Kosovo

The Strategy for Youth 2019-2023 is a comprehensive strategy of the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport (MCYS) with three strategic objectives: mobilising youth for participation, representation, and active citizenship; providing skills and preparing youth for the labour market; a healthy and safe environment for young people.

Published on October 25, 2023
Updated on February 20, 2024

Definition of youth

The Law on Empowerment and Participation of Youth (2009) defines youth as those between 15 and 24 years old.

Definition 1
15 - 24 years
Definition 2

Voting Rights

Majority age
18 years
Voting age
18 years
Criminal responsibility
15 years

Candidacy age

Lower House
18 years
Upper House
--- (unicameral)
President
--- (tbc)

Marriage & Gender

Without parental consent
Female
21 years
Male
21 years
With parental consent
Female
16 years
Male
16 years

Source: UNSD, UNDESA, ILGA

Is same-sex marriage legalized?
Female
No
Male
No

Source: UNSD, UNDESA, ILGA

Are other genders recognised?
Yes
compulsory medical diagnosis

Policy & Legislation

Is there a national youth policy?
Yes

The Law on Empowerment and Participation of Youth (2009) defines the responsibilities of the institutions of central and local government to youth and youth organisations, voluntary work and informal education for young people, and the licensing of youth centres.

The Strategy for Youth 2019-2023 is a comprehensive strategy of the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport (MCYS) with three strategic objectives:

  • Mobilising youth for participation, representation, and active citizenship;
  • Providing skills and preparing youth for the labour market;
  • A healthy and safe environment for young people.

The strategy is made up of two parts. First, the policy document outlines the interests and needs of youth. Second, the action plan outlines the different activities, their implementation period, and corresponding budgets to achieve each strategic objective.

Public Institutions

Is there a governmental authority that is primarily responsible for youth?
Yes

The Youth Department within the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport (MCYS) is responsible for youth in Kosovo. It is made up of three divisions with different objectives: 1) promotion and development of non-formal education, 2) youth policy development, and 3) health education and risk prevention.

According to its website, the Youth Department works to:

  • Implement a strategic and operational plan for the youth sector;
  • Analyse the situation of the youth sector;
  • Identify specific youth groups and develop programmes that fit their needs;
  • Coordinate with other departments, municipalities, national and international agencies, and non-profit organisations in the development and implementation of policies;
  • Support the establishment of clubs, groups and youth associations;
  • Inform youth on available services and programmes.

Youth & Representation

Does the country have a national youth organization or association?
Yes

The Kosovar Youth Council (KYC) aims to:

  • Partner with public schools, non-profit organisations, and public institutions to maintain a high degree of youth wellbeing, education, and activism in their communities;
  • Engage with individual cases where needed, with people of all ages, genders, ethnicities, sexual orientations, and special needs;
  • Support institutions to transform their cultures, programmes, and operations to be more inclusive and responsive to the needs of youth.

The KYC supports three main programmes that focus on education, youth development, and youth activism. It has also established the biggest high school student representative structure - the Student Council of Kosovo (SCK).

Youth work

Is youth work a formally recognised profession?
Unclear

One goal of the Strategy for Youth 2019-2023 is to develop the capacity of youth organisations' personnel for handling obstacles and safeguarding a healthy and safe environment for youth. In order to do so, the plan includes training packages dedicated to youth workers part of youth organisations across the country.

Beyond this, there is no further mention of youth work in the Strategy for Youth 2019-2023 nor in the Law on Empowerment and Participation of Youth (2009). There is no formal definition of youth work.

Budget & Spending

Does the national youth policy have a dedicated budget?
Yes

According to the Law on Budget Appropriations for the Budget of the Republic of Kosovo for Year 2023, the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport (MCYS) is allocated EUR 57.0 million (USD 61.1 million) for the year 2023. Of this, EUR 1.8 million (USD 1.9 million) is allocated to youth, which is further divided into three categories:

  • Youth prevention and integration is allocated EUR 297,854 (USD 319,014);
  • Development and support of youth is allocated EUR 1.3 million (USD 1.4 million);
  • Development of integration policies is allocated EUR 240,160 (USD 257,208).

The action plan of the Strategy for Youth 2019-2023 allocates a budget of EUR 11.7 million (USD 12.5 million) for the five years of the youth strategy. This budget is further divided between the three strategic objectives of the strategy and their corresponding activities.

Contextual Figures

Liberal Democracy Index
618
Youth Progress Index
---

Economic Indicators

GDP per capita
$5269.78
Human Development Index
---
Gini coefficient
29.0

Additional background

According to the Contribution of Partner Countries to EU Youth Wiki - Chapter 1: Kosovo:

"Young people are defined as persons aged between 15 and 24 years. The age range is narrower in comparison to other countries in South East Europe. For example, in Albania and North Macedonia the upper threshold is 29 years of age, while in Greece it is 35 years. Most international documents also define young people as persons between 15 and 29 years old. The last General Census of Population and Housing in Kosovo was carried out in 2011. According to the official data, Kosovo has a population of 1,739,825 of which young people make up 19.4%. The new census, initially scheduled for 2021, has been postponed due to the Pandemic. The World Bank estimates that Kosovo had 1,775,378 inhabitants in 2020 while, according to World Factbook, this number is 1,935,259 inhabitants as of July 2021, with 16.95% between 15 to 24 years of age. No matter the estimation, it is generally believed that Kosovo has the highest population of young people in the Balkans and Europe."

According to the Strategy for Youth 2019-2023, the main challenges Kosovar youth face are:

  1. Youth mobilisation for participation, representation and active citizenship - "Regarding the views of youth for participation, representation and active citizenship, research shows that there is a dramatic decline of youth interest in political events. Young people express very little interest in government in our country. Two thirds of young people in Kosovo do not discuss or rarely discuss about politics with their family or their friends� Only 10 percent of Kosovo youth think that their interests are represented 'well' in national politics."

  2. Employment - "Regarding the employability of young people, recent research shows that Kosovo has a high percentage (25 percent) of NEET (young people who are not educated or trained). Gender inequality in social status is very high. Women have high levels of NEET and education, while men are more present in the labour market. Unemployment is more prevalent among young people with parents of low educational levels, coming from poor families and generally from rural areas. The overwhelming perception is that recognitions and relationships with people in power show the individual's position in the social structure and is considered a very important factor in finding a job in 54 to 59 percent of cases..."

  3. Healthy and safe environment for youth - "Kosovo has noted very serious and delinquent cases where young people have been involved in stealing, beatings, smuggling, trafficking, etc. This fact remains very worrying for the youth department and needs priority to work harder in preventing them� Kosovo's youth are still suffering from the consequences of the recent war. Marginalised groups remain far from getting the support they need to realise their rights. In many reports, the biggest concerns is [sic] the lack of integration of various youth groups in social and cultural life. Ethnic groups in Kosovo for various reasons remain a challenge in their integration into the social and cultural life of Kosovo. Also, different groups of young people with disabilities face serious challenges in getting their fundamental rights."

Sources

See all sources (4)

Updates

  • Update 22.07.2024: