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,
- 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.
Main spheres of cooperation
Promoting mobility of Russian youth
- In youth agenda mobility is a fundamental prerequisite enabling young people to benefit from equal opportunities. Youth mobility programmes are essential for efficiently overcoming thinking borders and barriers in Europe, as well as promoting common values. It is necessary to further develop these programmes, and the information on them should be available to all young people.
- The main objectives of this sphere should be the adaptation and the approval of such mobility instruments as the "European Youth Pass" and the "European portfolio for youth workers and youth leaders", which result in establishing a system of accountability and recognition of the competences gained by young people and youth workers during the implementation of the programmes and projects of the youth agenda.
- Those experienced in sponsoring youth activities and in participating in them realise that through such activities they acquire a very important life experience. They understand what opportunities leadership opens to them, learn to communicate effectively, to perceive cultural differences and their influence on communication, learn to work in a team, to run a project, to defend constructively their rights etc.
- The knowledge, skills and attitudes we teach and obtain ourselves carrying out this youth activity are important and can be applied universally, but sometimes a kind of interpretation is needed to explain those achievements to actors in other spheres (family, school, a possible employer etc).
Facilitating the development of the system for training youth workers and youth leaders
- The European Youth Centres in Strasbourg and Budapest are the international centres for preparing and organising meetings in the framework of which trained advisors provide educational and technical assistance in developing and carrying out programmes for young people and specialists actively participating in youth policy. These meetings give a platform to an exchange of views on specific issues to enrich and enhance different aspects of youth policy in Europe.
- The Parties also believe it useful to further conduct training courses of the Council of Europe in Russia. The annual Action Plans include a schedule of activities to be held.
The priorities of those education programmes are as follows:
- training of Russian trainers;
- co-operation programmes for government agencies and youth public institutions.
Supporting special projects, promoting learning and spreading the Russian language among the European youth and the European languages in the Russian Federation
The Parties shall continue cooperation on the following relevant youth issues by implementing special projects that are annually included in the Action Plan as proposed by the Parties:
Development of the intercultural dialogue and its interreligious dimension
- The Russian Federation shall proceed with implementation of the Youth Campaign "All Different – All Equal". The Council of Europe shall provide methodological and organisational assistance in this work, spread Russia’s best practices and use Russian activities of the Campaign to organise European youth conferences, prepare and distribute information and methodological materials.
Promotion of youth's proactive participation in the formation of the civil society and strengthening of common understanding among the youth
- The Parties intend to provide joint assistance to the initiatives of Russian organisations, i.e. European events, contests, discussions, and forums on civil education.
- In order to promote the learning and spreading of the Russian language among the European youth and the European languages among the Russian youth the Parties have agreed to organise annual Russian language courses for European youth to establish a favorable environment and strengthen international cooperation of the Russian youth.
Moreover, the Framework Cooperation Programme provides for mandatory participation of the representatives of the Russian Federation in European seminars and the Council of Europe language courses.
Forms of co-operation
Based on the main spheres of co-operation, 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.
The Ministry of Sport, Tourism and Youth Policy of the Russian Federation
Meeting of the Management Committee (11 December 2015)
International Kaluga Youth Camp (2009-2014)