On 29th June 29, the Civil Society Resource Centre in cooperation with the Regional Center for Sustainable Development – Gevgelija organized a visit of the Mobile Resource Centre in Gevgelija and a meeting with local organisations to inform them and discuss the state of civil society at the local level.
The organisations were informed about the work of the Council for Cooperation between the Government and the civil society as well as the preparation of the new Strategy for cooperation with and development of the civil society. CSOs were encouraged to communicate and actively cooperate with representatives in the Council, because through them they can be informed, but also participate in policy-making processes and improve the environment in which CSOs operate.
Dragana Mitrovic informed the local organisations about the current developments related to youth policies, above all the obligations for the municipalities arising from the Law on Youth Participation and Youth Policies. The Law is seen as an opportunity to improve the situation and conditions for young people at the local level.
“State institutions and most of the municipalities have recently appointed youth officers. The Agency for Youth and Sports in cooperation with several municipalities and local organisations are working on opening the first youth centres in each municipality in the next 4-5 years. The Youth Work Alliance with the support of the Agency for Youth and Sports conducted the first formally recognized training for youth workers, and it was announced the promotion of a Manual for youth councils to be established if they do not exist or transformed in line with the Law through a transparent and inclusive process”, says Mitrovic.
In her presentation, she stressed that it is important for the municipalities to be well prepared, to understand the responsibilities transferred to them, and for CSOs to be involved, to support and help these processes in order to ensure quality implementation of the Law and thus the youth really be adequately represented, have the opportunity to participate in decision-making processes at the local level, and receive an appropriate safe space where they will have systematic support for their development and inclusion in the community through youth centres.
Part of the challenges faced by local organisations are related to low financial support and poor diversification of revenues of local organisations, insufficient cooperation and interest from the well-developed business community in Gevgelija, strict procedures for implementing small grants of local organisations that do not have the capacity to implement them, but also the insufficient support provided by the larger organisations responsible for re-granting schemes.