Town Hall Meeting “Strategies for the development of youth policy in Zakarpattya region”

On June 15, 2017 in Zakarpattya regional state administration (Uzhgorod city) Town Hall Meeting “Strategies for the development of youth policy in Zakarpattya region” took place.

Town Hall Meetings is organised by the Agency of Legislative Initiatives together with the Interns’ League and the Ministry of Youth and Sports of Ukraine on the initiative of MP of Ukraine Ivan Krulko in the framework of the Model District Project with the support of USAID RADA Program: Responsible Accountable Democratic Assembly, implemented by East Europe Foundation.

Town Hall Meetings provide a competent and effective discussion of any specific issues of public interest and are an instrument for ensuring citizens’ participation in governance.

  1. Discussion is taking place around prepared scenarios. That is, the event itself following painstaking expert work aims at providing certain options to solve the problem for discussion.
  2. The discussion takes place in small groups of 10-12 people, involving a facilitator and a note taker. Facilitators help participants in a friendly and casual atmosphere to discuss potential solutions, and note-takers put down the key points of discussion and meaningful conclusions.
  3. The event is primarily attended by ordinary citizens who are direct stakeholders in the issue being discussed. The results of this event carry no legal weight.

The discussion focused on the issues of the youth age range as an important component of the Law on Youth, creation and development of youth centres, as well as organisation of work with youth with disabilities.

The event was attended by 95 participants, including representatives of youth NGOs, representatives of the Zakarpattya regional authorities, representatives of the education administration, representatives of the youth and sports administration, students of the Zakarpattya State University, youth from the towns of Khust and Mukachevo, and activists.

During the discussion on the issue of creating a youth centre, the participants discussed 4 scenarios, the first of which concerned the creation of a municipal youth centre; the second was focused on the creation of a youth centre under an NGO with financing from the local budget; the third scenario involved the creation of a youth centre as a structural subdivision of the existing municipal institutions in the field of education, culture, etc.; the fourth scenario offered the creation of a youth centre through the development and implementation of a project (on the basis of a public initiative).

The results of the voting were distributed as follows: the first scenario gained 7.5% of votes, the second – 39.6%, the third – 5.7%, and the fourth – 47.2%. Thus, the participants of the discussion chose the option of creating a youth centre through the development and implementation of a project (on the basis of a public initiative).

Discussing the problem of determining the youth age range, the participants reviewed 3 scenarios, the first of which implied preserving the effective definition of the youth age range as 14-35 years old; the second proposed a dramatic lessening of the youth age range – from 0 to 29 years old; and the third presented a balanced approach that included the definition of the youth age range from 12 to 29 years.

During the discussion, the participants voted in the following way: the first scenario – 48.9%, the second – 23.4%, the third – 27.7%. Thus, concerning the issue of determining the youth age range, the discussion participants preferred the first option, which does not provide for any changes in the current age limits.

Considering the problem of organising youth policy among young people with disabilities, the participants discussed 2 scenarios. The first one proposed the creation of a network of centres for work with youth with disabilities in the areas of social protection, education, and health; and the second scenario implied introduction of programs for centres for work with youth with special needs.

As a result of voting, the participants preferred the second scenario – 68.1%, while the first one gained 31.9% of the votes of the participants. Consequently, it is the introduction of programs for centres for work with youth with special needs that the discussion participants consider the best option for solving the problem of youth policy organisation for youth with disabilities.

The decision approved during this discussion will be implemented by Mr Ivan Krulko within his powers and competences as an Ukrainian MP.

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