of young university graduates, while the development direction – Inclusive Growth and the labour market policy recognise high youth unemployment as one of the key challenges.
The Youth Strategy 2017-2021 elaborates more thoroughly Montenegro’s youth policy; it is the key strategy paper, and together with the Youth Law (Official Gazette of Montenegro 025/19), the key link in exercising the rights and improving the situation of young people. The Strategy clearly sets the priority areas to be tackled, including work and economic rights, but also education, right to information and health protection, social and political participation, cultural rights. It sets the following key outcomes:
– Young people achieve economic and social security through improved access to labour market and employment.
– Young people have access to quality education.
– Young people are active citizens, involved, motivated, proactive and participate in decision-making and community development processes, in policy planning and implementation.
– Young people are healthy, safe, have access to an adequate support system for transition to adulthood and self-realization.
– Young people have access to quality cultural content as creators and consumers.
– Normative and institutional framework for the implementation of youth policy has been established.
According to the most recent Youth Strategy Progress Report for 2019, better and more meaningful implementation of youth policy requires more substantial funding, primarily budgetary allocations. One of the recommendations for more efficient implementation refers to setting up the Youth Council, an advisory body with the Ministry for Sport and Youth to enable greater participation of young people in decision-making. Finally, the report stressed the need to set up a functional and comprehensive national system of youth policy indicators, which is vital to monitor the situation of youth in Montenegro and the Youth Strategy implementation.