Reforming the Romanian Ministry of Youth

Reforming the Romanian Ministry of Youth 750 500 our civic space

Reforming the Romanian Ministry of Youth

“Belonging to a big civic space gives to youth NGOs the context, opportunity and the most important, the right to propose ideas for the youth sector’s wellbeing and therefore, to shape the ecosystem that concerns them.” – Yolanda Florescu (FITT)

Young people can learn in different contexts outside of school and through the informal and non-formal learning activities in which they participate. Thus, they acquire valuable skills for their personal and professional development, discover society and its mechanisms, develop skills of independent living, but also of participation in the life and development of the community. But in order to be able to meet young people and their various needs, but especially to support them at the beginning of the road, we need quality programmes in which to involve them, human resources specialised in working with young people to know and apply non-formal learning methods that provide information and counselling services to young people and, of course, the appropriate infrastructure for carrying out such activities.

In Romania, the public system that is meant to provide such services and to develop such activities is represented by the subordinated structures of the Ministry of Youth (county directorates and Students’ Houses of Culture). However, this is a fragile system, which does not have a coherent strategy. The funding allocated to it cannot ensure quality programmes accessible to all young people, human resources are insufficient and the infrastructure, to a large extent, has an advanced degree of degradation, which, due to the uncertainty of the legal regime, faces great challenges in the process of attracting investments.

Right now, the National Strategy for Public Policies for Youth has come to an end and the Ministry of Youth has already begun working on a new strategy to be aligned with the EU and Council of Europe Youth Strategy. Moreover, the Government Programme has been adopted with a set of ambitious goals, based on the Romanian Youth Resolution 2020-2027. In addition, the opportunities to attract European funds that can support the development of the youth sector get closer. These are the reasons why we believe that 2021 must be the right time for a big reform and especially for the development of the appropriate institutional framework. Therefore, during January-February 2021, FITT, the National Youth Foundation (FNT) and the National Alliance of Student Organisations in Romania (ANOSR) wrote a proposal of reforming the Romanian Ministry of Youth.

Our vision was to create a synergy between the EU Youth Strategy, the National Youth Strategy, the structure of the relevant central public authority and subordinate public services and institutions. Once adapted to the EU Youth Objectives, it must remain unchanged and maintain this form throughout the life of the National Strategy (which must be equal to that of the EU Strategy), which means until the end of 2027. Subsequently, after an evaluation of the first stage, we consider that it needs to be reformed (for another period in the medium term) and to take shape according to the new general objectives, in order to have the necessary resources to carry them out. The central public authority for youth would have the role of coordinating and ensuring the achievement of the Youth Objectives at the national level, which is why its services and subordinates must be adapted to this goal. For the county directorates for youth and for the students’ houses of culture we have developed an entire system, attached to the proposal. 

We created this proposal from the following foundations:

  • Reforming the central public authority and public services and institutions for the entire life of the EU Youth Strategy 2019-2027 in order to support its implementation,
  • Reversing the proportion so that the number of specialist staff (youth workers) is larger than the number of administrative and maintenance staff,
  • Each year, ensure and finance the access to at least one good quality youth activity/service for 10% of the young population 
  • Each year, ensure and finance the access to at least one good quality cultural and sports activity/service for 10% (or 1,000 participants) of the student population that each Students’ House of Culture serves
  • Each year, ensure and finance the access to the National Camp Programme for at least 3% of the young population living in conditions of severe deprivation, as well as of the pupils and students with good results at school, integralists and those involved in volunteer activities or in the activities of the Students’ Houses Culture of and “Tei” Students Cultural and Sports Complex.
  • Approval of a sufficient number of positions for legal advisors within the central public authority, so as to draw up, as soon as possible, the documentation for clarifying the legal regime of the buildings from the youth patrimony, in order to be decentralise.

This proposal is just the tip of the iceberg. Therefore, it is far from a complete version of what the whole set of documents would entail for the reconstruction of the entire public youth system. More to come…

Written by FITT


A nationwide proposal for “Spaces and Participation for all” in Romania

A nationwide proposal for “Spaces and Participation for all” in Romania 2560 1707 our civic space

A nationwide proposal for “Spaces and Participation for all” in Romania

“Making use of civic space also entails a youth NGO’s duty of collecting young people’s messages and delivering them to politicians and public authorities.”Yolanda Florescu (FITT)

Back in November 2016, just before the Parliamentary elections, the Romanian youth NGOs assembled in Timisoara for the first edition of the Romanian Youth Capital. The whole programme of Romanian Youth Capital has been about youth participation and, nowadays, is at its 5th edition (the current National Youth Capital is the city of Constanta). In line with its essential purpose of youth participation, the youth NGOs signed the Romanian Youth Resolution 2016-2020. That document emphasised key expectations of young people and young NGOs from the new politicians. Even though almost all the political parties signed an agreement to fulfil the objectives set by the NGOs, not many significant changes were made. 

Therefore, the youth NGOs, even more this time, decided in November 2020 (before the Parliamentary elections once again), to come together again and develop an even more specific and accurate resolution – The Romanian Youth Resolution 2020-2027. This document was divided into 11 chapters, tailored on the EU Youth Goals and each chapter was coordinated by NGOs with great expertise in that specific field. The almost 200 pages long document indicated the general and specific objectives, directions and measures desired to be implemented at the national level in order to further develop the entire youth sector in Romania in the next 7 years. 

As an evolution compared to the previous Romanian Youth Resolution, the political parties listened to the voices of the NGOs and almost 30% of the National Government Programme on Youth for 2020-2024 has been made according to the objectives of the Youth Resolution 2020-2027.

The main objectives proposed in the Youth Resolution 2020-2027 referred to creating and developing youth spaces accessible to all young people in Romania and increasing the degree of participation of young people in society. These are the the main target objectives of the resolution:

  • Establishment of youth centres (physical spaces specially for young people) at community level, sized according to the community they serve, as well as existing youth spaces development support;
  • Establishment of mobile youth centres for rural areas difficult to access and or rural areas with a small young population;
  • Development and strengthening of the National Network of Youth Centres
  • Reorganisation of youth tourism infrastructure and the Youth Tourism Office, to offer opportunities for recreation and spending leisure time as well;
  • Revitalisation of student cultural infrastructure administrated by the central youth public authority (the Ministry of Youth);
  • Spaces for young people to be served by professionals (youth workers);
  • Establishment, in each community, of a local advisory council on youth affairs formed of representatives youth NGOs and of youth informal groups, active in that community; Support of  youth participation in the already established local and national advisory councils on youth affairs;
  • Increasing the quality of local youth activities;
  • Definition and support of informal youth groups;
  • Encouraging young people to participate in electoral processes and to get involved in political life;
  • Supporting and encouraging volunteering;
  • Permanent and consistent support for youth NGOs by local and national public authorities.

Even though the national authorities recognised the challenges indicated by the youth NGOs and accepted, partially, the solutions, still the NGOs are monitoring the process, due to the fact that in Romania, with regard to the youth sector, many plans have been put on paper, but too few have been also implemented. Let’s see what the future brings…

Written by FITT

Youth Component of the Romanian National Recovery and Resilience Plan

Youth Component of the Romanian National Recovery and Resilience Plan 2560 1707 our civic space

Romanian National Recovery and Resilience Plan: FITT is one of the 3 coordinators of the youth component of the national proposal

“In a healthy and strong civic space, the public authorities have a constant and real dialogue and cooperation with the youth sector, in order to build the medium-term objectives; the youth NGO’s voice is heard, listened and its contribution is translated into concrete measures.” – Yolanda Florescu (FITT)

In Romania, the national plan for YOUTH was co-created by the Ministry of Youth (MTS) together with the National Youth Foundation (FNT) and Timis County Youth Foundation (FITT) ) – owner of the only youth centre in Romania (and one of the only 14 centres in Europe) awarded with the Quality Label for Youth Centres of the Council of Europe. The support and feedback group was formed of the National Alliance of Students Organisations in Romania (ANOSR), the Romanian Youth Council (CTR) and Cluj Youth Federation (FTCluj)

The main objective of the national plan is creating the framework in which young people in Romania, starting from the challenges caused by the pandemic, going through the green and digital transition and equipped with the right skills for the jobs of the future, to become agents of transformation and co-creators of local and youth ecosystems sustainable and inclusive, characterised by: open and real information, friendly public authorities, active NGOs, green and digitised physical, virtual, fixed and mobile services and spaces.

The reforms and investments proposed are the following:
Reform 1: Development of skills for green jobs, in particular to prevent the growth of the NEET phenomenon and combat it by creating a national methodology for working with young people.

  • Investment 1.1.: Combating the NEET phenomenon by investing in developing young people’s skills for green jobs
  • Investment 1.2.: Preventing the growth of the NEET phenomenon by investing in developing young people’s skills for green jobs

Reform 2: Elaboration of quality standards regarding the green and digital transition in the field of youth, with focus on infrastructure, activities and professionals by creating the National Quality Label and drawing up the methodology for granting it.

  • Investment 2.1.: Invest in the development of young people’s digital skills, as well as skills and knowledge of the circular economy, through green and digitalised spaces for youth and students
  • Investment 2.2.: Invest in the development of young people’s digital skills, as well as circular economy skills and knowledge, through green and digitalised mobile youth centers
  • Investment 2.3.: Investments in the digitisation of the public youth system

Reform 3: Decentralisation of youth responsibilities and competencies to local communities and development of the Charter of Local Sustainable and Inclusive Youth Ecosystems

  • Investment 3.1.: Invest in the development of public authorities’ skills to create local ecosystems with and for young people
  • Investment 3.2.: Invest in the development of skills and structures for youth participation in the creation and sustainable development of local ecosystems

In order to prepare the final version to be inserted in the big National Recovery and Resilience Plan, currently, FITT is waiting to receive the European Commission’s feedback.

You can find out more about the proposed Romanian youth plan here.

Written by FITT