Co-operation between the Council of Europe and the state authority responsible for the implementation of youth policy in Ukraine began in the late 1990s. The co-operation reached a peak in October 2008 when the Council of Europe held the 8th Conference of European Ministers responsible for youth which took place in Kyiv, with the support of the Ministry of Ukraine for Family, Youth and Sports.
Thereafter, framework cooperation programmes have been concluding on an ongoing basis; their implementation is carried out through annual action plans.
Currently the long-term cooperation between Ukraine and the Council of Europe in youth policy is implemented within the Council of Europe Action Plan for Ukraine through the project Youth for Democracy in Ukraine, launched in 2020 and currently in its third phase. The project which strengthens youth work and supports youth policy reform at the local level in the respect of Council of Europe standards and approaches.
After the Russian Federation’s aggression against Ukraine on 24 February 2022 the project Youth for Democracy in Ukraine transformed its activities to respond to the needs of youth workers, youth centers and youth organisations in Ukraine and to support youth policy and youth policy stakeholders in war time.
The Council of Europe Action Plan for Ukraine for 2023-2026 was adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 14 December 2022. This new Action Plan priorities strengthening youth policy and youth participation in the war and post war context taking into account the specific needs of young people and youth work actors.
Framework Programme of Cooperation 2021 – 2025
The current Framework Programme for cooperation in the field of Youth Policy between the Council of Europe Youth Department and the Ministry of Youth and Sports of Ukraine for 2021-2025 (English, Ukrainian) was signed in July 2021. The purpose of this Framework Programme is to contribute to the development of youth policy in Ukraine and implementation of new legislation in this field. The programme is complementary to the project Youth for Democracy in Ukraine.
The Framework Programme supports youth policy reforms in Ukraine and the implementation of relevant strategic programmes, notably the National Youth Strategy 2030, the State Target Social Programme “Youth of Ukraine” 2021-2025, and new legislation in the field of youth policy and youth work in Ukraine. The priorities and modes of intervention reflect the orientations of the Council of Europe Youth Sector Strategy 2030.
Within the Framework Programme 2021 – 2025, the Council of Europe and the Ministry of Youth and Sports of Ukraine organised:
- A “50/50” training seminar on youth participation standards and processes in Ukraine “TOGETHER HAVE YOUR SAY!” for youth policy makers, young activists and representatives of youth NGOs in Kyiv from 25 to 29 October 2021.
- A study visit and seminar for youth workers and representatives of youth centres providing youth work during war time in Ukraine, which took place at the European Youth Centre, Strasbourg from 5 to 10 December 2022.
Framework Programme 2016-2020
In view of the need to articulate the importance of youth policy reforms in Ukraine, notably the State target social programme "Youth of Ukraine" 2016-2020, and in order to gain on efficiency in their implementation, the Council of Europe Youth Department and the Ministry of Youth and Sport of Ukraine have agreed on a new Framework Programme with the duration of five years, from 2016 to 2020. English Ukrainian
The Framework Programme on Co-operation in the field of Youth Policy was part of the Council of Europe Action Plan on Ukraine. On 3 and 4 March 2016 a meeting of the Management Committee Framework Programme on Co-operation in the field of Youth Policy in 2016-2020, between the Council of Europe and the Ministry of Youth and Sports of Ukraine Ministry of Youth and Sport was held in Kyiv, and resulted in Revised Action Plan for 2016-2017.
Framework agreement 2014-2015
Framework agreement for 2014 and 2015 was negotiated and its draft plan of action was approved by the Joint Council on Youth in March 2014. It called for support to confidence-building and conflict-transformation measures (to be included in the 2015 programme and funded through voluntary contributions).
As a follow-up to the Joint Council on Youth decision, the European Youth Foundation opened a special call for pilot projects in Ukraine.
The programme was reviewed at the Annual Evaluation and Planning Meeting held in Kyiv on 4 March. The meeting re-set the priority areas of co-operation and prepared the programme of activities for 2015.
The programme of activities was mostly funded through a Voluntary Contribution (VC) of Norway which covered: an international youth policy review, a programme of training for youth leaders on human rights education and on youth participation and the translation and dissemination into Ukrainian of the manuals Compass (manual for human rights education with young people), Bookmarks (manual for combating hate speech through human rights education) and Have Your Say! (manual on the revised European Charter on the Participation of Young People in Local and Regional Life).
The close bilateral co-operation between the Council of Europe and Ukraine in Youth sector is evident in the following joint activities:
- The Youth policy review was concluded and its results presented in March 2013 (for more information about the reform, consult A roadmap for reform: Youth Policy in Ukraine).
- “50-50” course including the training activities on human rights education, youth participation and youth policy with youth leaders and civil servants are carrying out from 2012.
- The Study visits to European Youth Center in Strasburg and training seminars for Ukrainian youth experts and Youth workers were organised in December 2014 (and would be repeated in 2016 and 2019).
- Ukraine has responded positively to the call for setting up a national No Hate Speech Movement campaign. A national committee has been set up. The campaign in Ukraine has been remarkably creative despite very limited resources.
- In September 2015 the Ukrainian version of Compass was launched at a forum which also included a consultation with youth organisations. It was followed by a training course on human rights education and conflict transformation held in November 2015 in Lviv.
- Two seminars were held on the use of the Council of Europe Youth Work Portfolio and the recognition of youth work in Ukraine in 2016 (Odesa and Lutsk). The Youth Work Portfolio has been translated into Ukrainian.
- A study visit of Ukrainian youth centres to the Villa Elba Youth Center, which has the Quality Label for Youth Centres was supported in 2017 (Kokkola, Finland).
- A visit of a delegation of experts from the Council of Europe regarding the assessment of the progress of the Ukrainian youth centres took place in July 2018 (Kyiv and Chernihiv). Also, experts and delegates of the Youth Department of the Council of Europe participated in the various events in Ukraine
- The Council of Europe publication Self-assessment tool for youth policy and Recommendation CM/Rec(2017)4 of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe to member States on youth work were translated into Ukrainian in 2018 and 2019.
- The Long-Term Training Course for trainers in Human Rights Education with young people in Ukraine and its activities were held in 2019-2020.
- Local peace Camp “Youth peace” took part in cooperation with the Institute of Creative Innovations NGO in Ukraine.
- Ukraine has been taking part in the youth campaign Democracy Here |Democracy Now and Youth Action Week 2022.
- The European Youth Foundation funded youth project “Voices of Young People in Ukraine”.
- Following the decision of the Joint Council of Youth on 12 October 2022, the European Youth Foundation is launching a special call to support young people from Ukraine.