Croatia is starting by: Important steps in the Bonn Process
Despite the coronavirus pandemic, Croatia had a national follow-up conference to the European Youth Work Convention (EYWC) as a first step in implementing the European Youth Work Agenda (EYWA) in the Bonn Process. Approximately 150 people participated in the event, which was organised by the Croation National Agency for the EU programmes Erasmus+ Youth and European Solidarity Corps in co-operation with the State Office and the Croatian national delegation for the EYWC.
Moreover, currently there are a few important processes happening in Croatia:
- In 2020, an international version of the Croatian lifelong learning programme 'Youth in the contemporary society' in the field of youth work was implemented. The programme was held for professionals already engaged in youth work or those interested in working with youth and for youth as a specific social group. The participants were completed undergraduate or (pre-bologna) graduate students. The training programme was worth 30 European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) credits. It was organised by the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences of the University of Rijeka in collaboration with the Institute for Social Research in Zagreb and the University of Ljubljana.
- The Institute for Social Research in Zagreb (IDIZ) is running a project 'Supporting Evidence-based Education of Youth Workers (SEEYW)'. The project aims to strengthen capacities of youth workers and to contribute in the long-term to the overall quality of youth work provision in project partner countries (Croatia and Slovenia). The project goals include the development of proposals for occupation and qualification standards for youth workers, the development of a curriculum for a lifelong learning study programme for youth workers and the development of a curriculum for a tertiary level study programme for youth workers.
- 'Europe Goes Local' is one of the essential European projects supporting youth work in Croatia and is proven to be very successful in municipalities all over Croatia.
- A 'City for Youth' certificate is a quality stamp for cities in Croatia that have wholesome youth policy and youth participation implementation.
'At the moment, different research papers in Croatia are prepared', adds Branimira Penić, former board member of CYN, the Croatian Youth Network, and member of the Croatian EYWC delegation. 'One is implemented by our State Office for Demography and Youth on the state of youth work in Croatia, another is implemented by the Institute for Social Research in Zagreb (IDIZ) on youth workers education paths and needs, and another one is on the topic of rural youth – Croatian partners are the NGO Udruga Prizma and the Institute for Social Sciences 'Ivo Pilar', the largest multidisciplinary national research institute in Croatia in social sciences and humanities. All in all, there are numerous projects implemented by NGOs all over Croatia on the topic of supporting and promoting youth work', she says. She still has some more ideas for future steps. 'I would appreciate strengthening the role of the non-formal Facebook group of youth workers in Croatia. It is the only platform for youth workers in Croatia. In addition, making a catalogue of projects, programmes, and initiatives on youth work in Croatia would be great. And of course, we should advocate for the development of the implementation plan of the EYWA in the Bonn Process, approved by decision-makers on the national and local level.'