Introduction

The Council of Europe and government bodies responsible for the implementation of youth policy in the Russian Federation have been co-operating in the field of youth policy since 1992. The main objectives of this co-operation are to support the development of youth policy at federal and regional levels and to provide assistance to non-governmental youth organisations, as well as to draw attention to interaction among government structures and public organisations.

In the past, training courses, including long-term courses, were held for youth leaders, seminars on the situation of children's and youth public organisations, as well as a number of training courses on the situation of young people and the youth policy in the federal districts of the Russian Federation. In addition, Russia's representatives took part in seminars held by international youth organisations, language courses and trainings organised by the Council of Europe youth sector.

The co-operation between the parties was developed over a period of time:

  • Before 2003 — separate joint events,
  • 2003-2005 — implementation of the joint plan of action,
  • 2006-2008 — implementation of the Framework Programme for Co-operation in the Field of Youth Policy.

Acting to promote the further development of mutually beneficial co-operation in the field of youth policy between the Council of Europe and the Russian Federation, the Parties elaborated a fourth generation programme — the Framework Programme for Co-operation in the Field of Youth Policy for 2009-2012.

Basic purposes and principles of the framework programme

The Framework Programme should contribute to the development of European youth policy, in particular, with regard to promoting youth mobility, participation of youth in public life, acknowledgement of cultural diversity, struggle against all forms of discrimination, and promoting the shaping of Europe without dividing lines. The program purposes correspond with the priorities of the Russian Federation in the field of a youth policy, in particular, to Strategy of the state youth policy in the Russian Federation approved by the Government of the Russian Federation.

The Framework Programme is based on the following principles:

  • based on the needs and initiatives of the Russian Party,
  • founded on issues in which the Council of Europe has considerable experience,
  • supports co-operation with other partners working on similar tasks,
  • sets priorities in the implementation of long-term projects and system solutions.

Implementation of the framework programme

The Parties have agreed to elaborate Annual Action Plans for the Implementation of the Framework Programme. To this end, the Parties have agreed to hold joint annual review workshops in order to discuss the progress in the implementation of the Framework Programme, substantiate the Plan of Actions for the forthcoming year and agree upon the financing of activities. Expanded workshop is to be held at the final stage of the Framework Programme implementation.

In accordance with one of the fundamental principles of the Council of Europe Youth Sector — co-management, the Framework Programme is to be implemented through joint efforts of the Parties while delineating responsibilities and active involvement of major European and Russian youth organisations.

On the part of the Ministry of Sport, Tourism and Youth Policy of the Russian Federation, the activities under the Framework Programme are coordinated by the Department of Tourist Activity and International Cooperation.

On the part of the Council of Europe, the Programme is coordinated by the Directorate of Youth and Sport of the Council of Europe. Other Directorates will be involved in the implementation of specialized projects and activities.

Activities under the Framework Programme for Cooperation are to be funded from various sources:

  • Council of Europe, Training course at the European Youth Centre
  • Joint Programme of the Council of Europe and the European Commission,
  • Russian Federation and the constituent entities of the Russian Federation,
  • Additional extra-budgetary sources with the consent of both parties.

Forms of cooperation

Based on the main spheres of cooperation, the Parties shall encourage the following types of activities:

  • Joint activities to share youth policy experience with participation of experts on legal issues, information exchange, youth self-government and co-management;
  • Organization of exchanges and internships for specialists, workshops, seminars, conferences, and forums;
  • Special events for representatives of non-governmental youth organizations and executive bodies at federal, regional and local levels to develop and strengthen partnership through constructive cooperation between the government and non-government sectors;
  • Language courses and events aimed at spreading the Russian language in Europe and European languages in the Russian Federation;
  • Joint participation in multilateral youth activities and programmes;
  • Joint research and projects to promote innovation and quality in youth work.
  • At the same time the following should be taken into account:
  • Participation of representatives of various regions of Russia on the thematic basis will strengthen links between different youth policy actors at federal, regional and local levels;
  • Participation of youth leaders and government employees will establish interaction between State and public youth policies, and promote youth participation in social life;
  • Discussion of topical youth policy issues with the participation of the youth itself will make it possible to identify youth policy effectiveness criteria and determine the link between programme documents and their practical implementation for the sake of further development of youth policy.