Europe Goes Local in Slovenia

April 23, 2020

Europe Goes Local in Slovenia

As this week highlights the work and accomplishments of the Slovenian National Agency, we sit down with Uroš Skrinar who is the Head of Slovenia’s NA and Polona Siter Drnovšek - EGL Project National Coordinator to talk in detail about the NA’s vision, successes and plans for 2020.

Q: Within the framework of EGL partnership, what are some highlights of the Slovenian NA's plan and strategy for 2020?  

A: We have quite a bit planned for 2020. Here are a few of the important highlights for this year, some of which are a continuation of activities and initiatives we started in 2019.

In 2019, Movit published a booklet on the impact of youth work (‘Miti in resnice o mladinskem delu’- Myths and Truth on Youth Work by Tomaž Deželan, Professor of Political Science, Nina Vombergar Research Assistant - both at the University of Ljubljana)

- an overview of more than 30 resources (articles, reports, books) on this field. In May 2020 an updated version in Slovene and in English will be released under the title: Truths About the Impact of (Local) Youth Work’ - Literature Review (in Slovene: Značilnosti in učinki mladinskega dela).

An important 2020 highlight is the organizing of a special dissemination event (conference) that is planned for November 2020, which would serve to promote and disseminate the toolkit of The European Charter on Local Youth Work. During the event, we plan to showcase other results of the partnership and enable further networking between municipalities. Having held the conference for the first time in 2019, our goal now is to make it an annual gathering of municipal officials and local decision-makers with the ultimate aim of empowering quality youth work at a local level.

Building quality partnerships and exchanging good practices have always been a focus of ours so in the month of October we have planned a short study visit on municipal youth work in Slovenia. Municipal officials from Slovenia, Croatia, Lithuania, German and Norway will come together to present and discuss good practices in the field of quality youth work development.

Building further on sharing good practices, we are also organizing regular study visits between various municipalities throughout the country, which aim at offering plenty of information exchange, networking and peer-learning on topics such as quality of local youth work, youth policies, youth participation and cross-sectoral cooperation. These study visits will be co-organized by municipalities and youth centres and currently, there are around 15 offers of good practices to visit.

Last but not least, this year we have entered the second phase of implementation of the Logbook system. The goal of the implementation of the Logbook is to strengthen the quality of local youth work through systematic monitoring and follow-up. Initially, in 2019, three municipalities started phase 1. This year we have 4 new municipalities who joined the implementation process alongside their colleagues from last year.

Q: How do you think your Action Plan and strategy will advance youth work in 2020 in your country?

A: The main goal of our efforts within the framework of EGL in Slovenia is to empower municipalities in the field of youth work and policies. We strongly believe that this brings a higher quality of local youth work throughout the country. In 2020 we expect our current and new municipalities to be involved in various project activities that will result in the development and implementation of quality strategy and action plans in even more communities. We hope that more municipal officials will be empowered to advocate for the impact of youth work to decision-makers and with that hopefully, we manage to narrow the existing gap between municipal officials, decision-makers, local youth workers and youth. The latter ultimately will lead to improved conditions and quality development and implementation of youth work at a local level.

Q: What are some unique good practices that promote the advancement of quality youth work development you could share and disseminate for wider use and application?

A: One such good practice is our so-called ‘City Incubator’ (‘Mestni Inkubator’). This is a wide platform where young people from the Ljubljana area can present and promote their ideas and realize them thanks to receiving all necessary local support. This good practice will also be included in the upcoming Toolkit so EGL members will be able to get all relevant and detailed information on it soon.

Q: How do you plan to use the European Charter to create good practices and standards for quality local youth work in your country?

A: Slovenian EGL partners will address this question in detail after the Stakeholder’s Seminar in April 2020. The general idea is to promote and use the Charter in our basic and advanced workshops for municipal officials. We also are thinking of creating a special role of a Charter Ambassador whose goal will be to advocate for quality development youth work using and applying the principles of the Charter.