Montenegro

The National Youth Strategy (2017-2021) of Montenegro was implemented in 2016 as a re-evaluation of the former National Youth Action Plan (NYAP) (2006-2011). The Youth Strategy aims to achieve six key objectives and positions young people not only as subjects of youth policy, but also as actors responsible for its planning, realisation, monitoring, and evaluation.”

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

Definition of youth

The National Youth Strategy (2017-2021) and the Law on Youth((better to link to PDF in YPL library)) (2019) defines youth as persons aged between 15 and 30 years old.

Definition 1
15 - 30 years

Source: [National Youth Strategy 2017-2021](https://montenegro.un.org/sites/default/files/2020-04/Youth Strategy 2017-2021_0.pdf) 2017

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
18 years
Male
18 years
With parental consent
Female
16 years
Male
16 years

Source: UNSD, UNDESA, ILGA

Is same-sex marriage legalized?
Female
Partly *
Male
Partly *
Are other genders recognised?
Yes
compulsory medical diagnosis

Policy & Legislation

Is there a national youth policy?
Yes

The National Youth Strategy (2017-2021) of Montenegro was implemented in 2016 as a re-evaluation of the former National Youth Action Plan (NYAP) (2006-2011). The Youth Strategy aims to achieve six key objectives:

  1. Young people achieve economic and social security through improved access to labour market and employment;
  2. Young people have access to quality education;
  3. Young people are active citizens, involved, motivated, proactive and participate in decision-making and community development processes;
  4. Young people are healthy, safe, have access to an adequate support system for transition to adulthood and self-realisation, they are self-aware, innovative, showing initiative and accept diversity;
  5. Young people have access to quality cultural content as creators and consumers;
  6. Normative and institutional framework for the implementation of youth policy has been established.

According to a report by the Council of Europe in the field of youth work, the Youth Strategy "positions young people not only as subjects of youth policy, but also as actors responsible for its planning, realisation, monitoring, and evaluation."

The first Law on Youth in Montenegro was passed in 2016, but it was determined to have deficiencies. A new Law on Youth ((link to PDF in YPL library once uploaded)) was thus passed in 2019.

Public Institutions

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

In Montenegro, the Ministry (or Directorate) of Sports and Youth is responsible for youth policy. The Youth Strategy (2017-2021) asserts that the Ministry's main tasks are related to:

  1. Improvement and implementation of the national policy, strategy and action plans and programmes for youth;
  2. Cooperation with youth organisations and associations regarding organisation of international youth manifestations and events in Montenegro;
  3. Assistance and cooperation with youth organisations and associations and their promotion;
  4. Enabling youth organisations and associations from Montenegro to participate at international youth manifestations;
  5. Stimulation and achievement of international cooperation regarding youth;
  6. Stimulation of development of youth policy and work of the Youth office at state and local levels, as well as set of activities in the domain of status, rights and obligations of sportsmen and sportswomen.

The Ministry has a Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram account

Youth & Representation

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

The Youth Law (2016) established the Council on Youth (COF) as a body responsible for overseeing the implementation of youth policies. According to an OHCHR (Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights) file, the COF recommends youth policy legislations, implements and evaluates youth policy strategies, and monitors "the position of youth people." The file also asserts that the Ministry (or Directorate) for Sports and Youth performs "the administrative and expert tasks for the needs of the Council on Youth, including data collection regarding the implementation of specific measures." The COF has a Facebook and Instagram account. Additionally, a report by the European Union and Council of Europe states that the Youth Law (2016) established a Central Association of Youth Organizations as an Umbrella Youth Association. This Umbrella Youth Association consists of non-governmental local and central youth associations. The Umbrella Youth Association can propose two representatives, of which one is a youth, to join the membership of the COF.

Youth work

Is youth work a formally recognised profession?
No

According to a paper by the Council of Europe, youth work is not yet considered a profession in Montenegro. The paper describes how both the Law on Youth and the Youth Strategy define youth work:

"Youth work represents activities that are implemented in cooperation with youth and for the youth with a goal of helping them reach independence and transition to adulthood, educational, personal and social development, in line with their needs and abilities, which are based on the methods of non-formal education."

The National Youth Strategy (2017-2021) is dedicated to promoting and professionalizing youth work. The policy states:

"Youth work is being implemented within extracurricular activities, within youth clubs, centres, institutions, schools, etc., and contributes to the development of young people into aware, responsible and active members of society, who contribute to the development of the community, show initiative and respect diversity."

Budget & Spending

Does the national youth policy have a dedicated budget?
No

According to the Proposal for the Law on Amendments to the 2022 Budget Law of Montenegro, (2022) the Ministry of Sports and Youth was allocated EUR 5.97 million (USD 6.19 million). A 2020 report by the Council of Europe delves into the public expenditure allocated to youth:

"Based on the public calls for financing projects of NGOs implementing the youth policy according to the Law on Youth from 2016 and Law on non-governmental organization" the Ministry was allocated "almost 800,000 EUR for around 150 projects of NGOs aimed on the implementation of youth policy measures and activities within the six key priorities defined by the National Youth Strategy 2017-2018."

Additionally, the Ministry's budget should be used to provide resources for:

  1. Establishing and functioning of youth services established by the municipality;
  2. Activities that are implemented by the NGOs in line with the local youth action plan.

There is no specific budget for the National Youth Strategy (2017-2021).

Contextual Figures

Liberal Democracy Index
501
Youth Progress Index
78.51

Economic Indicators

GDP per capita
$9465.97
Human Development Index
0.832
Gini coefficient
36.8

Additional background

According to a 2022 article by the UNDP, there is a low level of youth participation in public life in Montenegro. The article goes on to say:

"The low level of participation of young citizens in public life at the local level has been recognized as a problem by various institutions, the non-governmental sector and young people themselves. The most important reason for dissatisfaction in most municipalities is the poor overall quality of life, caused by poor employment opportunities, quality of education and availability of culture, sports and other content for young people. All this influences young people to think about leaving both the municipality and the state."

A 2022 blog post by the European Commission highlights ways in which the situation of youth in Montenegro has improved over the years. The blog explains how:

"In recent 10 years, young adults in Montenegro have different opportunities for growth and development and improvement of their future profession, much more than in the years preceding 2010. There are numerous organizations in Montenegro that provide space for improvement to young people. They, at one place, offer a myriad of opportunities for the improvement of the position of adults, informing, promotion of volunteerism, and active participation in the society, as well as raising awareness of the society on the issues related to young population. They strive to ensure to them the conditions for the achievement of their goals and needs, as well as for the expression of talents and capabilities, for the benefit of the whole society."

Sources

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Updates

  • Update 13.06.2024: