The National Programme for Youth 2013-2022 is the thematic guide to youth policies and programmes in Slovenia, and identifies six key areas for youth policy.

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

Definition of youth

The Act on the Public Interest in the Youth Sector (2010) (ZJIMS) defines youth as "young people and young adults of both genders aged between 15 and a completed 29 years."

Definition 1
15 - 29 years

Source: Youth Sector Act 2010

Definition 2

Voting Rights

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

Candidacy age

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

Marriage & Gender

Without parental consent
18 years
18 years
With parental consent
15 years
15 years


Is same-sex marriage legalized?


Are other genders recognised?
compulsory medical diagnosis

Policy & Legislation

Is there a national youth policy?

The Act on the Public Interest in the Youth Sector (2010) (ZJIMS) defines youth, the youth sector, the status of youth organisations, financial grant procedures, national awards, and the activities of youth centres. The act also specifies the responsibilities of the Office for Youth and acts as the legal basis for the adoption of a national youth programme.

The National Programme for Youth 2013-2022 is the thematic guide to youth policies and programmes, and identifies six key areas for youth policy:

  1. Education;
  2. Employment and entrepreneurship;
  3. Living conditions of young people;
  4. Health and well-being;
  5. Youth, society, and the importance of the youth sector;
  6. Culture, creativity, heritage, and media.

According to an article by the European Youth Work Agenda Bonn Process, a new national youth programme for the years 2023-2032 will be adopted by the Slovenian parliament in early 2023. Furthermore, "the National Youth Programme will be implemented through a series of two-year action plans."

Public Institutions

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

The Office for Youth within the Ministry of Education

"champions the interests of the youth and the youth sector, acting as the main coordinator of activities in the framework of youth policies and providing comprehensive measures to improve the status of young people in Slovenia."

More specifically, the Office for Youth focuses on enhancing organised, strategically-led, and structured dialogue with young people, improving the quality of youth work, and deepening the understanding of youth.

Youth & Representation

Does the country have a national youth organization or association?

The National Youth Council of Slovenia (MSS), is an umbrella organisation for youth organisations in Slovenia and the national representative of youth at the European level. The MSS creates youth policies, conducts dialogues in the non-governmental youth field, and promotes and advocates for the development of youth work and informal education.

The Law on Youth Councils (JMS) (2010) regulates the status, operation, activities, and financing of the National Youth Council.

Youth work

Is youth work a formally recognised profession?

According to the Act on the Public Interest in the Youth Sector (2010) (ZJIMS) youth work is:

"an organised and target-oriented form of youth action and is for the youth, within which the youth, based on their own efforts, contribute to their own inclusion in society, strengthen their competences and contribute to the development of the community. The implementation of various forms of youth work is based on the volunteer participation of the youth regardless of their interest, cultural, principle or political orientation."

The National Programme for Youth 2013-2022 describes the situation of youth work:

"Youth worker is a relatively unknown and only partially formalised profession in Slovenia. The professional profile of a youth worker includes various types of personnel, especially within youth organisations. Youth workers deal with young people in the form of managing youth organisations or groups, project work, information, volunteering, various informal trainings and other professional support for young people."

According to the EU Youth Wiki, "There are no minimum qualification standards for publicly funded youth workers or for volunteer/unpaid youth workers." Nevertheless, youth work has been recognised as part of the National Vocational Qualification System in Slovenia. Furthermore, one priority area of the National Programme for Youth 2013-2022 is "creating capacities for quality youth work and establishing a national system of training and education for youth workers."

The Youth Network MaMa is a non-governmental umbrella organisation that connects and represents the interests of organisations engaged in the field of youth work in Slovenia.

Budget & Spending

Does the national youth policy have a dedicated budget?

According to the Special Part of the Budget of Slovenia for 2023, the Office for Youth is allocated EUR 3.4 million (USD 3.6 million), of which EUR 2.9 million (USD 3.1 million) is allocated to youth programmes.

According to the National Programme for Youth 2013-2022,

"The national programme for youth will cover a period of 9 years, and will be accompanied by implementation plans (adopted by the Government of the Republic of Slovenia), which will pursue the general goals and direction of this programme in the above areas with specific measures. Each implementation plan will be coordinated with the budget of the Republic of Slovenia."

According to the EU Youth Wiki,

"The amount available for a wide set of measures defined in the National Programme for Youth in 2015 was 169 million EUR (European funds included). The allocated resources in 2016 amounted to 199.6 million EUR."

However, these numbers could not be independently verified.

Contextual Figures

Liberal Democracy Index
Youth Progress Index

Economic Indicators

GDP per capita
Human Development Index
Gini coefficient

Additional background

The EU Youth Wiki describes the situation of youth in Slovenia:

"The share of young people (aged 15�29) in Slovenia is declining. In Slovenia, there was 320,000 young people aged 15-29 in 2017. At the beginning of 2016 they accounted for 16% of the population, ten years ago it was over 20%. The at-risk-of-poverty rate among young people in 2016 was 14.6% and was higher than that among the general population. The unemployment rate among young people was also higher than the average: at the beginning of 2017 it was amounted to 13.2%, while the total unemployment rate was 7.8%. Nevertheless, the youngest among all age groups are most satisfied with their lives, since - on a scale of 0 to 10 - they rated their lives in 2016 with an average score of 7.8, which was 0.7 points more than the average.

The situation of the young in Slovenia is defined primarily by the combination of considerable family support and prolonged inclusion in the (relatively socially-oriented and friendly) education system on the one hand, and the extremely uncertain labour market conditions on the other. Statistics indicate that young people's employment situation is improving (youth unemployment has been gradually declining since), but young people remain one of the most vulnerable groups on the labour market. Compared to 2011, in 2016 the youth employment rate in Slovenia decreased in total by 2.5 percentage points. In 2016 the youth employment rate in Slovenia stood at 45.3% and in the EU at 48.3%. 25.1% of young employees (15�24 years) were in a permanent employment relationship, 25.5% were in a temporary employment relationship and 49.4% had other temporary employment types.

Young people in Slovenia feel they have very little political influence, and in comparison with the EU average tend to be much less interested or involved in politics.

Young people (16-24 year-old) like to go to the cinema. In 2015, 75% of young people visited at least one cinema show, 49% attended at least one concert, 28% theatre, and 48% of young people watched a sports event or match. 69% of young people actively participated in online social networks on a daily basis (in 2015). Among forms of participation, young people in Slovenia most commonly participate in voluntary activities (35.7%), which represent a central mechanism of social inclusion of young people. Slovenian youth are most frequently members of organisations in the fields of sports, recreation and culture, while their membership in political parties is considerably lower."


See all sources (10)


  • Update 22.06.2024: