Municipal and Community Youth Councils have developed rapidly in Europe in recent years. In Cyprus the institution was introduced in 2001 with the support of local authorities and the Youth Board of Cyprus. The first Municipal Youth Councils were formed in Aradippou and Paphos Municipalities.
- The creation of a participatory institution which will give young people, and especially youth organizations, the opportunity to become active within their local government. Groups of young people and youth organizations –student, voluntary, social, political, cultural, environmental and non-formal groups of young people– have the opportunity to have an active involvement in issues of their interest and in decision-making processes within their municipalities or communities. Young people can raise issues, discuss, propose, and thus benefit from the implementation of actions and infrastructure projects of their municipality or community.
- The Municipal and Community Youth Councils contribute towards a constant and substantial connection and dialogue between local authorities and the youth. This institution enables municipalities and communities to identify young people’s interests and problems and deal with them.
THE ROLE AND ACTION OF MUNICIPAL AND COMMUNITY YOUTH COUNCILS:
- The main role of the Municipal and Community Youth Councils is to provide advisory support to local authorities. The Municipal and Community Youth Councils prepare an annual action plan and budget, focusing on youth issues. Moreover, they propose local policies relevant to youth issues. They can also give suggestions and proposals regarding the implementation of infrastructure projects, as well as other projects and actions that will benefit young people in their municipality or community.
- The Municipal and Community Youth Councils also provide multiple support, encouraging youth organizations to take local action. This support could be financial, technical or informative, and is provided through projects and actions of the Youth Board, the local government and other institutions.
- The Municipal and Community Youth Councils should take action when the youth organizations are not able to do so. Under no circumstances should the councils replace or compete youth organizations. They should apply the principle of subsidiarity.
FINANCIAL RESOURCES OF THE MUNICIPAL AND COMMUNITY YOUTH COUNCILS:
Financial support is provided to Youth Councils by the local authorities or the private sector, through funding for specific projects or actions. The Youth Board of Cyprus may provide financial support for specific projects or actions through the “Youth Initiatives” Project.
THE ROLE OF THE YOUTH BOARD OF CYPRUS:
The role of YBC is not to replace local authorities, but to provide financial, technical and advisory support to the Youth Councils and the Local Government with regard to the development of actions, projects and infrastructure that will benefit young people.
CURRENT STATUS – FORMATION OF MUNICIPAL AND COMMUNITY YOUTH COUNCILS:
23 Municipal and 3 Community Youth Councils have been formed so far in Cyprus. The Municipalities that are interested in forming their own Youth Council should contact the YBC.