The primary purpose of ONEK, which derives from the Youth Board’s Law, is the essential contribution to youth-policy decision-making, focused on current challenges and with the greatest possible positive impact on young people.
Since 2017, ONEK has been coordinating the implementation of the National Youth Strategy (2017-2022), which is the first youth policy document in Cyprus. One of the basic principles of the Strategy is the participation of young people in decision-making, on issues that concern them and the close cooperation between all bodies that implement programs and actions for youth.
ONEK, being responsible for putting forward policy proposals, for the empowerment of young people, conducts specialized research to identify the needs of young people, carries out consultations and opens discussions with young people, using multiple tools, such as the operation of Advisory Bodies, the Youth Conference and the National Group on EU Youth Dialogue. In order to promote the dialogue between the youth and the Municipal and Community Authorities, the institution of Municipal and Community Youth Councils, which are supported by ONEK, is also a good practice of youth participation.
In addition, ONEK participates in working groups at national, European and international level, actively contributing to youth policy-making at all levels and sharing good practices. Specifically, ONEK participates in the Working Groups for Youth of the Council of the EU, in Committees of the Council of Europe, as well as in the European Youth Knowledge Center (EKCYP). At the same time, ONEK participates or supports the participation of young people in the United Nations conferences and meetings of the Commonwealth, on issues related to youth.
It is noted that youth work is also an important area of youth policy, as it contributes to the empowerment of young people. In order to develop and promote youth work in Cyprus, ONEK has set up a special Working Group.
The Policy Department is the competent department of ONEK for the implementation and coordination of the above issues.