We are pleased to present the publication authored by Jan Zapolski-Downar entitled Strategies shaping youth policy in the municipality as an instrument for spreading the idea of self-government and increasing youth participation. The publication was created thanks to the support of the Energa Foundation as part of the Energy of Youth project.

There are no longer any doubts about the statement that actions for the benefit of young people in Poland should be supported. At the central level, there is continuous consultative work going on, putting young citizens at the center. Evidence of this are initiatives such as: “Młodzi w Pałacu”, organized by Polish President Andrzej Duda, or “Strategy for the Young Generation”, organized by the Prime Minister’s Office. Regardless of the results of the consultations, the centrally diagnosed problems, will be fraught with some imperfection. A nationwide consultation, although a significant ennoblement of youth, cannot take into account the conditions and problems of individual counties or municipalities. This study, identifies and analyzes a tool that fills the gap of existing consultations. Local youth strategies, is a solution that focuses the attention of local governments on local youth problems. It identifies a document that defines not only the local needs of young people but also makes visible the development opportunities of a given territorial unit. These opportunities should be particularly closely examined in terms of the new post-pandemic reality, marked by numerous technological innovations and the development of remote work. Local governments must also identify the challenges they will face in the face of unskillful youth policies. These include: social exclusion and marginalization of young people, the outflow of young people to larger urban centers and the subsequent negative demographics, the extinction of municipalities. The above problems are already affecting some municipalities in Poland and pose a significant challenge for local governments. However, it is difficult to counterregionalized problems if they are not diagnosed and monitored locally. Attempts to centrally prevent such incidents will either be highly costly or ineffective. Local youth strategies make it possible to identify the precise environmental needs of young people and match them with the most effective solution. At the same time, the process of local consultation and creation of such strategies allows (i) activating the young community; (ii) building in them a sense of agency, influence on “small homelands,” and (iii) proving that their needs are important to local authorities (from the foreword by Tomasz Opar).

The publication is now available for free download on our website!